Senator-elect and leader of Australia’s right-wing One Nation party Pauline Hanson warned of “terrorism on our streets” at a press conference in Brisbane on Monday, and said that Australians feared their suburbs and agricultural lands are being “swamped by Asians,” the Sydney Morning Herald reports.
After an 18-year political hiatus — she was first elected to the legislature in 1996 but lost her seat in 1998 — Hanson has regained a seat in the upper house amid election turmoil between the ruling conservative coalition and center-left opposition Labor party.
The platform of the One Nation party — which could potentially win more seats as votes are still being counted — calls for a ban on Muslim immigration, a halt to the erection of mosques, and increased surveillance of existing mosques and Muslim schools.
“You can’t deny the fact that in these mosques they have been known to preach hate towards us. Is that a society that we want to live in?” she said, according to the Herald. “I don’t believe it is … Do you want to see terrorism on our streets here? Do you want to see our Australians murdered?”
In response, Race Discrimination Commissioner Tim Soutphommasane warned that Hanson’s comments could precipitate into hatred and violence.
“We have plenty of examples about how licensing hate can lead to serious violence and ugliness in our streets and our communities,” Soutphommasane told the Australian Broadcasting Corp.
“We shouldn’t be doing anything to compromise the remarkable success story of Australian multiculturalism.”