Meet Stephanie Banister, Australia's Ridiculous, Islamophobic Sarah Palin Knockoff

Finally, a political candidate running for office abroad who, if elected, might prove more embarrassing than Sarah Palin was for the U.S.

27-year-old Stephanie Banister is currently running in the Queensland electoral district for a seat in the Australian Parliament. The focus of her One Nation party platform? Banning the practices of Islam (which is apparently a country) in Australia, and "abolishing multi-racialism … which is destroying Australian culture."

In an interview with her local channel 7 news station, Banister explains her political views: "I don't oppose Islam as a country, but I do feel their laws should not be welcome here in Australia."

See the bizarre interview below:


She justifies this argument citing hard statistics: "Less than two percent of Australians follow haram." Apparently, Banister meant to say the Quran, but no biggie.

Another crucial aspect of her platform is banning halal food in Australia, because Banister believes its sale supports terrorism and posted signs stating as much around her local grocery store. She is now facing criminal charges for posting the signs, which resulted in a contamination scare.

She doesn't have a problem with all dietary restrictions, as keeping kosher is acceptable because "Jews aren't under haram … they have their own religion which follows Jesus Christ." (Quick reminder: Jews do not follow the teachings of Jesus).

Stephanie insists that her words were twisted and that it's the news station that's made her look like "a stand-up criminal and a stupid mom." You might ask how any political candidate could be so ignorant of the basics; then you'd reminisce about Sarah Palin's infamous 2008 chat with Katie Couric, wherein Palin cited Alaska's proximity to Russia as evidence of her foreign policy credentials, and you'd stop asking.

At least U.S. candidates no longer hold a media monopoly on public displays of idiocy.

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Nicole Polizzi

Nicole is an adjunct lecturer in Sociology, Philosophy and Composition at ASA in Manhattan. Professionally she is dually obsessed with the expansion/protection of human rights and social justice, and holistic, arts-inclusive education reform. Running, writing and belting Adele in the shower are her catharses.

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