Former One Nation Party leader Pauline Hanson got her mug in the news again this week. She is moving to England to settle down and is selling her house. Of course, she has no intention of selling to anyone who is not sufficiently Aussie:
This is of course illegal - we have anti-discrimination laws that prohibit this. And she has since taken her house off the market due to the backlash she received for her comments.
I can fully accept her not wanting to sell to a foreign investor (it's the sort of thing that is driving house prices through the roof in this country). Although of course I'd be interested to see if she'd have any objection to a Briton buying the house.
And refusing to sell her house to Muslims? I wonder if she's ever met any Muslims. Of course, there are certainly some Muslims in this country who aren't compatible with our culture. And there are others who are the very embodiment of everything we want in our citizenry.
Hanson has an interesting way of categorising minority groups in Australia. She says she accepts Australians of Asian background. She just doesn't want any more of our kind coming here. Muslims however, are apparently incapable of ever being worthy of even her grudging semi-acceptance.
Personally, as religions go, I'm no great fan of Islam. But by the same token, people are more than just their religion. Some of my favourite people are Muslims - including good friends, past girlfriends and much of my family. And the Muslim community comprises a diverse spectrum of religiosity from the devout, to those many secular people who have only a vague attachment to the religion they were born into. (My mother, one of the most warm and generous people I've ever known, falls into this category.)
For people like Pauline Hanson, Muslims are not individuals with their own individual ideas, personalities and contributions to make. They are all the same, just an amorphous mass of brown bearded scary foreign-ness, and they are coming to get you.