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CHRISTIAN PASTORS TAKEN TO COURT TO SILENCE CRITICISM OF ISLAM
PakistanChristianPost ^ | 9-17 | PakistanChristianPost

Posted on 09/16/2003 11:19:41 AM PDT by ambrose


CHRISTIAN PASTORS TAKEN TO COURT TO SILENCE CRITICISM OF ISLAM



AUSTRALIA. Two Christian pastors have been taken to court by the Islamic Council of Victoria and three Australian Muslims after making critical statements about the Islamic faith on a website and at a seminar for Christians held in March last year.

A complaint of religious vilification was made against the two Christian pastors, Danny Nalliah and Daniel Scot. The complaint deals with many issues, such as the nature of jihad, aspirations of Muslims in the west, and the connection between the laws of jihad and the treatment of non-Muslims under Islam.

The Victorian Racial and Religious Vilification Act was passed in 2001 and has yet to be fully put to the test. It was established in order to promote intercultural and interfaith harmony in Victoria, in support of democratic ideals, in itself a worthy aim. Victoria has established an Equal Opportunity Commission which is empowered to develop programs under this legislation. One of their programs, called "Stand up to Racism", promotes positive regard for Islam's stand on universal human rights.

The complaint against the two pastors has had to be mediated through this same Victorian Equal Opportunity Commission, but attempts at achieving conciliation failed. Following this the Islamic Council of Victoria brought the case before the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal, a legal court which has the power to impose a significant fine against the two pastors, if they are found guilty. The case is due to be heard at the Tribunal in mid-October 2003.

To pursue their complaint, the well-funded Islamic Council of Victoria has retained the services of the prestigious Australian law firm, Allens Arthur Robinson, which has offices in seven countries throughout the Asia-Pacific Region.

The case is one of the first to be brought under the new legislation and its result will set an important precedent which will have influence and ramifications not only in Victoria, but also in other parts of Australia. Many evangelical Christians in the state fear that the Islamic Council of Victoria is using the case to stifle all criticism of Islam or Muslims, in effect bringing in a pseudo-blasphemy law to protect Islam. Similar legislation against religious 'hate speech' is currently before parliament in both New Zealand and the UK and is prompting serious concern from libertarians and supporters of free speech who fear the similar misuse of such laws.

DANIEL SCOT

The fact that one of the defendants is Pastor Daniel Scot is bitterly ironic. Scot, a Pakistani Christian, became one of the first victims of Pakistan's notorious blasphemy laws when in 1986 he was charged with insulting the Islamicprophet Muhammad, which under Section 295-C of the Pakistan Penal Code carries a death sentence. The blasphemy laws have attracted widespread condemnation from human rights groups and the international community for their harsh punishments and the way they have been misused to target vulnerable religious minorities (http://www.barnabasfund.org/News/Archive/Pakistan/Pakistan-20030821.htm).

Scot had been threatened by the council of the college in Okara, Pakistan, where he worked, that a charge would be brought against him unless he converted to Islam. The charge was brought after he refused to do so and explained his belief that his spiritual salvation could come only from Jesus Christ, and not Muhammad.

Political pressure meant that Daniel was never prosecuted. However, he was forced to flee to Australia with his family to escape the threat of Islamic extremists who have since murdered four Christians accused of blasphemy in Pakistan.

Now seventeen years later, having fled religious discrimination in Pakistan, Scot again finds himself accused of a similar crime in Australia, the country in which he originally found refuge. This is an indication of the growing trend to place Islamic teaching and Muslim actions beyond the bounds of criticism, not only in the Islamic world, but also, as a result of misguided ideas of political correctness, in the West as well. It is a bitter twist that Scot, an Asian Christian, should face this accusation from three white Australian converts to Islam who unannounced attended the March 2002 seminar (intended for the religious instruction of Christians only - and as such should fall outside the remit of the Act) and took offence resulting in the complaint. In a painfully ironic reversal a law designed to prevent racial and religious abuse under which the Equal Opportunity Commission operates is being used by three white men to attack an Asian.

FREEDOM OF SPEECH

It is clear from the charges brought against Danny Nalliah and Daniel Scot, that both may well have been unwise in their choice of words, and over-the-top in some of their criticisms of Islamic teaching. However it would be a travesty of justice should their statements be found illegal in a country which claims to be a strong advocate of freedom of speech and expression. One of the grounds of the complaint is that Pastor Daniel Scot mentioned in a seminar that Muslim fundamentalists have the responsibility to "kill" apostates from Islam. This was cited in the complaint as unlawful vilification of Muslim believers.

This is despite the fact that the death penalty for apostates from Islam is an extremely well documented part of Islamic law (shari'a) and is well attested by Muslim sources both historically and today (Application http://www.barnabasfund.org/Apostasy/application.htm Consequences http://www.barnabasfund.org/Apostasy/Consequences.htm).

Furthermore it is not merely a matter of language or legal niceties but a very real problem for thousands of converts around the world today which has resulted in many deaths attested to by numerous creditable human rights organizations. Nevertheless it seems that merely drawing attention to this problem may be considered a vilification of Islam; in future converts may have to suffer in silence and those who seek to draw attention to their plight may face prosecution for offending Muslim sensibilities.

However Muslims in Victoria may, in the future, find this law being used against them. For if drawing attention to the more unpalatable teachings of one particular religion is to be regarded as religious vilification, surely the actual expounding of those teachings will certainly attract prosecution under this law. The next time Qur'anic verses such as the famous sword verse, "But when the forbidden months are past, then fight them and slay the Pagans whereverye find them, and seize them and beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war)" (9:5 A. Yusuf Ali, The Holy Qur'an: Text, Translation and Commentary and Meaning) are quoted in a mosque, there may be anonymous pagans in the audience who take offence and bring a case against them for 'unlawful vilification'. Could the unpalatable verses of the Qur'an (together with those of the scriptures of other religions) be effectively banned in Victoria?

The two Australian pastors are seeking the support of international experts in Islam to assist in their defense.

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TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: australia; christianpersecution; hatespeech

1 posted on 09/16/2003 11:19:42 AM PDT by ambrose
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To: Polycarp; maximillian; catherine of alexandria
ping
2 posted on 09/16/2003 11:22:33 AM PDT by I_Love_My_Husband
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To: ambrose
Hate crimes are laws for mind control.
3 posted on 09/16/2003 11:24:33 AM PDT by bmwcyle (Here's to Hillary's book sinking like the Clinton 2000 economy)
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To: ambrose
However it would be a travesty of justice should their statements be found illegal in a country which claims to be a strong advocate of freedom of speech and expression.

Time to lock and load, if that starts happening here, I guess ...

Of course, they can't in Australia, since all the guns have been collected and destroyed. Illustrates clearly why the left-wingnuts want rigid gun control, to keep from getting shot at when they try to implement communism here. /tirade off

4 posted on 09/16/2003 11:26:01 AM PDT by Marauder (If God lived on earth, people would break His windows.)
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To: ambrose
Sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. When will they bring the Mullahs or the leftists to court for criticizing Christianity?
5 posted on 09/16/2003 11:28:20 AM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: ambrose
Those effing muslimes will try it here next wuth the help of the socialist-democrats and the ACLU.

STAND UP FOR OUR FREEDOM OF SPEACH, or risk its loss.
6 posted on 09/16/2003 11:28:24 AM PDT by Roughneck (Like Terrorists? Vote for democrats in 2004.)
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To: ambrose
UN, ACLU, Democrat Party alert...
7 posted on 09/16/2003 11:31:21 AM PDT by DoughtyOne
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Comment #8 Removed by Moderator

To: ambrose
The Islamofascists want to keep the disguise of "Religion of Peace" on their "Religion of Murderous Jihad".

Besides, Christians don't preach hate from their Bible, they preach the love of God.
Islam preaches hatred toward Jews and Christians and murder from their Qu'ran.

9 posted on 09/16/2003 11:34:16 AM PDT by KriegerGeist ("The weapons of our warefare are not carnal, but mighty though God for pulling down of strongholds")
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To: Gabrielle Reilly
ping
10 posted on 09/16/2003 11:34:58 AM PDT by Pan_Yans Wife ("Life isn't fair. It's fairer than death, is all.")
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To: ambrose
This act was specifically designed to limit the free speech of pre selected groups.
11 posted on 09/16/2003 11:35:09 AM PDT by At _War_With_Liberals (Concerned about globalism? PLEASE read http://toogoodreports.com/spotlight/110100-td.htm)
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To: ambrose
Let's see, in a Muslim country the christian would never be sued.

HE WOULD BE ARRESTED, TRIED AND PUT TO DEATH.

12 posted on 09/16/2003 11:36:47 AM PDT by chiefqc
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To: Roughneck
ARE TRYING it here...
13 posted on 09/16/2003 11:37:08 AM PDT by At _War_With_Liberals (Concerned about globalism? PLEASE read http://toogoodreports.com/spotlight/110100-td.htm)
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To: Marauder
What do you mean "if it...starts here"? Have you taken a tour on any college campus lately? These closed-minded bigots are the lefties running things!
14 posted on 09/16/2003 11:41:36 AM PDT by pointsal
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To: Roughneck
What do you mean "will try it here". They already are. The only legal complaints against the Patriot Act are by Muslims using the ACLU and radical islamic activist groups.

The article is exactly right when it says the reason for all this is to make criticism (or investigations) of Islam illegal and punishable.

15 posted on 09/16/2003 11:43:00 AM PDT by Deb (My Tag Skies to Gotham & Con-Fabs With Net Prexies)
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To: ambrose
Possible Australian laws are similar to our own in that they don't mean what they say, rather they mean what a judge says they mean.

Australian Constitution - Section 116 - Commonwealth not to legislate in respect of religion.

"The Commonwealth shall not make any law for establishing any religion, or for imposing any religious observance, or for prohibiting the free exercise of any religion, and no religious test shall be required as a qualification for any office or public trust under the Commonwealth."

My understanding is that Australia had introduced a Bill of Rights similar to our own, but I don't know if it became law. The original proposal included rights similar to our own Bill of Rights including the following:

Article 7 Freedom of expression. - "Every person has the right to freedom of expression, including the freedom of the press and other media of communication, and the freedom to seek, receive and impart ideas or information of any kind in any form, without interference and regardless of frontiers. "

Article 8 Freedom of thought and conscience - "Every person has the right to freedom of thought and conscience, including the right to hold opinions without interference. "

Article 9 Freedom of religion or belief - "Every person has the right to have or adopt a religion or belief of that person’s choice without coercion of any kind, and to manifest that religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and teaching, whether individually or in community with others and whether in public or in private."

Article 10 Right of peaceful assembly - "Every person has the right of peaceful assembly."

16 posted on 09/16/2003 11:45:08 AM PDT by JesusIsLord
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To: ambrose
Exactly what do the Muslims, and PC diplomats, say about Jews and Christians?
Political Correctness - Some people say a world leader could never arise that would make Jews and Christians the targets. That Jews and Christians would never be slaughtered because of their religion, pro-moral lifestyle, or their belief in free will. They say it could never happen.
They say a man, an anti-Christ, or anti-God figure could never gain such power. No man coud force all to "tolerate all sin" in the name of godliness, nor force a mark to share the wealth in all "fairness".
Nah. They say it could never happen.
17 posted on 09/16/2003 11:46:20 AM PDT by concerned about politics (Lucifers lefties are still stuck at the bottom of Maslow's Hierarchy)
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To: ambrose
Islam, the false, gutter, worthless, power-tripping, devil-worshipping religion of pieces...
18 posted on 09/16/2003 11:51:03 AM PDT by ApesForEvolution ("The only way evil triumphs is if good men do nothing" E. Burke)
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To: Cicero
"When will they bring the Mullahs or the leftists to court for criticizing Christianity?"

Never, because these laws are only intended to punish Christians.
19 posted on 09/16/2003 11:53:19 AM PDT by Steve_Seattle (uo)
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To: Marauder
RKBA - exactly right!
20 posted on 09/16/2003 11:53:26 AM PDT by ApesForEvolution ("The only way evil triumphs is if good men do nothing" E. Burke)
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To: ambrose
All it takes is enough Saudi Wahhabi oil money thrown at the right politicians and
the same thing happens here...
They are working on taking over...on colonizing the west...its the same muslim invasion of Christian land that was experienced in Europe a few centuries ago
Except back then they didnt have as many pagans in positions of power in Christian nations..to aid them as they do now
21 posted on 09/16/2003 11:55:07 AM PDT by joesnuffy (Moderate Islam Is For Dilettantes)
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To: Cicero
"When will they bring the Mullahs or the leftists to court for criticizing Christianity?"

The world loves the darkness (to hide their filthiness) more than the light (which shines brightly the truth and exposes the lies).
22 posted on 09/16/2003 11:55:10 AM PDT by ApesForEvolution ("The only way evil triumphs is if good men do nothing" E. Burke)
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To: concerned about politics
"Some people say a world leader could never arise that would make Jews and Christians the targets. That Jews and Christians would never be slaughtered because of their religion, pro-moral lifestyle, or their belief in free will. They say it could never happen."

Of course, the fact that it has ALREADY happened to millions of Christians and Jews under socialist and communist governments is beside the point. Or so they would have us believe . . .
23 posted on 09/16/2003 11:55:37 AM PDT by Steve_Seattle (uo)
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To: joesnuffy
"Except back then they didnt have as many pagans in positions of power in Christian nations..to aid them as they do now."

You make an excellent point: neo-paganism hates Christianity even more than it fears Islam (perhaps because Islam has not yet assumed power in the West), and is thus co-operating with radical Muslims in undermining the West. The neo-pagans seem oblivious to the fact that if this succeeds, they are digging their own graves.
24 posted on 09/16/2003 11:59:45 AM PDT by Steve_Seattle (uo)
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To: Steve_Seattle
Never, because these laws are only intended to punish Christians.

Bingo! Which is why the left wing minions hate Bush and the Christians in the U.S.
Satan has been cast down to earth having great rage, for he knows he has but little time.

25 posted on 09/16/2003 12:07:32 PM PDT by concerned about politics (Lucifers lefties are still stuck at the bottom of Maslow's Hierarchy)
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To: ambrose
If these Islamics win, I guess the atheists won't be able to talk bad about Christianity any more in Australia.
26 posted on 09/16/2003 12:09:06 PM PDT by MEGoody
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To: Steve_Seattle
Of course, the fact that it has ALREADY happened to millions of Christians and Jews under socialist and communist governments is beside the point. Or so they would have us believe . . .

Every new cycle is worse than the one before it. Hitler will be considered a kitten.

27 posted on 09/16/2003 12:09:56 PM PDT by concerned about politics (Lucifers lefties are still stuck at the bottom of Maslow's Hierarchy)
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To: chiefqc
Oops. Minor mistake, here:

HE WOULD BE ARRESTED, TRIED AND PUT TO DEATH.

There. Fixed it.

Sorry. Hate to be nit picky, but ....

28 posted on 09/16/2003 12:10:21 PM PDT by RonF
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To: ambrose
One of their programs, called "Stand up to Racism", promotes positive regard for Islam's stand on universal human rights.

Phahaahahahahhahaha! Ah.....hahahahahaha. Holy head-up-the-butt, batman.

29 posted on 09/16/2003 12:12:02 PM PDT by Shryke
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To: Marauder
Of course, they can't in Australia, since all the guns have been collected and destroyed..

Ah yes, but where there are buyers - legal or not - there will always be sellers.

30 posted on 09/16/2003 12:16:50 PM PDT by yankeedame ("I assure you I was just whistling for a cab.")
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To: yankeedame
And sales of PVC pipe and drywall hit new heights in Australia when those laws came in. I'd bet any money it wasn't all for drainage and remodelling. Remodelling, yeah, yeah... that's the ticket.
31 posted on 09/16/2003 12:28:47 PM PDT by coydog (Out with Chretien!)
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To: pointsal
You know, it's the campus left-wingnuts that scare me; eventually, once the population of this sleepy country wakes up and realizes the extent of the left-wing extremism that is going on in the government, they'll (hopefully) elect some people with some sense.

But what the hell do you do about these liberal college freaks? If the shooting starts, that question is moot, I know, but what about between now and then? :)
32 posted on 09/16/2003 3:49:40 PM PDT by Marauder (If God lived on earth, liberals would sue Him.)
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To: ambrose
One of their programs, called "Stand up to Racism", promotes positive regard for Islam's stand on universal human rights.

I can't help but laugh
33 posted on 09/21/2003 11:15:39 PM PDT by Michael2001 (Every man lives, and every man dies, but not every man truly lives)
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