The President of the Uniting Church in Australia Stuart McMillan has condemned One Nation Senator Pauline Hanson’s behaviour in the Australian Senate on Thursday.
Senator Hanson put on a burqa during Senate Question Time to draw attention to her call for the full body veil worn by some Muslim women to be banned in Australia.
The stunt drew immediate and strong rebukes from Attorney- General Senator George Brandis, Labor’s Senate leader Penny Wong and Greens leader Richard Di Natale.
UCA President Stuart McMillan said: “Senator Hanson’s behaviour was a crude attempt to inflame prejudice against Muslim Australians, who are free to wear whatever attire they like in accordance with their religious belief or culture.”
“The gospel of Jesus Christ calls us to love our neighbours regardless of cultural and religious diversity and to live in harmony with all people.
“Genuine interfaith friendship embraces difference rather than allowing difference to create division and distrust.
“I hope that everyone who supports freedom of religion will also strongly condemn Ms Hanson’s behaviour.”
The Convenor of the Uniting Church Assembly’s Relations with Other Faiths Working Group Re. Michael Barnes has called Senator Hanson’s stunt bizarre and disrespectful.
“We look to our Federal Parliamentarians to provide a vision for the common good of all Australians. This is the very opposite,” said Rev Barnes.