An Australian politician donned a full burqa before entering the parliament floor to deliver an address calling for a ban on face coverings in public spaces, as well as a moratorium on Islamic immigration, in the midst of escalating security concerns.
Pauline Hanson, a senator representing Queensland and founder of the populist-conservative One Nation Party, shocked her colleagues by arriving in full Islamic garb in order to prove the point that identities can too easily be hidden, which breaks trust between citizens and presents glaring safety issues.
Hanson’s entry elicited gasps and exclamations, as her identity under the garments was known, but it is unclear if those conspicuously shocked by her appearance would react in the same manner if she were, for instance, a Muslim woman in her everyday dress.
“I am quite happy to remove this, because this is not what should belong in this parliament,” Hanson announced upon taking off the headdress, while raucous outrage rocked the room.
“I call on the government to ban full-face coverings in public places,” she said in a prepared speech. “The central issue in this motion before the Senate is the right of others to see a face.”
“No one should be permitted to hide behind a veil of secrecy while there is a security concern. No one should be able to receive taxpayer-funded support when their identity cannot be confirmed with facial recognition.”
Hanson listed off some of the challenges posed by facial coverings, as the UK grapples with the issue of patients unable to see hospital workers’ faces, Canada has allowed for Muslims to take the oath of citizenship while hidden behind the veil, and terrorists disguise themselves in order to infiltrate sensitive areas before committing acts of violence and murder.
During Hanson’s speech, she flamed a fellow male senator who had approached her in the hallway, unaware of her identity, and greeted her warmly with a handshake, despite never having done so in the past.
“On my way to this chamber today wearing the full burqa, Senator Wilson extended his hand out to me, not knowing who I was, and shook my hand,” she explained. “He has never done that to me in all my time in this place.”
“I’ve never seen him not only not shake my hand in the past, but he has not shook the hand of any other woman just walking the corridors – it was the burqa that drew him. Was is it tokenism? I don’t know.”
In June, ISIS terrorists gained entry to Iranian parliament using burqas to hide their identities before going on a killing spree that claimed 12 lives.
“The deputy interior minister, Mohammad Hossein Zolfaghari, told Iran’s state TV that the attackers were dressed as women in order to gain entry,” reported the Guardian, in a paragraph buried deep within the article.
The Iraqi army imposed a burqa ban during Ramadan this year in order to prevent similar attacks by jihadists – revealing both that the Islamic disguise is a liability, and also that Ramadan is consistently the most violent period in the Islamic calendar.
“Women have been told they are not allowed to wear traditional Islamic clothing such as the burka and niqab in newly liberated areas of Mosul as part of new security measures imposed for the month of Ramadan, Iraqi police have said,”reported the Independent. “A statement from Nineveh police – the province in which the city is located – said that face coverings would temporarily be banned so ISIS suicide bombers could not disguise themselves as women in public places.”
Watch Senator Hanson’s full speech here.