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Aust Lebanese slam 'bigotry' in parliament

AAP logoAAP 16/09/2016

Australian Lebanese Muslims have slammed the tolerance of bigotry "under the guise of freedom of speech" after One Nation leader Pauline Hanson's controversial maiden speech in parliament.

Senator Hanson said Australia was in danger of being "swamped by Muslims" and called for an end to Muslim immigration in her first speech in the senate this week, forcing senators from the Greens party to walk out.

The Lebanese Muslim Association has commended the stance of the Greens, and called for more politicians to express their disdain of "hate speech".

"It's a great shame that bigotry is tolerated under the guise of freedom of speech," President of the LMA, Samier Dandan said in a statement.

Senator Hanson also declared there was no way of telling the difference between a "good Muslim or bad Muslim", while she and her One Nation colleagues have co-sponsored a private bill to repeal part of the racial discrimination act.

The LMA said the comments in parliament "will only provide fodder to those who seek to drive Australians further apart".

Many federal MPs have condemned the Senator's comments, including Craig Laundy, Linda Burney and Graham Perrett.

But Liberal backbencher Linda Reynolds was offended at the lack of respect the Greens showed, saying she was "deeply angered and greatly saddened".

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