Pauline Hanson has, once again, benefited the community with her puerile insights. The former fish and chip shop owner turned politican from Queensland was in the news earlier after she claimed that David Oldfield had seduced her in a motel; a claim which Oldfied naturally raced to fervently deny. Oldfield would later take his denials to another level, agreeing to participate in a lie detector test on national television. Sadly, he failed the test and was left apologising to Mrs Oldfield for what was, by any measure, a rather embarassing result.
Although the Pauline Hanson soap opera is fascinating in much the same way as a passing car wreck provides momentary fascination, it is her views on Islam and Muslims that interest us most.
Firstly, she informs us that Malaysia was invaded and subsequently overrun by Muslims.
In another curious statement, Ms Hanson said Malaysia had been “taken over by Muslims, despite a long history of Islam in that country”.
And then she says David Hicks, the Australian held in Guantanamo Bay, was a suicide bomber.
She also said she had no sympathy for confessed terrorist collaborator David Hicks, saying he was “prepared to blow himself up to kill other people”.
But there is no suggestion Hicks ever planned to be a suicide bomber.
Finally, she declares that Australia should welcome “Christian Muslims” but not, I suppose, the Islamic kind.
The former One Nation leader, who is having another tilt at politics, said she was wary of allowing Muslims to settle in Australia.
But she would welcome some Muslims, she said.
“There are Christian Muslims – there is no problems about that,” she told ABC radio yesterday.
“But if people believe in the way of life under the Koran, that concerns me greatly.”
Rather than call for people like her to be silenced or chastise the media for giving attention to her ranting, we should thank them and encourage the media to give her the opportunity to speak more. She has long been reduced to an oddity and few people, even those who might be sympathetic to some of her views, would ascribe themselves to her or her “ideology” (as much as one exists) because she is widely seen as something of an embarassment and a joke.
Indeed, if anyone doubts the power of the marketplace of ideas to discern the intellectual wheat from the chaff, they should look at the case of Pauline Hanson.