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In March 2002, three Muslim converts attend an Evangelical Christian seminar promoted to reveal the inner secrets of ‘Holy Jihad’.
Shocked by what they hear, they convince the Islamic Council of Victoria to lodge a complaint against Catch the Fire Ministries, under a controversial new hate speech law. A case expected to be over in three days turns into an unholy war of words lasting five long years – freedom of speech versus freedom from vilification is under the spotlight.
Award-winning author Hanifa Deen follows this case from beginning to end, witnessing the religious impulse at its best – and worst. Her very human account focuses on the personalities and motives of the two religious tribes – Muslims and born-again Christians. Real people – on both sides of the courtroom – express their pain and their innocence at a hearing that turns into a nightmare.
Through Deen’s eyes we discover a wider meaning to this conflict, as we come to realise that religious vilification is only one strand of a more complex story with hidden agendas.
Shortlisted – 2008 Human Rights Medals and Awards
Praise for The Jihad Seminar:
A compelling discussion of difficult religious and sociological issues.VIRGINIA SHIRVINGTON, LAW SOCIETY JOURNAL
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