Nationalist Backlash Against Muslim One Nation Candidate Continues

Australian Politics, Elections, Nationalism, Pauline Hanson, Rundown

Last week Pauline Hanson’s One Nation’s New South Wales Leader and their lead candidate for the state’s Legislative Council at the March 23 election Mark Latham unveiled the party’s candidate for the seat of Hornsby Emma Eros. The reason this candidate announcement raised many eyebrows is because Eros is a practicing Muslim.

Eros is a plumber, businesswoman and mother of two, her parents migrated from Lebonan in the 1960s. Eros supports the One Nation policies of banning the burka, banning immigration from non-compatible countries and opposes barbaric cultural practices that involve oppression and suppression in the name of Islam. She believes that the One Nation Party of today is inclusive and stands for equality.

However the Australian nationalist community has not been receptive to One Nation endorsing a Muslim candidate, and believe it to be another sign that the party is watering down its Australian values and stringent immigration policy.

Pauline Hanson in 2016 reworked her famous 1996 maiden speech where she said ‘We are in danger of being swamped by Asians’ to ‘we are in danger of being swamped by Muslims. After yet another Islamic terror attack in London in March 2017; Hanson attempted to start the hashtag #Pray4MuslimBan. In August 2017 she shocked her colleagues when she came into the Senate dressed in a burka when calling for the garment to be banned.

But Hanson has been losing support in the nationalist community ever since she condemned former party member Fraser Anning’s maiden speech in the Senate where he lamented the demise of the White Australia Policy and called for a plebscite on immigration as a “final solution” to the problem. Hanson said she was “appalled” and that the speech was “straight from Goebbels’ handbook”. Hanson also stated she did not and did not ever support the White Australia Policy saying “you don’t have to be white to join One Nation”.

Many nationalists have found problematic that Eros has stated sharia law and Islamic jihad is not real Islam, and that Islamic terrorists and the oppression of women and other minorities are cultural practices rather than pillars of the Muslim faith. Many have compared her language to that of other Islamic apologists such as Yassmin Abdel Magied.

Emma Eros has had a public profile since 2017 when she launched her Smarter Australia Facebook page. She had been a featured guest on Mark Latham’s then Outsiders program on Rebel Media.

Emma also infamously clashed with Milo Yiannopolous on his Australian tour in December 2017 when she accompanied Avi Yemini during his interview with Milo. Emma was mocked due to her not being able to recall the five pillars of Islam when asked by Milo and pleading with Milo to not lump moderate Muslims such as her with Islamic terrorists. Following this exchange she labelled Milo a ‘d***head’ and ‘hypocrite’.

Many of the comments on One Nation’s Facebook pages have been scathing of Emma Eros’ candidacy. The Unshackled’s polls on this topic that we’ve conducted throughout the week found a similar level of anger at One Nation, with many believing they no longer represented the nationalist movement.

Despite the backlash all the major One Nation figures have defended selecting Emma as a candidate. Mark Latham who announced her candidacy slammed “the Lunar-Right nutters attacking her, who deal in crazy conspiracy theories about Islam and weaken the chances of ever reforming this religion” arguing that “She works hard every day for herself and her family, rather than sitting on Facebook peddling hatred and fake rumours”.

Given that One Nation now has a new party in Fraser Anning’s Conservative National Party to compete with on its right flank, it will be interesting to see if this backlash against what is viewed as the moderating of One Nation’s image and policies will affect its performance at the ballot box with its core base of nationalist supporters.