And get them they did:
Liars and demons? Emotive, I'd agree (assuming they said it, of course). But the Koran indeed does preach what the Pastors claimed. Ooh - I get it, that may well be the case, but if saying so might breed intolerance: 'shadappaya face'.
AN evangelical Christian ministry has been found to have vilified Islam during a seminar and in a newsletter which mocked the religion.In a decision handed down today in a key test of Victoria's three-year-old racial and religious vilification laws, Judge Michael Higgins found in favour of the Islamic Council of Victoria, which took the action against Catch The Fire.
Judge Higgins said that, during the seminar, Pastor Scot had claimed that the Koran promoted violence, killing and looting and that Muslims were liars and demons.
Pastor Scot also had said Muslims had a plan to overrun western democracy by violence and terror. . .For God's sake, they've said as much! Oh - sorry - I forgot (again) - that may in fact be so; we're just not allowed to repeat it. This is great, isn't it? I can preach all the hate I like (if I'm a Muslim) but if you (a non-Muslim) repeat what I say to anyone else (like the congregation of your non-Muslim church), then look out for the black helicopters. I wonder if it works both ways? Okay, you can stop the hysterical laughter now. It was a joke (even if in spectacularly poor taste).
Oh really? And when an Imam gets up in his Mosque, preaching Jihad (as Imams have done here in Australia), what then? Sure, lefties, we know exactly what you're going to say. But what would be the reality? You see, we know that, too. So when national broadcasters like SBS deliberately edit out video of the head of the Sydney Mosque doing precisely that, preaching the glories of Jihad and martyrdom at the hands of the latest season's fashion in prêt-à-porte C4 bomb wear, can we call that complicity?
Victoria's Equal Opportunity Commission welcomed the decision on the case, which was the first to be heard by VCAT since the Racial and Religious Tolerance Act took effect at the start of 2002.
"The decision is very significant in terms of showing how the Act operates in practice," said the commission's chief executive, Dr Helen Szoke."It demonstrates where the line is drawn between legitimate public debate and behaviour that incites hatred."
Cue tumble weeds and twilight crickets. . .
The 'set up'
It started with the Equal Opportunity Commission in 2002. Diane Sisely, its then head, set out to explain to thousands of Victorians (particularly Muslims and Arabs) about the discrimination and vilification laws the Bracks Government had enacted, and how to go about registering a complaint. Then she hired May Helou (who has since left), the head of the Islamic Council of Victoria's support groups for women and Muslim converts. Yep, you read that right. She hired Helou to make sure "people from Arabic and Muslim communities are aware of their rights under anti-discrimination laws" and offer "support to people wishing to make a complaint".
Then May Helou told a number of Muslim converts about the seminar being run by Catch the Fire Ministries. Apparently the pretext was that the seminar would be full of Christians with no Muslims present.
That night the ministry ran its seminar, with three Muslims attending (not that anyone else present knew that), and no doubt taking copious notes of one kind or another.
For the record, the speaker, Pastor Scot, was a Pakistani, who, while in Pakistan, had faced a sentence of death for being a Christian. He had also lived in Saudi Arabia and Egypt (he was a man who knew what he was talking about). During the seminar, he read passages from the Koran and Hadith, the same passages radical clerics often use to justify pillaging, jihadi head-hacking, lying for the faith, murdering converts from Islam, raping women etc., etc. Apparently when the Pastor had finished, one of the Muslims asked him how Christians should react to all this? Pastor Scot (to his credit as a devout Christian) told the man to pray and love Muslims (feeling vilified, yet? Apparently the Muslims all were; all that loving and praying - horrific).
Surprise, surprise, these Muslim converts later met with Helou at the EOC and decided to complain (another surprising turn of events, huh?). The stage now well and truly set, it was the EOC that then acted as the neutral adjudicator in the conciliation talks that were to take place as a result. The talks failed (as if there was even the slightest chance they would succeed in the first place, given the background, and given the EOC was now playing judge, jury and prosecutor).
The rest is history.
The Pastors were dragged before VCAT, and have now been found to have vilified Muslims. And like we didn't see that one coming, too? But once again, I have left the very, very best for last (and the crux of this entire, sorry case, given it lies at the heart of it all). Apparently, last Friday, Pastor Scot was asked by Debbie Mortimer, the Islamic Council's barrister, to stop reading passages from the Koran.
Because the readings vilified Muslims.
If this utter debacle were a joke, one might be forgiven for laughing. That it isn't is a total disgrace.