Big Yellow Taxi: Christian Pastors, Muslims, and Free Speech in Australia

by 1389 on December 10, 2007

in Australia, CAIR, censorship, Christianity, fatwa, France, Gramfan (team member), Holocaust, Islam, music, political correctness

By Gramfan

Many readers may not be old enough to have heard of Joni Mitchell

She had a brief “resurrection” in the movie “Love Actually”, listed as a personal favourite of the character played by Emma Thompson. More information here, if you’re a music buff. And here.

Also, to the younger audience who may have seen the movie Laurel Canon, the character played by Frances McDormand was loosely, or maybe not so loosely, based on Joni Mitchell.

Animated yellow taxi

One of her best known songs is “Big Yellow Taxi” (lyrics here). These words appeal:

Don’t it always seem to go
That you don’t know what you’ve got
Till it’s gone.

Right now, they have probably taken on a different meaning; certainly to me.

Right now, I am concerned about our freedoms, and in particular, our freedom of speech.

I am sure people have written books about this topic alone. I won’t attempt that here now. People get Nobel Peace prizes for peace. and good charitable and humanitarian works which often lead to more freedom, but not always.

However, this song, “Independence Day,” with these lyrics, “…Let Freedom Ring….” sung by Martina McBride, struck a chord, no pun intended, and I am not even a US citizen!

Where I live we have racial vilification laws

Now I know that, after the Holocaust, this may seem like a really good idea. However, like all “good things,” there is always a catch. In this case it was “Catch the Fire” ministries. The laws were used to punish and silence two pastors simply for telling the truth.

“Australian Council of Civil Liberties president Terry O’Gorman criticized the ruling, saying it would interfere with a person’s fundamental right of freedom of speech. ‘No matter how stupid and misguided Toben’s views are, freedom of speech means the right to be stupid,’ Mr O’Gorman said.”

Free speech is something we have to hold on to defiantly. As Joni Mitchell says :

Don’t it always seem to go
That you don’t know what you’ve got
Till it’s gone.

One would immediately like a law like this without knowing the consequences fully. I admit I didn’t know them till something came up.

Pastor Danny Nalliah with Bible

I am referring to what is now called the case of “the Two Dannys”

Two pastors from the”Catch the Fire” ministry became the high-profile example of this law in action.

I wasn’t there. I can’t say for sure what happened. It was reported that the “Two Dannys,” Danny Nalliah and Danny Scot, gave a seminar on Islam for the benefit of their parishioners so that they could be better educated on Islam.

As far as I know they were merely explaining Islam.

As far as I know they were not inciting hatred and violence, as we often see coming from Muslim countries after Friday prayers – the latest example being the infamous “teddy bear” incident. Hugh Fitzgerald, as always, has a great piece on that.

Then came a British writer of children’s literature who changed the name of one of the characters in his book just after the bear incident: Writer renames Mohammed the Mole.

Remember that the woman in the first story was a British citizen in Sudan.

But the second story is about a British citizen living in Britain!!! Alarm bells???

Here’s where I fear we are heading. I fear we are losing free speech in the entire west. A teacher threatened with lashes because of a bear, a writer of children’s literature changes the name of a character out of fear of a fatwah, and before all this, two pastors get sued for teaching comparative religion. (And let’s not forget the Mohammed cartoons: an attempt to tell us what we can publish in our own papers.)

So what did the “despicable Dannys” do, actually?

They were entrapped by a Muslim lobby group who sought to turn the vilification law to their own advantage.

According to journalist Andrew Bolt:

And why? Because they quoted the Koran to their congregation. Because in that congregation were Muslim activists, sent by a discrimination commissar hired from a Muslim lobby group.

How preposterous, how sinister, has been this saga.

In fact, right from the passing of the Government’s vilification laws, we’ve seen politicians and bureaucrats acting like hysterics on a hunt for witches the rest of us cannot see.

If the law were applied equitably, I suppose it would be okay – but what safeguards could possibly guarantee that?

So far I can’t recall any other similar case; certainly not a high profile case.

I am suggesting one should make oneself very aware of this kind of legislation, no matter where one lives. I believe it will get a lot worse in the entire west. Just a few days ago we heard of the woes of Michael Savage counter-suing CAIR.

Hate speech isn’t nice. Racial vilification isn’t nice either. But why is there an imbalance as to who is allowed to vilify whom – when, where and why? It’s hard not to get this impression.

Back to the two Dannys.

Entrapped, then convicted of trivial infractions

According to Bolt:

The Pastors Burned
The pastors were at long last tried at VCAT before Justice Michael Higgins.

Most of the case over the weeks that followed dealt with the lecture given by Scot, and some curious things soon became clear.

First, even one of the converts had to admit that Scot, who’d been born in Pakistan and got degrees there in theology and applied mathematics, actually understood the Koran far better than did the people complaining he’d misquoted it.

Second, as I wrote at the time, many of the complaints accused Scot of no more than quoting the Koran accurately. Yes, the Koran did tell men they could beat their wives. Yes, it did have verses calling on Muslims to fight infidels until they submitted.

The verdict was also odd.

The pastors were found guilty of vilifying Muslims even though the judge identified only one thing Scot had said that was factually wrong: he’d given the wrong birthrate for Muslims here. And, the judge, added, he’d failed to quote a verse that showed Allah was merciful.

(Home page: http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/)

The pastors won the appeal, although they are now saddled with debts. Read more here.

Please take note that the comment ‘Muslims are demons, etc’ in The Australian are not factual. This erroneous statement and others reported by media have been proven by the Supreme Court of Victoria to have never been made by Catch the Fire Ministries and were therefore rejected!

The Australian – Breaking News
This story is from our news.com.au network Source: AAP
Church and Islamic council bury hatchet
• By Jeff Turnbull • June 25, 2007

MEDIATION and handshakes have ended a five year racial vilification battle between an evangelical Christian group and a Victorian Muslim body.

The Catch The Fire Ministries sparked a row with the Islamic Council of Victoria (ICV) in 2002 when it claimed in a newsletter that Muslims were demons training to make Australia an Islamic state, that the Koran promoted violence and killing and that Muslims derived money from drugs.

Catch the Fire pastor Daniel Nalliah said he was relieved the long-running case, which was settled in the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) after a hearing in the Victorian Court of Appeal, was now over.

“No-one expected it to be so prolonged,” Pastor Nalliah said.

Are you seeing where this is going, even though it happened a while ago?

I suspect our new Federal government will strengthen this law, but I stress “suspect”. I suspect similar laws in the west will become harsher as more Muslims get into power and/or become more important as a voting block. (Is that still possible in “Londonistan?” See Melanie Phillips.)

Animated yellow taxi driving along road

Joni Mitchell says,

Late last night
I heard the screen door slam
And a big yellow taxi
Took away my old man
Don’t it always seem to go
That you don’t know what you’ve got
Till its gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot.

We don’t have any big yellow taxis to take us away from this “parking lot.”

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Always On Watch December 10, 2007 at 7:19 pm

Outstanding post!

When I recently told the story of the two Danny’s to a gathering I addressed, everyone breathed a sigh of relief that the two basically escaped legal retribution–until I stated talking about the financial impact, that is.

Litigation jihad is a powerful weapon. And that kind of jihad is accomplished quietly.

Funny that you should mention that song by Joni Mitchell. I heard it just the other day on the radio and had a “new” interpretation quite similar to the one here.

2 Gramfan December 11, 2007 at 3:23 am

AOW

Appreciate your comments as I know you are totally aware of what is going on.
Many thanks to 1389 for her superior pc skills:))

3 Gramfan December 11, 2007 at 6:24 pm

Just read this piece by Janet Albrechtsen. She is one of a handful of conservative journalists in Australia.

Orwellian Left quick to unveil totalitarian heart

The left wants to get rid of them. How predictable!

4 eloivsdiablo December 18, 2007 at 6:06 am

G’day Gramfan,

great to see you’ve found an outlet to author articles about the dilemma facing the free world. I mused over the Joni Mitchell Big Yellow taxi song which made me think of another Joni hit, The Circle Game. The seasons they go round and round and the jihadists go up and down, we’re captive on the caracole of evidence the perpetrators of this insidious ideology inflict on our vulnerable sensibilities, we have become too soft, too pliable, too politically correct to wage an effective and victorious alternative against those who hate and wish to subjugate us. The world is like a rabbit staring into a light beam and it truly is a circling gaze at this time. Personally I’ve racked my brain repeating the reasons behind attitudes that are easily attributed to a book manifested by a sick tyrant, the biggest liar the world has ever known, so I am resigned to the fact this situation is only going to get worse before it gets any better. The worst is when people come to realize that freedom is gone and a journey through a dark dark tunnel becomes the reality, the dark tunnel of islam sits on the horizon awaiting to engulf us and the awakening only happens when it’s truly upon us. We all learn the hard way…

5 faheem August 10, 2009 at 3:08 am

Dear Sir,

I am Fahim Qaiser from Pakistan . I have studied your web site, and I found it the most wonderful site to get right to the True Word of God. My suggestion for you is to create your material in my language of Urdu and Punjabi also. It will bring lots of blessings of the Word of God for the Pakistani and Indian Urdu and Punjabi speaking people. For that purpose I as a translator will bring your material into Urdu languages and into Punjabi language as well.

Although it will take your low expenses as well, as fund for the Word of God to reach out to the deserving people. I my self, work on a local radio station also. Many times it becomes difficult for us to keep doing this because of being minorities and because of the lack of the financial resources. I will wait for your response.

Sincerely,
Fahim Qaiser ( Pakistan ).

Admin 1389 replies: Thanks for your support! As I have mentioned elsewhere, I unfortunately no longer have the time, energy, or resources to devote to blogging that I once had in the past. Political blogging takes a heavy personal and professional toll on anybody who does it. I have had some severe health issues and have had to cut back on certain activities. In addition, many other bloggers, and even a few conservative journalists and other public figures, have begun saying many of the same things. We do not feel the need to be acknowledged as leaders of any particular movement, so we have decided to post articles only when we have something important to say that nobody else is already saying.

That said, if you would like to translate any of our articles and post them on your own blog or read them on the radio, by all means, go ahead. Just try to make your translation as faithful to the original as you possibly can.

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