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Burqa ban failure will hurt Nats: Hanson

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September 11, 2017

Pauline Hanson has warned the narrow defeat of a move to ban the burqa will haunt The Nationals.

Pauline Hanson has warned the narrow defeat of a move to ban the burqa will haunt The Nationals at the next election.

An emergency motion to ban full face covering in public spaces and government buildings was narrowly defeated 51-55 at the Nationals federal conference in Canberra on Sunday.

"I don't think they are representing the National voters and I think that will be evident at the next election," the One Nation leader told reporters in Canberra on Monday.

Senator Hanson, who wore a burqa in parliament in August, claimed credit for forcing the Nationals to consider the policy.

Nationals MP George Christensen, who proposed the policy, also argued the party could lose votes on the issue.

"We are in fact bleeding in Queensland to the right to One Nation," he said.

But the Australia director of Human Rights Watch Elaine Pearson said banning the burqa was wrong because all women should be free to wear what they choose.

"Banning the burqa is a violation of the rights of women who want to wear it, just as forcing women to wear a burqa or a veil --like in Saudi Arabia or Iran -- is also wrong," she said.

"Muslim women should have the same rights as other Australians to wear what they want, and to make decisions about their lives and religion, whether other Australians support those choices or not."

Banning the burqa for security reasons was a disproportionate response, Ms Pearson said.

"There are other appropriate and sensitive ways to check a person's identity," she said.

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