A One Nation senator has accused Waleed Aly of condoning terrorism on The Project, following a new poll that claims 49 per cent of Australians would support a ban on Muslim immigration.
The Essential poll surveyed 1000 random respondents, finding that Australians aged between 18-24 were the least likely to support the ban (at 28 per cent), while those over the age of 65 were the most likely, at 60 per cent.
Forty per cent of respondents opposed the idea.
Liberal voters were the most likely to back the ban at 60 per cent, while 36 per cent of Greens voters stated even they had “total support” for the idea.
The poll comes a week after recently re-elected senator Pauline Hanson delivered a highly controversial maiden speech to Parliament, causing members of the Greens to walk out.
Ms Hanson, who 20 years ago warned that Australia was in danger of being “swamped by Asians”, told the upper house the nation was now “in danger of being swamped by Muslims, who bear a culture and ideology that is incompatible with our own”.
According to the poll, the most popular reason for supporting the ban was a belief that Muslims “do not integrate into Australian society”.
‘It would be nice if he condemned terrorism’
One Nation Senator Malcolm Roberts took part in a fiery interview on Network Ten’s The Project on Wednesday night following the release of the poll.
Senator Roberts said at 2.5 per cent, the Islamic population of Australia caused a disproportionate amount of unrest.
When probed, the senator couldn’t deliver statistics on the growth of Islam in Australia, despite backing Ms Hanson’s claim that the country is “being swamped by Muslims”.
He said the party’s focus was on proving that Islam is “an ideology, not a religion”.
The interview was cut short when panellist Peter Helliar brought up absent co-host and practising Muslim, Waleed Aly.
“Do we deport Muslims? Should Waleed be deported or relegated to breakfast TV in Syria?” demanded Helliar.
“No, but it would be nice if Waleed would denounce and not condone Islamic terrorism, wouldn’t that be a good start?” responded the senator, before the interview was wrapped up.
Watch it here:
Poll claims support for Hanson is strong
According to the survey, 62 per cent of the respondents agreed with the statement, “I might not agree with everything [Pauline Hanson] says, but she is speaking for ordinary Australians”.
A whopping 65 per cent agreed that the One Nation leader “talks about issues other politicians are too scared to tackle”.
As for Pauline Hanson’s landmark return to Parliament after 18 years, 38 per cent believed it was a “backward step for Australian democracy”, while 48 per cent disagreed with that sentiment.
Essential polls are carried out weekly, using an online panel of over 100,000 members.
This particular survey invited 7000 random respondents over the age of 18 to take part, resulting in 1000 responses.
The poll also aims to receive a 50/50 split of female and male responses.