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Australian Election Hopeful's Islam Gaffe Gets Viral Infamy

posted 10 Aug 2013, 04:56 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 10 Aug 2013, 04:57 ]

An Islam gaffe by a candidate in Australia's upcoming election trends on viral video, drawing unwelcome attention and causing the candidate to stand down.

LOGAN, AUSTRALIA (RECENT) (SEVEN NETWORK) -  A candidate from Australia's One Nation Party has withdrawn from the federal election race after mistaking Islam for a country in a TV interview.

Twenty-seven-year-old Stephanie Banister made the statement during a televised interview with the Seven Network as she launched her campaign.

"I don't oppose Islam as a country, but I do feel that their laws should not be welcomed here inAustralia," said Banister, adding: "Less than two percent of Australians follow Haram."

Banister, who was running in the federal seat of Rankin in Queensland, seemed to have confused Haram (an Arabic word meaning 'forbidden') with the Muslim religious text, the Koran, the Seven Network reported.

The confusion continued as the candidate then went on to describe Jews as followers of Christ.

"Jews aren't under Haram, they have their own religion which follows Jesus Christ," she said.

Local media reported that Banister is facing charges for her alleged part in an anti-Muslim campaign, in which she placed stickers on Nestle products saying 'Beware! Halal food sponsors terrorism' at her local supermarket.

The interview has been seen by hundreds of thousands on the Internet, and some commentators have compared Banister's gaffe to those made by former U.S. vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.

Australians go to the polls on September 7.