Anti-Muslim preacher ‘prepares’ Australian politician for prime ministership

Peter CostelloThe leader of a Christian group that advocates the destruction of mosques, casinos and bottle shops has met Peter Costello to “prophetically prepare” the Treasurer for the prime ministership.

Mr Costello and John Howard held private meetings with Catch the Fire leader Danny Nalliah in August, the same month the Prime Minister met with the leaders of the Exclusive Brethren, which prohibits voting and modern technology.

Mr Nalliah said in a letter to Christians that the Lord had told him to spend “personal time” with Mr Howard and to prepare Mr Costello as the “future prime minister”.

The Catch The Fire ministries sparked a row with the Islamic Council of Victoria 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 that Muslims derived money from drug dealing.

The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal found Mr Nalliah and colleague Daniel Scot had vilified Islam under the state’s 2002 Racial and Religious Tolerance Act. However, the Victorian Court of Appeal quashed the order, ruling the VCAT had not used the proper legal test for incitement and so sent it back for a review, where the dispute was mediated.

Mr Costello wrote a letter of support to Mr Nalliah during his legal battle.

The Australian, 8 October 2007