A Gold Coast Islamic Society president has condemned former One Nation leader Pauline Hanson over her recent comments regarding Muslims.
Ms Hanson said on this morning’s Sunrise segment that 16-25 per cent of all Muslims were extremists. The comments follow Palmer United Party Senator Jacqui Lambie’s draft legislation to ban the burqa in Australia.
Gold Coast Islamic Society President Hussin Goss said Ms Hanson’s comments demonstrate how misinformed she is. Mr Goss said that Ms Hanson and Senator Lambie do not have enough knowledge of the Muslim community.
“They have no idea what they’re talking about. They’ve probably never met a Muslim, and they’ve probably never ever interacted with the Muslim community at all,” he said.
Pauline Hanson is well known as an opponent of multiculturalism and has previously condemned immigrants for an alleged failure to assimilate.
By contrast, Mr Goss said his family has prospered on the Gold Coast for close to 100 years.
“Most Muslims are just law abiding citizens, going about their lives, practising their religion and being a positive influence in Australia,” he said.
Despite the inflammatory comments, Associate Professor Halim Rane from Griffith University said that while it is unlikely Ms Hanson’s statements will cause more hatred toward Islam, it could inflame those who already hold negative views.
“[For] people who think that way, this might reinforce their views but I don’t think comments like this coming from Pauline Hanson are going to influence other people to think differently,” Dr Rane said.