|Danny Nalliah It seems that the Christian Right has no scruples about who or what it breaks bread with, against hate speech bans. Case in point- Australian anti-Muslim campaigner Danny Nalliah, of Catch the Fire Ministries.
Nalliah is a Victorian-based, Sri Lankan expatriate who is fond of Muslim-baiting, and was thrown out of Saudi Arabia for trying to proselytise for fundamentalist Christianity. In 2002, he fell afoul of Victoria's laws against religious vilification, but several court battles later, he was found not guilty of offences against this 'unconstitutional' legislation. This was much to the joy of "Liberals for Free Speech", which seems to be a fundamentalist front group whose focus is rather selective. For example, there are no protests about the federal government's draconian ban on the free speech of euthanasia rights campaigners.
Be that as it may, Nalliah got access to Howard and Treasurer Peter Costello, arguing that they were sterling allies in the battle against heinous multiculturalism. However, in 2005, Nalliah foolishly accepted an offer to speak at a League of Rights meeting, and has no intention of stopping. Now, Nalliah believes that the Holocaust did occur, and he isn't an anti-Semite. So why is it that he thinks it's okay to associate with this far right, anti-Semitic (and anti-gay) organisation? Because he regards it as an ally in the battle against dreaded multiculturalism?
Costello has wisely moved to distance himself from the suddenly embarrassing Reverend Nalliah. Not so Howard...
As for other friends of "Little Johnny" on the Australian Christian Right, witness the machinations of the Australian Christian Lobby. If the name sounds familiar, it's because they were guests at the inaugural Family First "Forum on the Family" in Auckland, 2006.
Out gay Australian federal Greens leader, Bob Brown, has objected to a slanted questionnaire whose results conclude that "Australian Christians" are obsessed with restricting abortion access and same-sex marriage. Quite justifiably, Brown has dismissed the ACL as dominated by the Christian Right and too soft on destructive Liberal social and economic policies.
Sound familiar? It's almost exactly the same tactic our own Maxim Institute used against the Labour-led government when it issued its own highly biased questionnaire on the nzvotes.org website, as Nicky Hager documented in The Hollow Men last year.
Not so the Anglican and Catholic hierarchies and Uniting Church, who have been steadily hammering away at Howard's highly unpopular anti-union "WorkChoices" industrial relations policies. Even Liberal Treasurer Peter Costello's brother, World Vision head Tim Costello, has weighed in on behalf of the global antipoverty group, World Vision, arguing that Australia should be spending far more on foreign aid. However, some Anglican bishops are annoyed with conservative Catholic Archbishop Raymond Pell over his blithe denial of the existence of climate change.
With adverse publicity over the Exclusive Brethren, Catch the Fire, and now the above, is the Australian Christian Right's militancy more of a liability than assistance to Howard's rapidly diminishing re-election prospects.
Australian Christian Lobby
Maxim Institute Nzvotes website
Nicky Hager: The Hollow Men: Nelson: Craig Potton: 2006 Craig Young - 6th November 2007