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I Don't Oppose Islam as a Country': Australian Parliamentary Candidate Drops Out Following Embarrassing Religion Gaffes

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

Stephanie Banister, 27, was in the running for a parliamentary seat in Rankin, Australia, before a number of embarrassing gaffes derailed her chances. Speaking with 7 News, a CNN affiliate, she recently made some curious comments about Islam and Judaism -- statements deemed so absurd that they quickly went viral.

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

Considering that Islam is a religion and not a country, the country chuckled. But that's not all. She also seemingly confused Judaism and Christianity, claiming that the former is a faith system that embraces the teachings of Jesus Christ.

"Jews aren't under haram, they have their own religion which follows Jesus Christ," Bannister said, while seemingly speaking about Islamic dietary law (or the Koran, as it's unclear).

Following these gaffes, she dropped out of the race. While Bannister is being dismissed as looking foolish by commentators, she claims that 7 News edited out the moments during which she corrected herself (she claims she corrected her first claim to say "Islamic countries").

"With the way Channel Seven edited my interview, I was left quite the fool," Banister said in the wake of the furor.

The BBC notes, though, that this wasn't her first time running into trouble, as she was arrested for going into a supermarket and allegedly putting stickers on Nestle products. These stickers read, "halal food funds terrorism." She is, thus, charged with "contaminating or interfering with goods."

After dropping out of the race, CNN notes her campaign lasted only 48 hours. The former candidate was apparently also receiving threats to her family, which purportedly contributed to her decision to quit the parliamentary race.

Featured Image Credit: 7 News/CNN

(H/T: CNN)

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