Thu. May 30th, 2024

Court hears Pauline Hanson’s ‘demeaning and insulting’ language triggered fear, anxiety

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell May19,2024
Key Points
  • Senator Mehreen Faruqi is suing One Nation leader Pauline Hanson over alleged racist discrimination.
  • Via social media, Hanson told Faruqi to “pack (her) bags and piss off back to Pakistan”.
  • This followed Faruqi posting what proved to be a controversial tweet following the death of the Queen.
Lawyers for Senator Pauline Hanson have said she told federal Greens deputy leader Senator Mehreen Faruqi to go back to Pakistan in response to a provocative, offensive tweet about the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
Faruqi is suing the One Nation leader in the Federal Court over alleged racist discrimination through a September 2022 tweet.
At the time, that she was appalled and disgusted with Faruqi’s comments, telling her to “pack (her) bags and piss off back to Pakistan”.

In a post following the Queen’s death, Faruqi wrote she could not mourn the passing of the leader of a “racist empire built on stolen lives, land and wealth of colonised peoples”.

As the trial began on Monday, Faruqi’s barrister Saul Holt KC said the tweet was targeted towards his client as a Muslim woman of colour who had migrated to Australia.
The “demeaning and insulting” language caused people like Faruqi and others to feel a range of psychological effects including fear, anxiety and stress, Holt said.
The tweet had to be understood in the wider context of racism which was “pernicious and deeply harmful” as well as the One Nation leader’s tendency to say racist things, he told Justice Angus Stewart.
In an affidavit, Faruqi said she felt like she was not accepted in Australia and became fearful of the hate and racism that Hanson’s tweet would encourage.

“A tweet of this kind in the Twittersphere, the dog whistle doesn’t just stand on its own,” Holt said.

Pauline Hanson speaking in the Senate.

It’s not the first public row Senator Pauline Hanson has had with her colleagues in parliament. The One Nation leader has also had public disagreements with members of her own party at times. Source: AAP / Lukas Coch

Faruqi is seeking court orders that the donate $150,000 to a charity of the Greens senator’s choice.

Hanson’s barrister Sue Chrysanthou SC called the lawsuit “unmeritorious”, arguing her client had responded to an offensive tweet by the Greens senator which was designed to provoke a response.

Faruqi was a hypocrite posting about the Queen in this way as she had previously sworn an oath of allegiance to the former monarch when she became an Australian senator, the court heard.
For five hours after the Greens senator had posted the tweet, she experienced a barrage of racist comments before Hanson even responded, Chrysanthou argued.
The One Nation leader’s eventual tweet did not target a group of one particular race, colour or ethnic origin, the court heard.
“The wording used by my client … is directed to Senator Faruqi and Senator Faruqi alone,” Chrysanthou said.
The tweet was a fair comment based on Hanson’s honest opinion and did not fall foul of the Racial Discrimination Act, the court was told.
Chrysanthou argued the specific provisions in the act relied on by Faruqi should be struck out as they came up against the implied right of political communication found in the Australian constitution.
“These provisions impose a substantial and significant burden on political communication in this country in circumstances where immigration is plainly a political issue of concern to many Australians,” she said.
Representing the Commonwealth attorney-general, Craig Lenehan SC rejected these arguments, saying any burden was “very small”.

The trial continues with Faruqi set to step into the witness box.

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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2 thoughts on “Court hears Pauline Hanson’s ‘demeaning and insulting’ language triggered fear, anxiety”
  1. It is appalling how Senator Hanson’s language triggered fear and anxiety for Senator Faruqi. Such demeaning and insulting comments have no place in our society. Justice must be served.

  2. As a woman of color myself, I find Pauline Hanson’s remarks towards Senator Mehreen Faruqi deeply disturbing. No one should have to endure such racist discrimination, especially from a public figure. It’s crucial that we stand against such hateful rhetoric and work towards a more inclusive society.

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