Faruqi calls for Senate racism ban after ‘repugnant’ Hanson slur

Greens Senator Mehreen Faruqi has called for the Senate to enforce codes of behaviour against racism after being the target of a “repugnant” attack from Pauline Hanson.

Hanson refused to apologise but eventually withdrew a comment inviting the Greens Senator to leave Australia – for a second time – but only after her One Nation party had converted it into a fundraising opportunity.

Hanson was temporarily gagged from speaking in the Senate on Wednesday after she refused multiple requests to withdraw comments made against Faruqi.

“The Senate has rightly forced Senator Hanson to withdraw her unacceptable racist comments and held her to account for once …” Senator Faruqi said.

“Racist hatred should never be tolerated in any workplace, let alone one that is supposed to lead the way in standards of behaviour.

Green Senator Mehreen Faruqi. Photo: AAP

“The government needs to stop dragging the chain on Parliamentary behaviour codes and implement the codes and the consequences for breaching these without delay.”

In a debate on counter-terrorism, Hanson referenced an earlier walkout staged by the Greens over Gaza and singled out Senator Mehreen Faruqi for earlier criticism of Israel.

“If you don’t see yourself as loving this country and abiding by the laws of the country, I have no problem,” she said.

“I will actually take you to the airport and put you on a plane and wave you away.”

Others in the chamber called the remarks “repugnant” and racist.

The comments were also evocative of an attack Hanson tweeted at Faruqi last year, suggesting she “p*** off” back to Pakistan (the country of the Greens senator’s birth), now the subject of an ongoing legal case about the Racial Discrimination Act.

Hanson declined to retract her statements, leading to a motion demanding she apologise for “foul and racially discriminatory things which amount to ‘go back to where you came from’.”

‘There’s a tissue here for you’

Hanson refused and read her comments into the Hansard a second time while denying they were discriminatory.

“There’s a tissue here for you if you’d like,” she said. “I used to make those same statements at immigration ceremonies to people, and they accepted.”

When instructed to withdraw the remarks directly by Senate President Sue Lines, Hanson asked for time to think.

She was gagged during the interlude – time Hanson’s One Nation party used to send supporters an email soliciting donations.

Party backers were told the Greens were attempting to ban Hanson from Parliament.

“Pauline speaks for so many of us and has the guts to say things most Australians are thinking, which the left bitterly hates,” the email said.

“They hate honest people speaking their minds”.

Lines and the Senate deputy president, Liberal Senator Andrew McLachlan, issued a statement reminding senators “that unparliamentary language and personal reflections against senators no longer have any place in this senate”.

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