Greens’ Mehreen Faruqi sues One Nation’s Pauline Hanson for racial

Greens Senator Mehreen Faruqi is suing One Nation Leader Pauline Hanson for racial discrimination after an “insulting and humiliating” tweet.

Deputy Leader of the Greens Senator Faruqi, in a social media statement on Wednesday evening, announced she had commenced legal proceedings.

“Today I commenced proceedings in the Federal Court against Senator Pauline Hanson under the Racial Discrimination Act,” she wrote.

“I’ve taken on bullies my whole life. I believe that if you have power to make positive change, you should use it for the benefit of the community.

“I’m drawing a line in the sand. Enough is enough. Senator Hanson cannot keep insulting and humiliating us without any serious consequences.”

It comes after the One Nation Leader told the Greens Deputy Leader to “piss off back to Pakistan”, over a social media post about the late Queen Elizabeth II.

On the day the Queen died in September, Senator Faruqi tweeted: “Condolences to those who knew the Queen. I cannot mourn the leader of a racist empire built on stolen lives, land and wealth of colonised peoples”.

Senator Hanson then responded: “Your attitude appalls and disgusts me. When you immigrated to Australia you took every advantage of this country”.

“You took citizenship, bought multiple homes, and a job in a parliament. It’s clear you’re not happy, so pack your bags and piss off back to Pakistan,” she added.

Senator Faruqi filed a complaint to the Australian Human Rights Commission last year following the incident.

Senator Hanson however declined to engage in the process, forcing the AHRC to drop the complaint. 

The Greens Deputy Leader attempted to address the matter in Senate through a censure motion – an official disapproval of acts that have political impact.

It called on Senate to “censures Senator Hanson for her divisive, anti-migrant and racist statement telling Senator Faruqi to ‘piss off back to Pakistan’, which does not reflect the opinions of the Australian Senate or the Australian people”.

However, the One Nation Leader doubled down on her comments, saying she would “take her to the airport”.

Senator Faruqi is now seeking to have the One Nation Leader pay $150,000 to a not-for-profit organisation of her choosing and undergo anti-racism training, according to court documents obtained by the ABC.

She is also asking the court to order Senator Hanson to delete the tweet and post a new tweet admitting she “committed unlawful offensive behaviour” and pin it to her social media profile for three months.

The Greens Senator is a Pakistani-born Australian politician who has been tackling issues of race since acting as Senator since 2018.

In government, she focuses on climate change and inequality and is an advocate for education, anti-racism, animal welfare and international aid and global justice.

Senator Hanson was contacted for comment.

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