Twenty-seven-year-old Stephanie Bannister was running for office in Australia's state of Queensland as a candidate for the rightwing One Nation party that takes an admirably strong stance against mass immigration. Several days into her political careers (48 hours according to some reports), Bannister gave an interview in which she made several statements that showed her utter unpreparedness for serious political participation.
Bannister said that she "doesn't oppose Islam as a country", but feels that "their laws [presumably she meant sharia] shouldn't be welcome" in Australia. She then went on to confuse "haram" (acts forbidden by the Koran) with "Koran" by stating that "less than two per cent of Australians follow haram". Finally, when asked if she's opposed to kosher slaughter as she is to halal, Bannister replied: "Jews aren't under haram. They have their own religion which follows Jesus Christ." Oy vey!
Needless to say, leftwing media all over the world swooped down on the story like vultures on carrion. The ill-advised interview quickly went "viral" on Youtube. The hapless Stephanie Bannister quit the race mere days later.
Stephanie Bannister's remarks remind one of the numerous gaffes of Sarah Palin who uttered such howlers as "Paul Revere did warn the British", "our neighboring country of Afghanistan", "Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America", and "[W]hat is it exactly that the VP does every day?"
This kind of embarrassing ignorance shows the acute need for nationalist, rightwing parties to have serious, knowledgable candidates that won't get their feet stuck in their mouth at the very inception of their political careers. But all is not lost for Stephanie Bannister. She still has time to educate herself on Islam before her next foray into politics. Srdja Trifkovic's "Sword of the Prophet" would be a good place to start.
Eugene Girin is a New York-based attorney and commentator.