Has Australia found its Sarah Palin?
Despite international headlines calling One Nation candidate Stephanie Banister, 'Australia's Sarah Palin', her party doesn't believe she needs media training.PT1M47S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2rm9g 620 349 August 9, 2013
The rookie One Nation candidate who mistook Islam for a country looks set to be dumped by the party.
Seven News reported on Friday night Stephanie Banister had been dropped as the candidate for Rankin, south of Brisbane, quoting party founder Pauline Hanson declaring: "She's not ready."
But One Nation Queensland says the state executive will consider the controversy and make a decision at a meeting on Saturday morning.
Ms Banister has attracted national and international attention for her Seven News interview in which she said: "I don't oppose Islam as a country, umm, but I do feel that their laws should not be welcome here in Australia."
She also claimed 2 per cent of Australians "follow haram", presumably referring to either the Islamic holy text, the Koran, or the halal method of meat preparation, and not the Muslim term for something that is forbidden.
On Thursday, Ms Banister told Fairfax Media she felt she had been misrepresented and had corrected herself many times but it had been cut from the interview.
"Unfortunately, they've completely twisted all my words and made me out to be a stand-up criminal and a stupid moron," she said.
One Nation Queensland spokesman Rod Evans confirmed the state executive of the party would meet on Saturday morning to make a decision on candidates.
He said the party would discuss the recent media controversy but had not yet asked Ms Banister to stand down.
"The situation is at the present moment Stephanie Banister is still our candidate for Rankin and will remain so until One Nation Queensland makes an announcement tomorrow," Mr Evans said.
"No one else has a right to make that announcement."
Mr Evans was angered by the intervention of Ms Hanson, who no longer has any role in the party in Queensland and is running as a One Nation candidate for the Senate in NSW.
"No one, including Pauline Hanson, can make that decision," Mr Evans said.
Ms Hanson's spokesman said the party founder had made clear she was speaking on her own behalf. She said Ms Banister was a "lovely lady" whose heart was in the right place but needed mentoring and may be ready to run at a future election.
In the interview, broadcast on Wednesday night, Ms Banister advocated a ban on halal food but said similar dietary guidelines for followers of Judaism, known as kosher, were permissible.
"Jews aren't under haram, they have their own religion which follows Jesus Christ," she said.
with Rachel Olding