Greens senators have walked out on Pauline Hanson’s maiden speech to parliament, in which she declared Australia was in danger of “being swamped by muslims “.
The One Nation leader said Muslim culture and ideology was incompatible with Australia and emphasised the need for immigrants to assimilate.
“Tolerance has to be shown by those who come to this country for a new life,” Ms Hanson said.
“If you are not prepared to become Australian and give this country your undivided loyalty, obey our laws, respect our country and way of life, then I suggest you go back where you came from.
“If it would be of any help, I will take you to the airport and wave you goodbye with sincere best wishes.”
Hanson called for a ban on Muslim immigration and also on the wearing of the burqa. She also said no more mosques should be built and Sharia law should be banned.
“Islam cannot have a significant presence in Australia if we are to live in an open, secular and cohesive society,” she said.
“Prisons have become breeding grounds for muslims to radicalize inmates. Muslims are prominent in organised crime with associated violence and drug dealing.
“Anti-social behavior is rampant, fuelled by hyper-masculine and misogynist culture.”
She said there was no way to determine who was a good Muslim and who was a bad Muslim.
“Radicalisation is happening on our streets, suburbs, in mosques but our leaders keep telling us to be tolerant,” she said.
“There is no sign saying ‘good Muslim’ or ‘bad Muslim’. How many lives will be lost or destroyed trying to determine who is good and who is bad?”
Multicultural Services Centre of Western Australia executive director Ramnas Sankaran said Hanson’s speech was a shadow of her “swamped by Asians” maiden speech in 1996.
“What Hanson is saying is nothing new. She first said this about Asians, who comprised of a fraction of Australia’s population at that time,” he said.
“Muslim composition of population in Australia is a miniscule proportion, Maybe she should look up the definition of the word ‘swamped’, because she doesn’t know what she’s talking about.”
Mr Sankaran said a person’s right to freedom of speech should not be abused.
“You have to balance freedom of speech with respect for the people. That respect should extend to everybody,” he said.
“I’ve never called Hanson a racist, but a statement like that with no fact is racist. It’s having a go at people of people of Islamic background.”
Additional reporting by Drew Smith.