Australian politician quits election race after Islam gaffe

Stephanie Banister called Islam a country in a television interview Photo: Channel 7 News

An Australian politician has quit the federal election race after she was ridiculed for calling Islam a country during a television interview.

Stephanie Banister was being questioned by Channel 7 News about her views on Islam and her opposition to halal food when she made the blunder.

During the interview she confused the religion's holy text, the Qur'an, with haram, which is a term Muslims use to describe something forbidden by God.

The 27 year old, who is currently facing charges for alleged vandalism as part of an alleged anti-Islam campaign, had been representing the One Nation Party ahead of next month's Australian federal election.

Ms Banister quit the race after facing a backlash on Facebook and Twitter, One Nation leader Jim Savage told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

He added, "She is taking this action following threats received by her and in the interests of her family and of the party."