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Open Right

A Question of Boundaries: A Close Encounter with Religious Vilification Laws

Session Info:

Right from its inception, Victoria’s Racial and Religious Tolerance Act (2001) has been covered in controversy. Debate continues as to whether it is a ‘good Act’ or a ‘bad Act’.

Victoria’s most famous case proved a nightmare. The Islamic Council of Victoria v. Catch the Fire Ministries Inc. tested the legislation. The case was supposed to be over in three days but dragged on for five years.

This is a lively, behind-the-scenes account of what happened, how the two sides of ‘the religious Other’ faced each other over the barricades and how I came to write my book The Jihad Seminar.


  • How it all began
  • Freedom of Speech v Freedom from Vilification
  • Colourful characters and colourful moments
  • Allies and benefactors
  • Lessons learnt
  • ‘The Story of the Three Rings’

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