Far-right Australian Lawmaker Shocks Parliament in 'Offensive' Burqa Stunt

Senator Pauline Hanson from anti-immigration party enters chamber wearing enveloping garment; another lawmaker blasts actions as offensive to Australia's half million 'good, law-abiding' Muslims

Senator Pauline Hanson wears a burqa during Question Time in the Senate chamber at the Parliament in Canberra, Australia, August 17, 2017.
Jed Cooper/AP

Australian parliamentarians were in for a shock in Thursday when far-right lawmaker Pauline Hanson walked into the chamber wearing a black burqa.

The One Nation party politician, well known for her anti-immigration and anti-Islam views, once claimed Australia is "in danger of being swamped by Muslims whose culture is incompatible with our own," BuzzFeed reported.

Senators appeared lost for words when Hanson walked in with a colleague during the parliamentary Question Time session.

After calling for order, Senate President Stephen Parry said that he had been informed by an attendant that "the identity of Senator Hanson was established before she entered the building."

Senator George Brandis attacked Hanson and branded her action as offensive. "I'm not going to ignore the stunt you tried to pull today" he said, adding that she should be "very very careful of the offence you may do to the religious sensibilities of other Australians."

Pointing out that she was not a Muslim, he warned her to be "very very careful of the offence you may do to the religious sensibilities of other Australians." He noted that there are half a million Muslims in the country, and the majority of them are "good, law-abiding" citizens.

"To ridicule that community, to drive it into a corner, to mock its religious garments is an appalling thing to do," he said to standing ovation, "and I would ask you to reflect on what you have done."