Australia swears in first female Muslim senator


Australia's first female Muslim senator was sworn in to the parliament on Monday, just a week after a far-right senator made an inflammatory speech calling for a ban on Muslim migration to the country.

"An honour to be sworn into the AuSenate just now! Excited to get to work with my brilliant Greens colleagues," Greens Senator Mehreen Faruqi wrote on Twitter after joining the Upper House.

Last week, Senator Fraser Anning was widely condemned after he called for "the final solution to the immigration problem" by ending Muslim migration to Australia in his first speech in the parliament.

"The final solution to the immigration problem is of course a popular vote," Anning said, using the phrase "final solution," which denotes the plan by Nazi Germany for the mass killing of Jewish people. Anning shook hands with Faruqi on Monday and congratulated her on entering the parliament in a very brief exchange.

"After last week particularly, it is really good to have you here," said Penny Wong, the opposition Labour party's senate leader, welcoming Faruqi.

Farqui, 55, migrated to Australia from Pakistan in 1992. She had a successful career as an academic and engineer for almost two decades before venturing into politics.

In 2013, she became Australia's first Muslim woman to enter any Australian parliament after she joined the upper house of the New South Wales state parliament.

According to census data, about 2.6 percent of Australia's 24 million people are Muslim.    (dpa)

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