Pauline Hanson Calls For A Total Ban On Muslims In Australia In The Wake Of Orlando

No mention of the victims, though.

Pauline Hanson

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Serial election candidate Pauline Hanson has wasted no time in trying to exploit the tragic massacre in Orlando for political gain. In a video posted on her Facebook page last night, Hanson implored her followers to “take a strong stand against Muslims and Islam”.

While Hanson’s opposition to mosques, halal certification and Muslim refugees is already well known, in her latest video she goes much further, echoing Donald Trump’s call for a wholesale ban on Muslims. Comparing Muslim people to dangerous dogs, Hanson argues: “We have laws here that we don’t bring in pitbull terriers because they are a danger to our society… we have laws to protect Australians.”

She goes on ask her followers to “pressure the government to say ‘No more Muslims in Australia’”. The official policy of Hanson’s One Nation party calls for an end to “further Muslim Immigration”.

Nowhere in Hanson’s latest video did she express sympathy with the victims of the Orlando attacks. Nor did she mention the attack deliberately targeted members of the LGBTI community.

Hanson’s call to end Muslim migration hasn’t attracted anywhere near the kind of attention as US Presidential candidate Donald Trump’s similar policy, even though Hanson has a strong chance of winning a seat in the Senate this federal election. The ABC’s election analyst Antony Green has said that Hanson has a “realistic chance” of winning a Senate seat in Queensland due to a combination of new Senate voting rules and the double dissolution election. According to Green, Hanson only needs to secure three to four percent of the vote to be in with a chance.

In 2011, Hanson secured 2.41 per cent of the vote when she ran for the NSW Upper House. In 2004 she won 4.54 per cent of the vote when contested the Queensland Senate election. If she replicated that result on July 2, it’s likely she would win a Senate seat. Reports today have suggested Liberal candidates have been trying to do preference deals with Hanson’s One Nation party across the country.

On one hand it might be tempting to write off Hanson’s hateful, opportunistic ravings as irrelevant. After all, this is her tenth time running for election. But given she has a strong chance of winning a seat and potentially holding the balance of power in the Senate, deciding what becomes law and what doesn’t, her views deserve scrutiny.  Her latest video has been viewed more than 250,000 times and shared by 7,000 people.

With the election less than three weeks away, and early voting having kicked off, we can expect Hanson to repeatedly exploit the murder of innocent people to give her campaign a boost.

The idea of a politician who wants to ban an entire religion of 1.6 billion people sitting in the Australian Parliament for the next three years is pretty terrifying.

Queensland, please don’t fuck it up.

Osman Faruqi is a Sydney based writer and broadcaster. You can follow him on Twitter at@oz_f