Australian senator Pauline Hanson has called for a ban on immigration and told migrants to “go back where you came from”.
In her maiden speech to the Australian Senate, Ms Hanson said: “We are in danger of being swamped by Muslims who bear a culture and ideology that is incompatible with our own.”
She echoed a speech she made 20 years earlier to the House of Representatives, when she said: “I believe we are in danger of being swamped by Asians.”
Ms Hanson, the co-founder of a right-wing and anti-immigrant party called One Nation, lost her seat in 1998, but has since made a comeback.
Addressing the Senate, she said: “If you are not prepared to become Australian and give this country your undivided loyalty, obey our laws, respect our culture and way of life, then I suggest you go back where you came from.”
She said she would be willing to take immigrants who did not fully assimilate to the airport and “wave you goodbye”.
During the speech Green politicians walked out of the chamber in objection to her remarks.
She said “aggressive multiculturalism” had caused crime to escalate, meaning Australians were afraid to walk alone in their neighbourhoods at night.
“I call for stopping further Muslim immigration and banning the burqa as they have done in many countries around the world. No more mosques and schools should be built and those that already exist should be monitored in regard to what they are teaching until the present crisis is over,” she said
“I want Australian land and houses and companies to remain locally owned. I believe I speak for the majority of Australians.”
Senator Nick Xenophon told Sky News Ms Hanson’s villification of Muslims was “heartbreaking”.
“This is not what Australia’s all about. We’re an open and inclusive country and Pauline Hanson is wrong when she says Islam and democracy aren’t compatible,” he said.
“Just north to our border is the world’s biggest Muslim country, Indonesia, which happens to be one of the most robust democracies in the world.”
Around 2.2 per cent of Australia’s population of 24 million are Muslim, or 476,000 people.
Ms Hanson also called for a crackdown on welfare spending during her speech, particularly for mothers who have more than one child.
Australia has recently seen a surge in support for small populatist parties, such as One Nation. The shift reflects growing discontent with mainstream political parties – like that seen across Europe and the US. Donald Trump infamously vowed to ban all Muslims from entering the US.
In the opening of her speech to the Senate, Ms Hanson said: “To all my peers in this place and those from the past, I have two words for you, I’m back, but not alone.”