Pauline Hanson Was Left Speechless After Finding Out Sam Dastyari Is A Muslim

    That awkward moment when you realise you're sitting next to a Muslim.

    Pauline Hanson was left gobsmacked by Labor senator Sam Dastyari on Monday night's Q&A after he spoke about his family roots in the Muslim nation of Iran.

    ABC TV

    It was always going to be a problematic episode (hell, the producers sat Hanson and Dastyari next to each other) but the exchange delivered one of the most awkward moments in the show's history.

    The Labor senator asked Hanson whether "five-year-old Sam Dastyari" should have been allowed to come to Australia from Iran in the late 1970s.

    Pauline Hanson turned to Dastyari and asked "Are you a Muslim?"

    "Yeah and I have never hidden it away," replied Dastyari.

    "Were you sworn in under the Quran?" asked Hanson.

    "I was born in an Islamic nation and by being born in an Islamic nation and under Iranian law... my parents fled to be able to come to this country," he said.

    Greens senator Larissa Waters was on hand to break the ice, lobbing in, "Is it because he doesn't have three heads?"

    The face of "you're quite nice for a Muslim" #QandA

    BuzzFeed News confirmed with the senator after the show that he considers himself a "non-practicing Muslim" and was born to Muslim parents in Iran.

    Who is already exhausted and needs an HSP? #qanda

    From that moment on, it was like Hanson never took her eyes off him.

    ABC Q&A

    But it was just one of many confrontational moments involving Muslims and Hanson during the show.

    Like there was a moment where a Muslim audience member asked Hanson around for dinner – promising a "haram snack pack" – so he could educate her on his culture.

    People bloody love Muslims being the bigger people by inviting people like Hanson for tea.

    (After several minutes she said the man should get in touch with her office to tee it up.)

    There was another tense exchange between Hanson and a Muslim man who accused her of stoking Islamophobia.

    As an Asian-Australian who had family friends bashed in the 1990s, I still palpably feel the rage of these Muslim audience members. #qanda

    what's the muslim version of reds under the bed? because i think that's 2016

    can we go to bed yet. tonight's #qanda has left me feeling less proud to be australian than i ever have been

    Outside the live recording at ABC's Ultimo headquarters, police horses and the riot squad were needed to separate pro and anti-Hanson camps who showed up to protest.

    Police separated pro and anit-Pauline Hanson demonstrators ahead of her appearance on #QandA

    It may have been a car-crash of cringe... but at least we'll always have this photo of five-year-old Sam Dastyari.

    Found it! 5 year old @samdastyari LOOK AT HOW ADORABLE HE IS! That sweater, that pose, everything. #qanda

    Mark Di Stefano is a media and politics correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

    Contact Mark Di Stefano at

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