Stephanie Banister: Australian Islam gaffe goes viral

An Australian election candidate has
made the wrong kind of headlines
after a gaffe-strewn interview in
which she mistook Islam for a
country.
Stephanie Banister, a candidate with the
anti-immigration One Nation Party,
clocked up multiple mistakes in a TV
interview with Channel 7 News.
The 27-year-old also confused the term
"haram" (forbidden) with the Koran and
suggested Jews worship Jesus Christ.
The interview , which aired early this
week, has gone viral on social media.
''I don't oppose Islam as a country,
umm, but I do feel that their laws should
not be welcome here in Australia,'' Ms
Banister told Seven News reporter Erin
Edwards.
Ms Banister, who is standing for the
parliamentary seat of Rankin in Brisbane,
also claimed that 2% of Australians
''follow haram'' when presumably she
meant the Islamic text, the Koran.
Haram is a Muslim term used for
something that is forbidden or
punishable.
Ms Banister then repeatedly used the
word haram when she apparently meant
to say "halal".
Halal in fact means the opposite and is
commonly used to refer to the Islamic
laws on food preparation.
When subsequently asked if she opposed
the Jewish laws of kosher as well, the
would-be MP replied: "Jews aren't under
haram. They have their own religion
which follows Jesus Christ."
Commentators have compared Ms Banister
to Sarah Palin (pictured)
During the interview Ms Banister was
also asked to name the candidates from
the two mainstream parties in her seat,
but came up short and admitted: "I'm
still learning all of the names of people in
politics."
Some commentators here are making
comparisons with the former US Vice-
Presidential Candidate Sarah Palin, who
became infamous for her media slip-ups
when running for office in 2008.
Even before this interview Ms Banister
was regarded as a rank outsider to win
her seat.
The mother-of-two rose to prominence
when she was arrested for going into a
supermarket and putting stickers saying
"halal food funds terrorism" on Nestle
products.
She was charged with "contaminating or
interfering with goods".
Ms Banister will be forbidden from
standing in the 7 September election if
she is convicted before polling day.