A CHRISTIAN pastor who has been ordered to apologise for vilifying Muslims says he will go to jail rather than say sorry for his comments.
Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) deputy president Michael Higgins ordered two pastors of an evangelical order, Catch the Fire Ministry, to apologise for comments they made in a speech, on a website and in a newsletter.
In a landmark ruling, the tribunal found Muslims were vilified by claims that Muslims were training to take over Australia, encouraging domestic violence and that Islam was an inherently violent religion.
The case was the first to be heard by VCAT since the Racial and Religious Tolerance Act took effect in Victoria at the start of 2002.
Outside the tribunal, Danny Nalliah — one of the pastors taken to VCAT by the Islamic Council — described himself as a martyr and said he would go to jail before apologising.
“Right from the inception, we have said that this law is a foul law, this law is not a law which brings unity,” Pastor Nalliah said.
“It causes disunity and as far as we are concerned right from the beginning we have stated we will not apologise.
“We will go to prison for standing for the truth and not sacrifice our freedom and freedom to speak.”
He said the Evangelical group had nothing against Muslims and its comments were taken out of context.
Judge Higgins said an apology was “appropriate” as the intention of the Victorian legislation was to protect freedom of speech, while placing limits on such freedom by prohibiting the vilification of persons or classes of persons…
I see, they are “protecting” freedom of speech by limiting freedom of speech…Thank heaven for the first amendment to the US Constitution!