It rapidly developed into an international news scandal when an Australian political candidate for the immigration critical One Nation party revealed her ignorance. Stephanie Bannister was soon named the Sarah Palin of Australia and one can hardly claim there is no similarity between the amount of ignorance in their comments.
She withdrew her candidacy to the parliament rapidly and said something along the lines, that her comments had been cut into showing her in a light, that made her look stupid. To me it seemed more like she was simply totally ignorant about stuff she was so vehemently opposed to. So much so, that it was the issue which made her take a stand in politics. Perhaps, it is fair to call that stupid. Is it not?
Is she representative of the immigration critical people who have gained some popularity in many western countries of late? To me this is just one more in the long line of these really embarassingly – well – ignorant comments by people who have these attitudes, and obviously no clue as to what they are discussing about. It seems, the far right from which these people politically often hail (even if they try to disguise themselves as some sort of moderates to keep up populist appearances), have had than their fair share of such ignorant politicians.
Is it representative of this populist ultra-conservative political movement based on the fear of the outsider and (obviously) of the unknown?
Should a welder and a mother of two know about other cultures and religions? Like for example, that the Jews do not follow Jesus Christ? Well, certainly, at least, if they are about to compete in politics. If they wish to be in a position to make politics and legistlate social morals – yes indeed, they should. In my opinion they should also be aware of these things in the ever more globalizing world as they are voters in a democracy. With power also comes responsibility. Whith the power to vote comes responsibility to know and understand what is being discussed.
This lady wanted to enter politics precisely to oppose the globalization process.
I can not help to think, how tragicomic it is, that there actually is an anti-immigration party in Australia, where most of the population are desendants of immigrants from just few generations back at most. Am I being racistic, if I tell you, that to me Stephanie Bannister did not look like an Aboriginal Australian?
Even after she withdrew her candidacy her party leader Jim Savage offered his support to her. What else could he do? If he had withdrewn his support, would it not have looked like backstabbing? On the other hand, one may ask wether most of the voters of his party had any notion what exactly was so ridiculous about her comments? Did none of the party officials get it, that she was totally ignorant of the issues, before she was taken in as a candidate, or was it infact their political jargon, that she spouted out? Nonsense from their propaganda to freighten welder mothers of two to move against immigrants? Savage also made a final effort to use her as a political tool to boost his own agenda, by announcing, that she and her family had been threatened. It is a possibility, that this is true and wether if it is or not such threats should be vehemently condemned as I now here by do. It is just a nother example how harmfull religions are, that they are the most likely reason for this lady welder to become a target of religiously motivated hatered. But it is also a perfect example how much religions are about politics. Not about gods, or the supernatural, but about politics.
This is a perfect example of the dangers of ignorance. If not only she had been such an ignoramus and not sufficiently many people had noticed this, and had she been elected to make actual decisions, she would have weilded some power over other people based on such poor knowledge, and an obvious antagonism towards some people based on her ignorance. Now, if it is true, that she has possibly become the target of threats, and at very least the target of ridicule, she and her family have become the victims of her ignorance.
There is one more angle to this. Her religion was not Islam, or Judaism. Now, if there is a god, that requires people to be part of the right religion and worship the correct god by correct rituals, how could this poor woman ever have chosen the right god, if she was not born into the right religion? Whith her cultural heritage she and billions like her are bound to be not even able to choose between different religions and gods. You could say that she is going to get what she deserves for being such an ignorant person and not worshipping the one true god Allah, but does your conscience really tell you that she deserves some form of eternal punishment for that? You could think that she propably was born Christian and gets to be saved just because of that despite the fact that she is obviously unable to make any informed decisions between religions, but there are billions like her (and even whith less of a nasty streak against their fellow men) born into other religions. Are you not concerned about their fate? Do you honestly think that a benevolent and just god would judge them to eternal pain, or even oblivion?