September 15, 2009, 12:00 - 2:00 PM - Hudson Institute, Washington, D.C. Headquarters
The Center for Religious Freedom
held a discussion on
Hate Speech Laws, Islamic Blasphemy Strictures, and Freedom of Speech:
The Case of Australia
The Rev. Dr. Mark Durie
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
12:00 – 2:00 PM
In December 2004, pastors Daniel Scot and Daniel Nalliah of the evangelical group Catch the Fire Ministries (CTFM) were found guilty by an Australian judge of religious vilification for criticizing Islam in the course of a religious seminar and were ordered to publicly disavow their beliefs. Four and a half years after the lawsuit was brought, the pastors ultimately prevailed in the courts. Pastor Scot, who had grown up in Pakistan and fled the country after being accused there of the capital crime of blasphemy, remarked that religious vilification statutes like that under which he had been convicted in Australia were "blasphemy laws in disguise" and "sharia by stealth."
Dr. Durie obtained a PhD in Linguistics from the Australian National University in 1984 with a study of Aceh. He has been a visiting researcher at the University of Leiden, MIT, UCLA, and Stanford University. He headed the Department of Linguistics and Language Studies at the University of Melbourne, and was an Australian Research Council Senior Research Fellow. He was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Humanities in 1991, and awarded an Australian Centennial Medal in 2001 for contributions to linguistics. After a change in career, Mark now works as the Vicar of St. Mary's Anglican Church in Melbourne. He is a human rights activist, writing and speaking extensively in Australia and around the world on issues relating to freedom of religion and the persecution of religious minorities, particularly Christians living under Islamic sharia law.
This lecture was the first in the Center for Religious Freedom's Fall series on "Lifting the Theocratic Iron Curtain: Examining the Application of Muslim Blasphemy and Apostasy Rules in the Contemporary World."
For more information contact Beth Kerley at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Betsy and Walter Stern Conference Center
1015 15th Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20005
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