Senator Dastyari: What a performance in the Australian Senate today. What a performance! There are many days where I question why we come into this place. Often, I feel that we would be better off just staying at the bar. And there are days where things go completely crazy. To top-off the insanity of what has been a truly surreal week, we saw the stunt of all stunts in this chamber by Senator Hanson.
Firstly, Senator Brandis, rightly deserves to be congratulated for his strong words and strong sentiment, and for expressing the view, rightly, that the close to 500,000 Muslim Australians do not deserve to be targeted, do not deserve to be marginalised, do not deserve to be ridiculed and do not deserve to have their faith made into some political point by the desperate leader of a desperate political party—a leader who has sitting beside her a senator who the Senate itself questions whether they should even be in this chamber in the first place.
Today was embarrassing. It was insulting; it was hurtful and it was wrong. In the same week as the United States Secretary of State, Secretary Tillerson, himself listed One Nation as a risk to religious freedom, and in the same week that we saw white nationalism rear its ugly head in the country of our closest ally, a stunt like this gets pulled in the Australian Senate. It is hurtful, it is offensive and it is wrong.
It is wrong, what’s more, when we’re talking about national security and the threats that are posed by extremism. Those actions and behaviours do not achieve any objective other than to make the risks and dangers in this country worse. When you pull those types of stunts, when people try to trivialise other people’s faith and other people’s religion for the sole purpose of a cheap headline, national security is damaged, not helped. And the idea that it is somehow appropriate to be mocking people, their faith and their values in this chamber goes to the heart of attacking what makes this country so amazing and so great.
Let’s be clear: Islamic extremism is a threat and a danger, as is radical nationalism. And we need to call out extremism wherever it is. If that extremism is Islamic extremism, it should be called out. But if that extremism is the type of fascism Pauline Hanson and One Nation bring into this chamber, it should be called out as well. Extremism is wrong in whatever form it takes. Extremism is wrong when a group of white nationalists take over a city like Charlottesville in the United States of America. That is wrong, that is fascism, that is extremism, that is terrorism and it should be called out. Just as we should call out Islamic extremism, Islamic fascism, we need to call that out across the world. In the same week, even the Trump administration, in its International Religious Freedom Report for 2016, has listed One Nation as a threat to religious freedom. We’ve seen extreme nationalism rear its ugly head. We don’t want to see that type of extreme nationalism, that fascism, come to our country. We don’t want to see it imported here. The stunt from Senator Hanson does nothing but bring out the worst of Australian society.
Chamber Senate on 17/08/2017 Item QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE: TAKE NOTE OF ANSWERS – Energy, Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Speaker:S, Sen Sam Transcript used for Media Reporting