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( – Two evangelical pastors in Australia convicted of vilifying Muslims say they will go to prison rather than obey a judge’s order to apologize. A tribunal judge in the state of Victoria on Wednesday instructed Danny Nalliah and Daniel Scot to apologize for their comments by publishing a prescribed statement in newspapers and on the website of Nalliah’s ministry, Catch the Fire. They would also have to promise never to repeat them — or any other comments which would have the “same or similar effect” — anywhere in Australia or on the Internet. Failure to do so would make it “necessary for further orders to be made,” said Judge Michael Higgins of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT), a body that operates like a normal court of law. In a landmark ruling last December, Higgins found that the two had vilified Muslims at a seminar on Islam and in articles published in a newsletter and on the Internet. Shortly after the order was handed down at the VCAT chambers in Melbourne Wednesday, Nalliah told Cybercast News Service that he and Scot would go to prison rather than comply.
“We have from the beginning said this law is a foul law. And it’s under the law that the judge has brought the judgment,” he said. “Complying with the judge’s judgment makes it clear that we respect the law – but we don’t respect the law.” Asked whether he really expected that such a stand could land them in prison, Nalliah said they were taking the position because they wanted to see the law abolished. “But the repercussions, as I understand, could result in the judge saying ‘you’ll have to go into jail for a season because you rejected my judgment.’ We are willing to face it if that’s the case.”
The two have appealed to the Supreme Court.

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