Australian Pastors' appeal upheld
Written by Voice of the Martyrs
Thursday, 21 December 2006
On December 14, Victorian Supreme Court judges upheld the appeal of
pastors Daniel Scot and Danny Nalliah against their conviction for
According to a media release by Catch the Fire Ministries (CTFM),
even though the ruling meant the case would be sent back to the
Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT), it was a victory
for freedom of speech in Australia.
”In a sense we are happy with this decision to go back to VCAT. It
means this case will be kept alive in the public consciousness. There’s
a need to keep these vilification laws in sharp focus to reveal the
problems this law is creating,” said Pastor Nalliah.
As a result of a complaint filed by The Islamic Council of Victoria,
the pastors were the first found guilty of religious vilification under
the Victorian Religious and Racial Tolerance Act which took effect at
the start of 2002. The complaint said that Scot and Nalliah had
“vilified Muslims” at a seminar on jihad on March 9, 2002. The pastors
were lecturing on the differences between Christianity and Islam, and
quoted information about Islam directly from the Koran.
“The ramifications of this bad law mean that this case has caused
enormous stress for all concerned and increased division in the
community,” Nalliah added. After his conviction Nalliah refused to
apologize and said that he would rather go to jail. “Right from the
inception, we have said that this law is a foul law, this law is not a
law that brings unity. It causes disunity and as far as we are
concerned right from the beginning we have stated that we will not
apologize. We will go to prison for standing for the truth and not
sacrifice our freedom and freedom to speak,” he said.