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Daniel (Danny) Nalliah (born 1964) is an Australian Christian evangelist pastor and young earth creationist. He is the leader of Rise Up Australia, a political party, and the President of Catch the Fire Ministries. Danny Nalliah successfully defended a lawsuit commenced by the Islamic Council of Victoria under Victoria's Racial and Religious Tolerance Act. In this landmark case, along with his colleague Daniel Scot, Nalliah was found not to have incited hatred under Victoria's then-new religious vilification laws. He has also been a candidate for the Family First Party. He was previously associated with the Australian Christian Churches.
According to his biography published by the Catch the Fire Ministries, Daniel Nalliah was born in Sri Lanka to minority Sri Lankan Tamil parents who spoke English as their first language. He was introduced to the "ways of God" by an Australian missionary. In his youth, he played in a number of night clubs in Colombo as a drummer before turning to religion. He also worked as an underground missionary in Saudi Arabia before migrating to Australia in 1997.
After moving to Australia and founding Catch the Fire Ministries, Daniel travelled extensively, preaching to congregations in a number of countries. He asserts that he witnessed the healing of blind, deaf and crippled people at his prayer sessions, and claims that a dead girl was resurrected after he prayed for her.
Alleged vilification of Muslims
On 9 March 2002, Daniel Scot spoke at a seminar regarding Islam, sponsored by Catch the Fire Ministries. The seminar was attended by three Australian Muslims; two of them were asked to attend by May Helou who was an executive member of the Islamic Council of Victoria (ICV) and an employee of the Equal Opportunity Commission, Victoria. The third person was asked to attend by ICV members while he was at the ICV office. The three Muslims, along with the Islamic Council of Victoria, later launched action under the controversial Racial and Religious Tolerance Act, claiming that the intent of the speech had been to vilify Muslims, rather than to discuss Islam itself. After being considered by the Equal Opportunity Commission, the case was heard by the Victorian and Civil Administrative Tribunal, becoming the first real test case under the Act.
In a landmark ruling on 17 December 2004, the Tribunal ruled that Nalliah, Scot and Catch the Fire Ministries had breached the law. Judge Higgins heard further submissions regarding 'remedies' early in 2005. Daniel Nalliah publicly blasted the verdict, and declared his intention to continue fighting the case, potentially as far as the High Court of Australia. The Age newspaper quoted him as stating "We may have lost the battle, but the war is not over. The law has to be removed, there is no question."
On 22 June 2005, Judge Michael Higgins of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal delivered his final verdict on the religious vilification issue regarding remedies. He found that financial compensation would be inappropriate, but ordered Nalliah and Scot to take out newspaper advertisements to the value of $68,690 which summarised the findings in the case. Nalliah once again slammed the ruling, comparing the legislation to "sharia law by stealth". He also vowed that he would rather go to jail than comply with the ruling. Lawyers for the defendants had previously appealed to the Supreme Court of Victoria, in an Originating Motion alleging both that Higgins showed signs of bias, that there were errors in the decision and that the Act itself was unconstitutional. Following the decision, a formal appeal was lodged with the Court of Appeal of the Supreme Court and the Originating Motion was dropped. The Appeal was heard in August 2006.
The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, an interfaith public interest law firm based in Washington DC, had intervened on Pastor Scot's behalf, engaging in discussion with the Attorney General of Australia, providing legal representation with local counsel, and providing legal arguments employed for the legal appeal. On 14 December 2006, the Supreme Court of Victoria, upheld the appeal and ordered that the matter be re-decided, without hearing new evidence, by a Judge (other than Judge Higgins) of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal. The Islamic Council of Victoria was ordered to pay half of Scot's and Nalliah's legal costs of the appeal.
Nevertheless, his candidacy caused considerable controversy when conservative National Party Senate candidate Barnaby Joyce launched a heavily publicised attack on Family First and his own party's preference deal with them the day before the election. Joyce used some of Nalliah's statements to illustrate why, in his words, "these are not the sort of people you do preference deals with" - most notably a quote from one of Nalliah's brochures that asked parishioners to pray that God would pull down "Satan's strongholds", which included brothels, gambling places, bottle shops, mosques and temples (including Freemason, Buddhist and Hindu temples).
In late October 2009, Family First parliamentary leader and Senator Steve Fielding noted that after the incident cited above, Nalliah was asked to leave the party and did so. At the same time, Nalliah argued that the discovery of an adolescent "satanist" black mass site at Canberra's Mount Ainslie indicated that the federal Parliament was "under attack" and referred to witchcraft, liberal abortion laws and legislation that supported LGBT rights in Australia as the "reason" behind an apparent spate of parliamentary marriage crises.
Black Saturday bushfires
In the wake of the Black Saturday bushfires, in which 173 died, Nalliah claimed he had received "prophetic dreams" on 21 October 2008 that these bushfires were a "consequence" of Victoria's decriminalisation of abortion in 2008, prompting criticism from a former Australian Treasurer, Peter Costello, that Nalliah's assertion was "beyond the bounds of decency".
Holsworthy Barracks terror plot
Nalliah planned to use the Holsworthy Barracks terror plot as an argument to explain that Christianity should be protected "as the core value of the nation" in his speech titled Is the West being de-Christianised? delivered at the Australian Christian Nation Association Annual National Conference held on 21 November 2009 at the Assyrian Sport and Cultural Club, Fairfield Heights, Sydney.
Queensland floods in 2011
After the catastrophic 2010–2011 Queensland floods, Nalliah declared on his website "...at once I was reminded of Kevin Rudd speaking against Israel in Israel on 14th December 2010. It is very interesting that Kevin Rudd is from QLD. Is God trying to get our attention? Yes, I believe so."
Rise Up Australia Party
On 22 June 2011 Daniel Nalliah launched and now leads a new political party, Rise Up Australia. The launch date was picked as it was the anniversary of Nalliah's successful case in the Supreme Court.
In a 2011 interview with Perth's "Out in Perth", Nalliah stated that homosexuals can be turned back to heterosexual relationships through education and through Christ. "As a political party, while we love the homosexual community and want to get to know them better, we also have a stand where we say, children need to be protected. We would love to see every man and woman come together, there's a time in life when you do things, and maybe you feel yes you are locked into an agenda.... [our position] is that homosexuality is not OK". And later on stated "Children should not be exposed to [public displays of homosexual affection] and other practices that go beyond morality."
Views on Multiculturalism
"We also know that Stalin and his communist ideologies were responsible for the murder of millions of people. Although communist ideologies seemed to be very good to many millions of people, the end result was much death and destruction. In other words, ‘One Word’ becomes a gate way to lead to great disaster if we don’t wake up in time. We have seen Nazism and Communism destroy many nations.
"So we need to take a good look at the word ‘Multiculturalism’. Although this word seems to sound so good, in reality it is currently destroying the Judeo-Christian West and replacing it with an ‘Interfaith’ deceptive agenda led by the United Nations. It is Communism wearing a new uniform. It is also worth noting that the first few letters of this word is “Multicult”-uralism."
- Danny Nalliah: Worship Under the Sword: Melbourne: D&M Publications: 1998: ISBN 0-646-35577-5
- Biography Rev Dr Daniel Nalliah at Catch the Fire Ministries accessed 29 September 2010
- Radio discussion about climate change
- Edgar, Brian. "Comments on the Supreme Court judgement on religious vilification" (PDF). The Australian Evangelical Alliance Inc. p. 1. Retrieved 29 September 2010.
- Who is Danny Nalliah and what is Rise Up Australia SBS, 13 February 2013
- Historic win in religious hatred case The Age, 18 December 2004
- Court of Appeal (Supreme Court of Victoria) decision Dec 2006 - overturning VCAT decision
- Family First close to gaining pivotal Senate role, ABC Lateline, 11-Oct-2004
- "Evil spells are being cast on parliament", News.com.au, 12.10.09
- Pastor's abortion dream inflames bushfire tragedy, The Age, 11 February 2009
- Ainsley Symons (2014), 'Anti-Abortion Campaigning and the Political Process.' in Recorder (Melbourne Branch, Australian Society for the Study of Labour History), No. 279, March, pp. 2
- "Peter Costello slams cult's Victorian bushfire retribution claims". The Australian. 11 February 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-10.
- "Pastor Danny Nalliah wins top gong at Ernie Awards". Herald Sun. 1 October 2009.
- Josephine Tovey, 10 August 2009, Sydney Morning Herald "Christian leaders plan anti-Islam conference". Retrieved on 18 August 2009.
- Are the QLD floods the result of Kevin Rudd speaking against Israel?, Catch the Fire Ministries Website, 8 January 2011
- , Rise Up Australia website, 28 June 2011
-  Why Multiculturalism will kill the West?? By Pr Daniel, 19 August 2011
- Catch the Fire Ministries website
- Interview with Danny Nalliah on PRODOS Worldwide podcast
- The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty Homepage
- The Becket Fund Australia Case Page For updates and resources related to the Catch the Fire Ministries Litigation
- Islamic Council of Victoria v Catch the Fire Ministries Inc (Final) 2004 VCAT 2510 (22 December 2004)* Submission from Catch The Fire Ministries To the Equal Opportunity Commission of Victoria in response to complaints made by the Islamic Council of Victoria (Note: This is an archived copy at the website of Liberals For Free Speech. The original version, posted on the website of Catch The Fire Ministry, does not seem to be currently available.)