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News – Australian ‘vilification’ case settled

August 2007

Australian ‘vilification’ case settled

The religious ‘vilification’ case against Pastors Daniel Scot and Danny Nalliah in Victoria, Australia, has been settled after mediation on 22 June. The two pastors met with representatives of the Islamic Council of Victoria and the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

According to a report from Barnabas Fund, a media release was issued following the meeting which, amongst other things, stated that both parties affirmed and recognised the rights of each other, their communities and all persons, ‘to adhere to and express their own religious beliefs’ and ‘within the limits provided for by the law, to robustly debate religion, including the right to criticise the religious belief of another, in a free, open and democratic society’.

The settlement marks the end of the case made against the pastors for comments made in a Christian meeting about teaching on Islam. They had previously been found guilty and ordered to make public apologies and also promise never again to repeat similar statements anywhere in Australia.

The legal case and subsequent appeal has cost many hundreds of thousands of dollars, and resulted in much stress to both the men and their families. In May this year, to add to Daniel Scot’s stress, the 19-year-old nephew of his wife was abducted in Peshawar, Pakistan, and held for nine days before being released.
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