If you only listened to the mainstream media you would think that Pauline Hanson’s burqa stunt last week in the Senate was reckless and desperate. After all Attorney-General George Brandis supposedly delivered a smackdown to Hanson which should be noted received a standing ovation from Labor and the Greens. Brandis’ reaction was shared by Malcolm Turnbull as well.
Hanson was also told by Sarah Hanson-Young that her stunt would lead to another Islamic terror attack. It should be noted this line of attack has been used on Hanson by politicians from all sides, based on the logic that we must be nice to Muslims otherwise they will attack us.
But once the Australian people were asked about what they thought about the burqa the media hysteria was demonstrated to be yet again to be unrepresentative of public opinion. A ReachTEL poll conducted by Sky News released on Thursday found 43.6 per cent of people ‘strongly supported’ banning the burqa in public places and 12.7 per cent ‘supported’ it. That’s 56.3% community support for a ban.
It is interesting to also note that despite the apparent universal condemnation of Pauline Hanson’s burqa stunt including from conservatives such as Chris Kenny and Miranda Devine, support for One Nation in that same ReachTEL poll remained above 10%.
This poll result however shouldn’t be surprising to rational people, given that last year an Essential Media poll found that 49% of Australians wanted a ban on Muslim immigration. The response of our leaders then was to have a bi-partisan motion in parliament reaffirming Australia’s non-discriminatory immigration policy. In other words, they ignored the views of the people.
They have done the same in response to this poll with many MPs saying although they find they are uncomfortable with the burqa, believe banning it would be culturally insensitive. Christopher Pyne stated “There’s a whole range of behaviour from people that have different cultures, different ethnicities, different religions that people might not be comfortable with. But that doesn’t mean you go about banning it’. That comment can be interpreted as blatant cultural relativism that now pervades the west”.
Pauline Hanson despite being derided by the political establishment for the past week was once again vindicated. It should also be noted that support for a burqa ban is also supported by Cory Bernardi and Australian Conservatives, he called our leaders refusal to address concerns about the burqa as “abject cowardice” despite public opinion.
Hanson also correct to highlight that if we are having a plebiscite on same sex marriage based on what the opinion polls say on the issue then why aren’t we having one on the burqa stating, “Perhaps while the Government are conducting their plebiscite on same sex marriage, we include the question as to whether Australians want to ban all full-face coverings in government buildings and public spaces”.
The advocates of same sex marriage have been saying for years it should be legalised based on opinion polls, despite the parliament consistently rejecting the change, yet the same line of reasoning is not extending to the Australian communities’ view on Muslim immigration or the burqa in opinion polls.
Likely the left will be eager to point out that Hanson’s comments show that the plebiscite on same sex marriage has opened a Pandora’s Box that now plebiscites will be demanded on everything. That is only a bad thing if you don’t value a greater democratic voice for the people. If politicians are consistently ignoring the views of the Australian people on any issue then surely the people should get a direct say?
One wonders how many more terror attacks need to have happen in western countries or how much further the spread of sharia law needs to become for our leaders to consider a rethink on Islamic immigration? Our leaders cannot continue to brush off poll results like this and hope the problems with Islam go away. The Australian people’s calls for action on Islam will only grow stronger in the near future.