While the law allows "genuine academic, artistic, religious or scientific" discussion of religious beliefs, Judge Michael Higgins ruled that pastor Danny Nalliah and speaker Daniel Scot's post-9/11 messages on Islam went beyond such discussion.
"Pastor Scot, throughout the seminar, made fun of Muslim beliefs and conduct," Higgins wrote. "It was done not in the context of a serious discussion of Muslims' religious beliefs; it was presented in a way which is essentially hostile, demeaning and derogatory of all Muslim people, their god, Allah, the prophet Mohammed, and in general Muslim beliefs and practices."
The problem, Higgins said, was that Scot argued that Wahhabist Islam is the true Islam, and that more moderate, Western forms are compromises of what the Qur'an really teaches.
"I find that Pastor Scot failed to differentiate between Muslims throughout the world, that he preached a literal translation of the Qur'an and of Muslims' religious practices which was not mainstream but was more representative of a small group in the Gulf states."
Higgins also noted that Scot's credibility was severely undermined by his misrepresentation of how many books he has published.
Still, evangelicals and Pentecostals have decried the trial as a violation of free speech. Catholics and mainline churches have supported the Racial and Religious Tolerance Act and the criminal charges against Nalliah and Scot.
Since this is one of the first cases of a Western, non-Islamic government essentially banning statements against Islam and Mohammed, it's well ...1
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