Pauline Hanson's maiden speech in the Australian Senate this week harked back to her original explosive debut in the House of Representatives in 1996.
By
Shami Sivasubramanian, Ben Winsor, Alyssa Braithwaite, Amy Stockwell

Source:
The Feed
15 Sep 2016 - 6:48 PM  UPDATED 17 Sep 2016 - 11:59 PM

This time, the danger wasn't a country at risk of being "swamped by Asians" but the threat of Muslims taking over. 

We fact checked 19 claims in Hanson's half hour speech:

Australia is being swamped by Muslims

We are in danger of being swamped by Muslims, who bear a culture and ideology that is incompatible with our own.

False

According to the 2011 census there were 476,291 Muslims in Australia, just 2.2 per cent of the total population.

Islam is the fourth largest religious group in Australia, after Christianity (61.1 per cent), Atheism (22.9 per cent) and Buddhism (2.5 per cent). 

The total annual immigration intake across all religions is 190,000 (0.8% of the total population).

Crime has increased in Australia

Indiscriminate immigration and aggressive multiculturalism have caused crime to escalate and trust and social cohesion to decline. Too many Australians are afraid to walk alone at night in their neighbourhoods. Too many of us live in fear of terrorism.

False

According to the Australian Institute of Criminology there has been no noticeable increase in overall crime rates.

Australia has accepted large numbers of migrants

Tolerance has to be shown by those who come to this country for a new way of life. [...] Australia has embraced migrants from all different races, making us one of the most multiracial nations on earth.

True

Since 1945 7.5 million immigrants have settled in Australia, and that number doesn't count the initial waves of migration from the United Kingdom as the country was colonised.

Just over a quarter of the Australia’s population was born overseas, a figure considered high compared with other developed countries and comparable with New Zealand, Canada and the USA.

The government makes 190,000 places available in Australia’s annual migration program. The majority come under the skilled migration scheme. That figure amounts to 0.8% of the Australian population each year.

Muslim leaders failed to condemn terror attacks in Australia or express sympathy

Not only is terrorism seen around the world but it is now part of our society, with Muslim refugees involved in the Lindt Cafe siege, the Curtis Cheng murder in Sydney and the stabbing of the two police officers in Melbourne. The Grand Mufti and other Muslim leaders are deafening with their silence, or lack of sympathy.

False

Condemnation of Islamic radicalism has been widely reported, as these links demonstrate:

The Grand Mufti of Australia joins Muslim community leaders in condemning Sydney siege, News.com.au

Muslim leaders urge community to dig deep for the family of Curtis Cheng, Sydney Morning Herald

Melbourne teenager shot dead after stabbing two police officers, The Guardian

An informative (but incomplete) reminder of Muslim leaders speaking up clearly, Crikey

There are more Australian Muslims volunteering for ISIS than there are in the Australian Defence Force

Many more Australian Muslims have volunteered, or have tried to volunteer, to fight for ISIS than we have in our own Defence Force. ASIO has over 509 terrorist suspects under surveillance. 

Debatable

The ADF told SBS that as of 1 August 2016 there were 106 members of the ADF who self-identified as Muslim - 29 in the Navy, 55 in the Army and 22 in the Air Force.

They said there were an additional 45 Active Reservists who identified as Muslim. 

"It is important to note that it is not mandatory for ADF members to declare their religion and therefore these numbers should be used as a guide only," a spokesperson said.

According to ASIO chief Duncan Lewis in Senate Estimates in May 2016, there are 110 Australians known to be serving with Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Another 190 Australians are supporting the group through funding, recruitment and rhetorical support, the spy chief said.

More than 200 Australian passports have been canceled or suspended on suspicions that the individuals planned to travel to the Middle East to join Islamic State.

We could find no source for Hanson’s claim that 509 terrorist suspects were under surveillance.

Immigrants have stopped Christmas carols from being celebrated in schools

Their tolerance to our customs has seen Christmas carols no longer sung at some schools.

False

This claim may have resulted from an opinion piece in the Australian last year relating to guidelines in Victoria, which the very same paper said did not ban Christmas carols.

Christmas carols are specifically mentioned as being appropriate in the school curriculum.

Political Correctness has seen bibles removed from most hospitals

Their tolerance to our customs has seen [...] bibles not to be found in most hospitals.

False

SBS understands that tens of thousands of bibles continue to be distributed to hospitals in Australia by groups like the Gideons.

A spokesperson from the health department in the Senator's home state of Queensland told SBS that bibles are available on request in most public hospitals in the state.

Public pools have 'Muslim women only' times 

Some public swimming baths have times set aside for Muslim women only

True

Some swimming pools in Australia have set aside a time for Muslim women to swim, in some cases with a curtain to ensure they can not be observed by the public.

Other swimming pools have “women-only” swimming times, including the Reservoir Leisure pool, which notes that “the sessions are popular with Muslim women, but all women are welcome.”

Fawkner Leisure Centre in Moreland offers private swimming sessions for women and separate sessions for men, to accommodate people who “seek private swimming and fitness."

You can wear a burqa or niqab when you get a driver's license

Drivers licences are obtained by Muslim women wearing the burqa and niqab

False

In NSW, the requirements state: “Head coverings worn for religious reasons may be worn, but must be adjusted so that your whole face is visible, from the bottom of your chin to the top of your forehead, and both edges of your face.”

Similar requirements apply in other states. The burqa and the niqab both cover the full face, making them impermissible in driver's license photos. 

There are prayer rooms in public areas for Muslims

Prayer rooms are now provided in universities, hospitals, schools, airports and shopping centres to accommodate Muslims.

True

Multi-faith rooms are available in universities, hospitals, schools, airports and shopping centres to allow for observance of the Islamic faith, and other faiths.

Sharia law is harsh and incompatible with Australian law

Muslims want to see sharia law introduced in Australia. This law is a totalitarian civil code which prescribes harsh feudal rules imposed on everything, firstly for Muslims, later for everyone. As long as Islam is considered a religion, sharia conflicts with our secular state.

False

Sharia law explicitly states that Muslims are obligated to “abide by the law of the land.”

University of Sydney legal academic, Dr Ghena Krayem told SBS “the assumption that Muslims want a separate legal system that is called ‘Sharia’ - that’s simply not true.”

“What might surprise most Australians is that most Muslims live according to Sharia every day of their lives. They live harmoniously. They’re not living in defiance of the Australian law. They're not seeking to set up a parallel legal system,” Dr Krayem said.

Explainer: What is Sharia law?
What exactly is Sharia law? And is it in conflict with the Australian way of life?

It is true that some Muslim leaders have called for Australia to embrace “legal pluralism” in order to allow Muslims to marry, divorce and conduct financial transactions under the principles of sharia.

In 2010, the president of the Australian Islamic Mission, Zachariah Matthews, said elements of sharia law - such as elements of family law and inheritance law - could function as a parallel system in the same way that some traditional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander law was recognised in the Northern Territory

Two former Prime Ministers have said they find the burqa confronting

Burqas are not a religious requirement. Most Australians find them confronting, as did two of our former prime ministers.

True

In 2014, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said, “I find it a fairly confronting form of attire and frankly I wish it weren’t worn." He added, “We are a free country, we are a free society and it’s not the business of government to tell people what they should and shouldn’t wear.”

In 2006 Prime Minister John Howard said, “I just think it’s confronting, it’s confronting to a lot of people.” He added, "I’m not saying it should be banned. You don’t ban what people wear and you don’t pass laws on what people can and can’t do with their clothing.”

More than 10 per cent of Australian farmland is foreign owned

Foreign investment and foreign ownership are great concerns. The government finally released its register of foreign ownership, which reveals that foreign interests owned 13.6 per cent of Australia's farmland. That is 52 million hectares. It includes 30 per cent of the Northern Territory's farmland and 22 per cent of Tasmania's. The register fails to show the quality of the foreign owned land. Is it the jewels in the nation's agricultural crown?

True 

The federal government’s farm register, compiled by the Australian Tax Office verifies Hanson's figures.

The United Kingdom tops the foreign investment list, followed by the United States, the Netherlands, Singapore, China, the Philippines, Switzerland, Jersey, Indonesia and Japan.

Welfare is 'lucrative'

How many have ever held a job? Why would anyone want to work when welfare is so very lucrative?

Judge for yourself

Under the Newstart Allowance, a single adult with no kids receives a maximum of $263.80 per week.

A single adult with dependent children receives a maximum of $284.40 per week.

A change to full preferential voting cost Pauline Hanson her seat in 1998

When I cast my mind back to the last day on the floor of the House of Representatives in 1998, just prior to the election, I called out across the chamber, 'I will be back!'. Those around me cried out, 'No, you won't!' My electorate boundaries were changed, forcing me to stand for the new seat of Blair. Also with the introduction of full preferential voting, this cost me the seat.

False

According to the ABC’s election analyst Antony Green, there was no change to introduce compulsory preferential voting. He told SBS she may have been confused between the state and federal elections.

One Nation did well in the earlier state elections where optional preferential voting favoured her, but Green says the federal system had used compulsory preferential voting for many years.

It’s likely she would have won the Federal seat under optional preferential voting, but Hanson is incorrect to say she lost as a result of a rule change.

She is correct that there was a redistribution which placed much of her former seat into the new seat of Blair. She won 36% of the vote, with Labor on 25% and the Liberals on 22%. Preference flows favoured the Liberal party delivering the seat to Cameron Thompson.

Hanson was wrongfully imprisoned in 2003

It has taken numerous elections, countless legal battles and doing a stint in maximum security on trumped-up charges — of which former speaker Bronwyn Bishop stated I was Australia's first political prisoner — to find myself here.

True

In 2003 Hanson and fellow party co-founder David Ettridge were found guilty for fraudulently registering the One Nation Party. Hanson was also found guilty of fraudulently obtaining about $500,000 in electoral funding.

After serving 11 weeks of a three-year sentence, their conviction, by a jury, was quashed  in a unanimous decision by three appellate judges.

In 2003 Bronwyn Bishop told ABC radio “for the first time in Australia, we now have a political prisoner and I find that totally unacceptable.”

Globalisation, economic liberalism, free trade and immigration have caused a decline in living standards in Australia

The problem is we have not had leaders with the foresight or the intestinal fortitude to cast aside political correctness. They have failed to discard old treaties and agreements that are not in our best interest and have signed new ones giving away our sovereignty, rights, jobs and democracy. Their push for globalisation, economic rationalism, free trade and ethnic diversity has seen our country's decline.

False

Australia currently has one of the developed world’s strongest performing economies. Most economists accredit the country's success to riding the wave of globalisation and international trade. 

In the 1980s and 1990s the Australian government, under Prime Ministers Hawke, Keating and Howard, undertook a significant and sustained economic reform program aimed at opening the country to globalisation.

The Australian dollar was floated, tariffs and import duties were cut, and industrial relations laws were loosened. Australia signed 10 free trade agreements since 1983.

There is no data to support the claim that those reforms have harmed the Australian economy. Economic data shows the country to have experienced unprecedented economic growth and stability.

Australia's independent Productivity Commission says that migration has had a net positive impact on the economy, bringing new workers and new consumers to our shores, and lowering the country's overall average age.

Women are making frivolous claims in family court

Children are used as pawns in custody battles where women make frivolous claims and believe they have the sole right to the children. Children have two parents and, until we treat mums and dads with the same courtesy and rights, we will continue to see murders due to sheer frustration and depression and mental illness caused by this unworkable system.

False

There is currently no Australian or international research to support the assertation that women routinely make false claims in Family Court proceedings.

The Australian Institute of Family Studies has found the rates of family violence allegations in custody proceedings in the Family Court or the Federal Magistrates Court were similar to the reported rates of spousal violence in the general divorcing population.

Pauline Hanson has power in the Senate

To all my peers in this place and those from the past, I have two words for you: I'm back—but not alone. I cannot begin to express the pride and honour I have in being joined in this place by three of my colleagues — Senator Malcolm Roberts, also representing Queensland; New South Wales Senator Brian Burston; and Western Australian Senator Rod Culleton — elected under Pauline Hanson's One Nation. As a strong, united team I guarantee we will make a difference.

True

Pauline Hanson’s One Nation ticket elected a total of four Senators to the double dissolution election this year. They share the balance of power with the Greens and other minor parties and independents.

In Queensland One Nation received 120% of the senate quota. Hanson was elected 3rd out of 12 Senators, with Roberts taking the 12 position after preferences.

In New South Wales Burston won on preferences, he came 11 out of 12 elected senators with a first preference vote of 53% of a senate quota.

In Western Australia Culleton won on preferences, he came 11 out of 12 elected senators with a first preference vote of 52% of a senate quota.

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