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January 27, 2005

Quoting Scripture Illegal: The Koran in Australia, The Bible in Canada

Human Events tells us that in Australia the law considers it "religious vilification", a criminal offense, to quote the parts of the Koran liberals consider it impolite to mention:

Two Christian pastors in Australia have been found guilty of religious vilification of Muslims. The decision threatens us all.

One of the pastors, Daniel Scot, is Pakistani. He fled his native land seventeen years ago when he ran afoul of the notorious Section 295(c) of the Penal Code -- which mandates death or life in prison for anyone who blasphemes "the sacred name of the holy Prophet Muhammad."...

Scot went to Australia, only to run afoul of that nation's new religious vilification laws. Last Friday, Judge Michael Higgins of The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal found him guilty of vilifying Islam in a seminar hosted by his group, Catch the Fire Ministries. The judge noted that during the seminar, Scot stated that "the Quran promotes violence, killing and looting."...

He also scored Scot for contending that the Qur'an "treats women badly; they are to be treated like a field to plough, 'use her as you wish,'" and that in it, "domestic violence in general is encouraged.'" He charged Scot with saying that the Qur'an directs that "a thief's hand is cut off for stealing." Yet the idea of the field and "use her as you wish" are from Sura 2:223 of the Qur'an. Husbands are told to beat their disobedient wives in 4:34. Amputation for theft is prescribed in 5:38....

When during the trial Scot began to read Qur'anic verses that discriminate against women, a lawyer for the Islamic Council of Victoria, the organization that brought the suit, stopped him: reading the verses aloud, she said, would in itself be religious vilification. Dismayed, Scot replied: "How can it be vilifying to Muslims in the room when I am just reading from the Qur'an?"

This of course reminds me of the Saskatchwan case in which quoting the Bible was ruled to be illegal. As I posted in 2003,

... Let's talk about this so-called high threshold, and let's look at comparable Saskatchewan human rights legislation and a decision of December 2002, the Hugh Owens decision.

In paragraph 7 of the Saskatchewan Court of Queen's Bench decision in the appeal of that particular case, we have the description of the offence:

The bumper sticker in the advertisement displayed references to four Bible passages: Romans 1, Leviticus 18:22, Leviticus 20:13 and 1 Corinthians 6: 9-10, on the left side of the sticker. An equal sign (=) was situated in the middle of the sticker, with a symbol on the right side of the sticker. The symbol on the right side was comprised of two males holding hands with the universal symbol of a red circle with a diagonal bar superimposed over top.

The Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission found--and the court upheld this-- that this advertisement violated the Saskatchewan Human Rights Code because it exposed homosexuals to hatred. They made a specific legal finding that it exposed homosexuals to hatred or ridicule.
Quoting Scripture of any kind seems to get judges mad at you, doesn't it?

Posted by erasmuse at January 27, 2005 01:24 PM

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