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.
“I don’t oppose Islam as a country but I do feel their laws should not be welcome here in Australia,” Banister said as she hit the election trail in Queensland.
The 27-year-old candidate kicked off her campaign for the seat of Rankin with a Channel 7 interview in which she confused the Qur’an and halal food with “haram”, an Islamic term for something forbidden by God.
It was not only Islam that Banister was confused about.
“Jews aren’t under haram. They have their own religion which follows Jesus Christ,” she said of Judaism.
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 are making comparisions with the former US Vice-Presidential Candidate Sarah Palin, who became infamous for her media slip-ups when running for office in 2008.
But the 27-year-old mother-of-two may have bigger problems than the huge gaps in her knowledge of Islam and Judaism.
She is facing criminal charges after allegedly plastering anti-Muslim stickers on Nestle products in a Brisbane supermarket saying “halal food funds terrorism.”
Banister on Saturday withdrew her candidacy for the September 7th election, which she was contesting for anti-immigration firebrand Pauline Hanson’s One Nation party in Queensland.