Pauline Hanson has called for a plebiscite on whether to ban the burqa, labelling Australia "pathetic" for giving up its values to allow the Muslim garment.

The Senate is debating a private bill from crossbencher Jacqui Lambie on Thursday to ban full-face coverings in commonwealth jurisdictions such as airports, as well as the ACT and Northern Territory.

"Are we that pathetic as a nation that we're giving up our values and who we truly are because we're worried about hurting someone's feelings?" Senator Hanson told parliament.

The One Nation leader, who caused controversy in August by wearing a burqa into the Senate chamber, described the burqa as offensive.

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