Pauline Hanson denies she hates Muslims

Pauline Hanson Source: AAP

One Nation leader and senator Pauline Hanson denies she hates Muslims and Asians.

One Nation party leader Pauline Hanson says she doesn't hate Asians, Muslims or former prime minister Tony Abbott.

Senator Hanson's controversial election policies included a ban on Muslim immigration and calls for a royal commission into Islam, but the new senator denies she detests Muslims.

"I don't hate Asians. I don't hate Muslims - I don't," she told 60 Minutes' Liz Hayes in an interview broadcast on Sunday night.

The 62-year-old also denied she has a fear of foreigners, or was xenophobic when she became a federal MP in 1996.

That was the same year 60 Minutes journalist Tracey Curro asked Ms Hanson if she was xenophobic, to which she famously responded "Please explain".

In her maiden speech 20 years ago, Ms Hanson also warned about the danger of Australia "being swamped by Asians".

But in 2016, she says it wasn't her intention to offend or "set the world on fire" with that line.

"It wasn't meant to offend the Asians that are here, or people who have come here for a new way of life," she said.

Ms Hanson says her criticisms of Islam stem from her desire to "protect" Australia. She is reading the Koran, and keeps it in her handbag, because she wants to have a better understanding of it.

"What I'd like to see is these Muslims that are not radicals, the ones that want to live their life in peace and harmony ... and love and embrace this nation (to) then work with me with me to find the answers."

Ms Hanson says accusations that she is a racist, or a redneck, are "water off a duck's back".

The senator is also prepared to work with a colleague in the 45th parliament who she said she "detested" years ago while ruing the day if Tony Abbott ever came to power.

"He has a job to do, I have a job to do. I'm not a vindictive person," she said.

Source AAP

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