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Stephanie Banister withdraws her candidacy after Islam gaffe

Australian election candidate Stephanie Banister, who was widely mocked after she mistook Islam for a country in a TV interview, has withdrawn her candidacy.

Stephanie Banister, 27, was contesting a seat in Queensland for the anti-immigration One Nation Party. She had only been in politics for 48 hours.

She also confused the term “haram” (forbidden) with the Koran and suggested Jews worshipped Jesus Christ.

The interview, which aired early this week, went viral on social media.

Stephanie Banister, who was widely mocked after she mistook Islam for a country in a TV interview, has withdrawn her candidacy

Stephanie Banister, who was widely mocked after she mistook Islam for a country in a TV interview, has withdrawn her candidacy

”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.

She announced her withdrawal from the election on Saturday.

“With the way Channel Seven edited my interview, I was left quite the fool,” Stephanie Banister said in a brief statement.

“I’d like to apologise to One Nation, to my friends and family, for any embarrassment this has brought to them.”

One newspaper headline said Stephanie Banister had managed to put Islam literally on the map.

The leader of One Nation, Jim Savage, said Stephanie Banister continued to have the “full support” of the party executive.

He said she had been under “enormous pressure”, including threats to her and her family.

Commentators compared Stephanie Banister to Sarah Palin, the gaffe-prone Republican vice-presidential candidate in the 2008 US election.

Even before this interview, Stephanie Banister was regarded as a rank outsider to win her seatey.


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.

Stephanie Banister is facing charges of “contaminating or interfering with goods”.

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