Australian politician Pauline Hanson, who leads the One Nation party, gave her first speech in that country’s Senate to denounce Islam as a “hyper-masculine culture” incompatible with Australian society. Migrants to Australia, she said, who are living in the country but have not “assimilated” should “go back from where you came from.”
 
Hanson added, “If it would be of any help, I’ll take you to the airport and wave you goodbye with sincere best wishes.”
 
Hanson’s remarks prompted members of the Green Party to walk out of the chamber. She went on to say that it is impossible to distinguish between  “good” and “bad” Muslims. “Our leaders continue to tell us to be tolerant and to embrace the good Muslims,” Hanson said. “But how should we tell the difference? 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?”
 
 Hanson founded One Nation after leaving behind the centre-right Liberal Party. She was imprisoned in 2003 after being convicted of fraud. She was released after 11 weeks when her conviction was overturned on appeal.
 
This year, One Nation won four seats in the national Senate -- its best result so far. Some observers see it as a challenge to incumbent Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who pushed Tony Abbott, a conservative, out of the party last year. 
 
Commenting on Hanson’s speech, the Australian Herald Sun wrote:  
 
“When Hanson gave her maiden speech in the House of Representatives 20 years and four days ago, Liberals boycotted it. This time they do not dare. Hanson is too powerful, with her four Senate votes and huge popularity – not to mention her scars.
 
“Turnbull’s nightmare has a new chapter. How can he repudiate what she says, other than to say it is not wise to say what in many respects is either the truth or the sentiment of so many Australians, most of them too scared until now to say so?”



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Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat and the editor of Spero News.

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