One could get the impression that in Trump’s government the left hand doesn’t know what the right is doing.
Back in November 2016, Pauline Hanson was publicly toasting Donald Trump‘s victory in the election, even sending suck-up tweets about it at the time.
How quickly times change. In a new report, the Trump administration has turned around mere months later and listed One Nation as a threat to religious freedom.
The report on International Religious Freedom is published every year by the US Department of State, and this year’s included a very special shoutout to our very own One Nation. The report included a chapter on Australia, and within that was a section on the ‘Status of Government Respect for Religious Freedom‘. Within that came the delicious smackdown.
Essentially the report is pointing out that some parts of our government do not actually have much respect for religious freedom.
Four senators from the One Nation Party were elected during the July federal elections on a platform which included ceasing Muslim immigration, holding a royal commission on Islam, halting construction of mosques, installing surveillance cameras in mosques, banning wearing of the burqa and niqab in public places, and prohibiting members of parliament from being sworn in under the Quran.
Where. Is. The. Lie. No matter what line One Nation runs, they do not have respect for religious freedoms, unless that religion happens to be the one they like.
Hanson, who at the time of Trump’s election said “..I can see in Donald Trump a lot of me and what I stand for in Australia. I think it’s great,” was also called out specifically in the report, which highlighted her insanely bad maiden speech last year, and specifically the part where she said Australia is “in danger of being swamped by Muslims.”
Here, from the SMH:
Trump administration lists Pauline Hanson’s One Nation a threat to religious freedom
The Trump administration has listed Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party as a threat to religious freedom in a new report released in Washington.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson released the annual assessment of religious persecution and intolerance on Wednesday, using a chapter on Australia to highlight Senator Hanson’s 2016 maiden speech to the Senate in which she claimed the country was “in danger of being swamped by Muslims”.
One Nation has repeatedly praised Mr Trump’s policies on trade and immigration, with Senator Hanson and Queensland colleague Malcolm Roberts drinking champagne to celebrate his win over Democrat Hillary Clinton outside Parliament House after last year’s presidential election.
The report says the party’s four senators were elected on the back of a “platform which included ceasing Muslim immigration, holding a royal commission on Islam, halting construction of mosques, installing surveillance cameras in mosques, banning wearing of the burqa and niqab in public places, and prohibiting members of parliament from being sworn in under the Quran.
Referring to Senator Hanson’s maiden speech citing fears of Muslim immigration, the report notes opposition from the government.
“Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull disagreed with her views and said ‘my commitment is to an inclusive multicultural society which is based on mutual respect. The more we respect each other the more secure we become’,” the report said.
A spokesman for Senator Hanson disputed the assessment of the report.
Earlier this month, NSW One Nation senator Brian Burston was criticised for a Facebook post listing the rise of a group of Muslim-Australian politicians and asking if voters were “awake yet”.
The report lists a range of changes to rights and protections for religious followers in Australia, including moves by the ACT Parliament to make it a crime to vilify someone based on their religion and the Victoria state government’s decision to remove religious education from the public school curriculum last year.
Among religiously motivated crimes, the report lists vandalism against Catholic churches and Jewish synagogues, harassment of religious followers and an attack in March 2016 in which three Muslim schoolgirls had their hijabs forcibly removed and were punched and abused by a group of youths in Geelong.
It notes a High Court challenge to the construction of a mosque in the Victorian goldfields city of Bendigo and protests in the Melbourne suburb of Melton in which about 150 members of nationalist groups opposed the construction of a housing development, dubbed a “Muslim housing estate”.
“In June Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull became the first sitting prime minister to host an iftar and stated ‘the Australian Muslim community is valued and respected – and it is not confined to a narrow security prism – you are an integral part of an Australian family that rests on the essential foundation of mutual respect and understanding’.”
The report notes the opening of each session of Parliament is marked by recitation of the Lord’s Prayer, a tradition opposed by the Greens and other groups.
Globally, the report said the Islamic State group is among the greatest threats to religious freedoms and is responsible for genocide against religious minorities. It says US allies including Saudi Arabia and Bahrain have failed to uphold some principles of religious freedom.