Next year is going to be a long year for Australian Muslims, with Pauline Hanson promising to spend 2017 squarely targeting the Islamic community.
After returning to parliament in July and spending much of the year having to focus on the antics of fellow One Nation senators Malcolm Roberts and Rod Culleton, Hanson has signalled she will make 2017 about her key priorities -- that is, a return to her inflammatory and often incorrect rhetoric on Islam.
The end of 2016 and the start of 2017 are fast approaching, and Pauline Hanson has shared her Christmas wishlist and her New Year's resolutions, but they aren't exactly the traditional type. On her agenda for next year is banning the burqa, further targeting halal certification and bringing the Donald Trump-esque ban on Muslim immigration to Australia.
She announced her 2017 resolutions in what may be the worst Christmas message of all time:
There's a dark irony in marking Christmas -- celebrated as the birth of Jesus Christ whose main life message was about peace, love and tolerance -- while also announcing hopes to ban an entire race of people from entering the country.
The Tuesday afternoon tweets seem to be Hanson reaching out to her voter base who may be upset that she hasn't made headway on these issues sooner. A quick scan of Hanson's Facebook page finds numerous comments from people asking her to make moves on the anti-Muslim issues she largely campaigned on, so this may be her asking for understanding and time from her constituents.
Not long after, she posted a video on Facebook saying she was keen to ban halal certification, but had been waiting for Liberal senator Cory Bernardi -- an avowed opponent of halal -- to return from his posting to the United Nations in New York.
On Wednesday, she went even further and said she was keen for push for a ban on the burqa head covering as well, and said she expected neither Labor nor Liberals to object.
Of course, Hanson's policies on Islam are well known. Her One Nation website devotes entire pages to their opposition to halal and other Muslim issues; but as Junkee reported, entire slabs of those policies were simply copy-pasted from right-wing blogs, anti-Islam organisations and even Wikipedia. Besides many of the facts included in those plagiarised policies being incorrect and misleading, they claim that halal certification would support terrorism and sharia law; these claims are incredibly contentious and unproven at best.
Hanson's other policies on Islam include calling for a Royal Commission on Islam, installing surveillance cameras in all mosques and Islamic schools, and stopping Muslim MPs being allowed to be sworn in to Parliament under the Quran.
Many have been shocked and horrified by Trump's policies on Islam, but let's not forget that Hanson -- who commands four votes in the Senate, and may at some point hold a deciding vote on important legislation, and therefore powerful bargaining position -- wants to bring in policies that are just as damaging to the Muslim community, and possibly even more so.