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Australian quits election after Quran gaffe

Candidate for anti-immigration party said Islam was a country, Muslims followed the 'haram', and Jews followed Jesus.

Last Modified: 10 Aug 2013 16:22
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Banister claimed she was left 'quite the fool' by editing of her interview

An anti-immigration politician has withdrawn from the Australian election after the screening of an interview in which she called the Quran the "haram", said Islam was a country, and asserted that Jews followed Jesus.

Stephanie Banister quit as the One Nation party's candidate for Franklin, Queensland, on Saturday after receiving widespread ridicule for the interview, which was broadcast on Wednesday on Channel Seven.

Jim Savage, One Nation's leader, said in a statement that Banister was inexperienced and unprepared for "the terrible mutilation she copped at the hands of the press" for a "minor gaffe".

I don't oppose Islam as a country, but I do feel that their laws should not be welcome here.

Stephanie Banister, One Nation.

In the interview, the 27-year-old claimed that two percent of Australians "follow haram" - instead of the Quran.

She went on to say: "I don't oppose Islam as a country, but I do feel that their laws should not be welcome here in Australia," she said.

She added: "Jews aren't under haram, they have their own religion which follows Jesus Christ."

Haram is an Arabic word meaning "forbidden", and the opposite of halal.

Banister, who had been in politics for two days before the interview, maintained that she had been unfairly treated by the Channel Seven.

"With the way Channel Seven edited my interview, I was left quite the fool," she said.

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

Bannister is facing charges for her alleged part in an anti-Muslim campaign, in which stickers were placed on Nestle products saying "Beware! Halal food sponsors terrorism" at her local supermarket.

The interview has been seen by hundreds of thousands of people on the internet.

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