Andrew Bolt on the shameful conviction of the two Christian pastors in Australia. From The Herald Sun, with thanks to JE:
HOW odd that a Christian pastor has been found guilty of vilifying Islam after quoting the Koran.
Is this really what Premier Steve Bracks intended with his absurd racial and religious vilification law?
Pastor Daniel Scot and Pastor Danny Nalliah were last week found to have committed religious vilification after the first trial under this new law.
Judge Michael Higgins found Scot offended by quoting the Koran in a way that got “a response from the audience at various times in the form of laughter”.
Yes, Scot made his audience of 250 Christians laugh at Islam. He didn’t inspire them to burn a mosque, shout insults at Muslims, plant bombs or paint nasty slogans on fences.
He just made the audience laugh. And that in Victoria is now a crime.
But that’s not the only absurdity in a case that has so far cost these two pastors more than $200,000 in costs.
The absurdities start with the excuse the Premier gave in 2001 for imposing this law, threatening us with six months’ jail and $6000 fines.
“Victorians take considerable pride in the fact that people from . . . diverse backgrounds live together harmoniously in our community,” he told Parliament.
Yet even though we got on well, we now had to limit our free speech — despite Bracks conceding “freedom of expression is crucial to our democratic society”.
Publicly saying hurtful things about a race or religion would now be illegal.
Fear not, Bracks soothed. This law was “confined to prohibit only the most noxious forms of conduct”, and would “promote racial and religious tolerance”.
But it wasn’t and hasn’t.
With a new law to play with, it was inevitable activists would try to use it.
Read it all.