Would-Be Pol Goofs on Islam, Branded 'Aussie Sarah Palin'
Stephanie Banister ends parliamentary campaign after 48 hours
By Polly Davis Doig, Newser Staff
Posted Aug 11, 2013 9:45 AM CDT
A soccer fan holds an Australian flag before the quarterfinal between Sweden and Australia at the Women’s Soccer World Cup in Augsburg, Germany, on July 10, 2011.   (AP Photo/Kerstin Joensson)

(Newser) – Like many fledgling politicians, Stephanie Banister gave an interview with a couple of gaffes. And like a select few politicians of any experience level, her gaffes went viral. But in this case, the 27-year-old welder and Queensland parliamentary candidate's contention that Islam is a country, among other blunders, earned her the nickname the "Australian Sarah Palin" and effectively ended her campaign after 48 hours. For the record, Banister contends that the Aussie TV station that aired her interview selectively edited it so that "I was left quite the fool." Highlights from the blooper reel, as per CNN:

  • "I don't oppose Islam as a country, but I do feel that their laws should not be welcome here in Australia." Banister claims she later corrected herself, and referenced "Islamic countries," which did not make the final cut.

  • "Less than 2% of Australians follow haram." "Haram" includes things prohibited under Islamic law; CNN thinks she was referring to the Koran.
  • "Jews aren't under haram, they have their own religion which follows Jesus Christ." Not so much.
  • Banister later said a national disability insurance plan "was working at the moment;" CNN affiliate 7 News notes that it doesn't take effect til 2016.
Banister was running as a candidate for anti-immigration party One Nation, which stood by her. But, it said in a statement yesterday, "due to the threats against Stephanie's family, herself, her children, the abuse she's copped and the enormous pressure she's been put under, Stephanie has decided she wants to withdraw from the candidacy for the seat of Rankin. We have accepted it with regret."

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Aug 13, 2013 4:22 AM CDT
I wonder how Sarah Palin would feel to learn that her name is now synonymous with describing exceptionally ignorant politicians. What a legacy she's left for herself....
Aug 12, 2013 7:07 AM CDT
Mr Penrod A small criticism. It would improve the value of your content if you would please stay on topic within your own post. It comes off as more of an incoherent rant when you jump from Liberal media bashing implied by holding a flag backwards to the tyranny of American foreign policy, to some veiled reference to the New World Order, to the symbology of inverted flags and the "legality" of holding a flag backwards or on a uniform as conveying a symbol for something evil. It's not concise or to the point and thus not persuasive. As for the content how about this as a postulate. When you pick up a flag and hold it so that it is correct to the holder it's backwards to the people looking at you. At least half of the people reading this, and I suspect this includes the folks at newser, would not have even noticed the flag was reversed... or even been able to tell you what country it was from. To send a "message" to the masses it has to be identifiable as a message. If your average 12 year old can't identify it as a "Message" or symbol then it either wasn't intended as such or it's just a poor form of communication. If you are seeing a message that no one else is seeing then it's possible you are over analyzing the content.
Aug 12, 2013 12:44 AM CDT
ok so she's no intellectual heavyweight, so what does this mean her opinion doesn't count?