Australian election candidate Stephanie Banister has made the wrong kind of headlines after a gaffe-strewn interview in which she mistook Islam for a country.
Stephanie Banister, 27, a candidate with the anti-immigration One Nation Party, clocked up multiple mistakes in a TV interview with Channel 7 News.
She 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,” Stephanie Banister told Seven News reporter Erin Edwards.
Stephanie 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.
Stephanie 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, Stephanie Banister replied: “Jews aren’t under haram. They have their own religion which follows Jesus Christ.”
During the interview Stephanie 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 in Australia 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 Stephanie 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”.
Stephanie Banister will be forbidden from standing in the September 7 election if she is convicted before polling day.