Pauline Hanson and her lawyers
Senator Pauline Hanson said she didn't know Senator Mehreen Faruqi was a Muslim when she tweeted. Image by Dan Himbrechts/AAP PHOTOS
  • crime, law and justice

Hanson willing to sell Muslim Greens senator her house

Miklos Bolza April 30, 2024

One Nation leader Pauline Hanson has told a court she would sell her home to a Muslim Greens senator despite previously saying she would not hand over her property to someone practising Islam.

Senator Hanson was giving evidence on Tuesday in a racial discrimination lawsuit filed by NSW Greens deputy leader Mehreen Faruqi.

In September 2022, the Greens deputy leader tweeted she could not mourn the passing of Queen Elizabeth II as the leader of a “racist empire built on stolen lives, land and wealth of colonised peoples”.

Senator Mehreen Faruqi speaks during Question Time (file image)
 Senator Faruqi (centre) was told in the tweet to “pack (her) bags” and go back to Pakistan. Image by Lukas Coch/AAP PHOTOS 

Senator Hanson responded, saying she was appalled and disgusted with the Greens senator’s comments, telling her to “pack (her) bags and piss off back to Pakistan”.

On Tuesday, the One Nation leader was often confused, telling the Federal Court she did not understand some of the questions asked.

She said she did not know the Greens deputy was a Muslim when she sent the tweet.

“I don’t ask people their religious beliefs,” she told Justice Angus Stewart.

The court was shown footage of Senator Hanson calling for complete Muslim immigration bans and claiming that those practising Islam had secretly infiltrated governments. 

Under cross-examination by Senator Faruqi’s barrister Saul Holt KC, the One Nation head said Muslim immigration bans were a personal opinion and not a policy of her party.

She admitted after heated questioning she would sell her home to Senator Faruqi as a Muslim despite publicly saying she would never offer her house to someone practising Islam in 2010.

“No, she can buy it,” she told the court.

Regarding her response to Senator Faruqi’s tweet, Senator Hanson said she felt incensed and insulted because of the “terrible” comments made about the recently passed Queen.

Pauline Hanson arrives at the Federal Court
 “I’m a paper girl, OK, not technology,” Senator Hanson said. Image by Dan Himbrechts/AAP PHOTOS 

Mr Holt pointed out that despite many other people expressing the same anti-colonial sentiments at the time, including then Greens leader Adam Bandt, the One Nation head had only responded to Senator Faruqi’s tweet.

“Are you actually saying that it’s just coincidence the only person you chose to respond to on this day in this way was a Muslim migrant of colour?” Mr Holt asked.

Senator Hanson replied her staff had shown her this single tweet and she was unaware of any others.

She said she did not consider the phrase she used as hurtful and did not consider what the responses would be of those who saw her tweet.

“I’m a paper girl, OK, not technology,” she said.

Earlier on Tuesday, Justice Stewart heard evidence from two racism and discrimination experts about the potential impacts of the One Nation leader’s tweet.

Deakin University’s Professor Yin Paradies disagreed there was no basis to say the tweet would affect readers.

“That form of racism … is likely to have a negative impact on somebody vicariously because it’s a fairly strong form of racism,” he told Senator Hanson’s barrister Sue Chrysanthou SC. 

“It’s very exclusionary and it’s very much about who belongs and who doesn’t belong.”

Pauline Hanson (centre) arrives at the Federal Court
 Ms Chrysanthou (left) suggested a professor’s views prevented him objectively examining the tweet. Image by Dan Himbrechts/AAP PHOTOS 

The court was told Prof Paradies agreed with the Greens deputy leader’s views on colonialism and had posted criticisms on Twitter on Australia Day in 2022 and 2023.

Last year, he posted that in 1788 “the most backward, ignorant, primitive, infantile, selfish, deluded, egoistic, sick and pernicious (mono)culture” had invaded and started annihilating one of the oldest and wisest societies on Earth.

“The vicious obliteration of this imponderably beautiful culture and the profound devastation of Country by patriarchal colonial capitalist (so-called) ‘civilisation’ continues unabated in 2023 as it has for the last 235 years,” he wrote.

Ms Chrysanthou suggested these views had warped the professor’s ability to objectively examine Senator Hanson’s tweet.

“The fact of you holding those views … has affected your approach to answering the questions about my client’s conduct hasn’t it?” she asked.

“I don’t think so,” Prof Paradies replied.

The trial continues on Wednesday.