PAULINE Hanson’s One Nation party has nominated a woman facing criminal charges over alleged anti-Muslim behaviour to contest the Queensland seat of Rankin.
Stephanie Banister, a 27-year-old mother of two, is facing criminal charges after allegedly placing anti-Muslim stickers, like “Halal food funds terrorism”, on Nestle products in a supermarket.
Never mind that though. Ms Banister has bigger problems.
In an interview with Channel Seven, which aired last night, Ms Banister revealed her dearth of knowledge on, well, everything.
“I don’t oppose Islam as a country, but I do feel that their laws should not be welcome here in Australia,” she said, apparently oblivious to the fact that Islam is a religion, not a country.
One Nation is famous for another iconic one liner. When party founder Pauline Hanson was asked if she was xenophobic by Tracey Curro on 60 Minutes in 2006, she replied: “Please explain?”
Arguing for a ban on Halal food last night, Ms Banister said “less than two per cent of Australians follow Haram.”
The term “Haram” refers to something which is prohibited. It kind of works in this context. If you really think about it. OK not really.
In any case, Ms Banister doesn’t have a problem with Jewish Kosher food.
“Jews aren’t under Haram, they have their own religion which follows Jesus Christ,” she said.
You’re thinking of Christianity there, Stephanie.
“They don’t have a tax on it, they’ve just got a certain way of making it where Haram has a tax on the food,” Ms Banister said. Except, as Channel Seven pointed out, Kosher food does have a fee.
Ms Banister was also asked her opinion of the government’s National Disability Insurance Scheme.
“I believe that the disability scheme is working at the moment,” she said.
The NDIS doesn’t actually start until 2016.
Ms Banister doesn’t know who her opponents are either. Rankin, a Queensland seat currently held by retiring Labor MP and former minister Craig Emerson, is being contested by David Lin for the Liberals and Jim Chalmers for Labor.
“I’m still learning all of the names of people in politics,” Ms Bannister said.
The Australian Electoral Commission will decide whether Ms Bannister can legally run for office. Candidates are disqualified if they have been convicted of a criminal offence punishable by at least a year in prison, and the One Nation candidate will soon reappear in court.
Ms Bannister admits she still has a lot to learn in politics.
“Everyone in the world has a lot to learn,” she said.
Some people more than others.
UPDATE: Today Ms Banister told Fairfax Media her words had been taken out of context, and she meant to say “Islamic countries”.
“Unfortunately, they’ve completely twisted all my words and made me out to be a stand-up criminal and a stupid moron,” she said.