A new 'politically-incorrect' political party, helmed by a controversial Sri Lankan-born evangelist, aims to field 64 candidates in the next election. But who is Danny Nalliah?
At the launch of Australia's newest political party this week, Danny Nalliah said he is 'determined to be politically incorrect', with pro-Christian policy platforms to limit Muslim immigration and curb multicultural policies.
"Tolerance has gone too much and the Rise Up Australia (RUA) party is committed to keeping Australia Australian,” he said.
But what is known about the 48-year-old Sri Lankan-born evangelist with strong links with climate change sceptic Christopher Monckton?
WHO IS DANNY NALLIAH?
Reverend Daniel Nalliah, or Pastor as he sometimes goes by, is the National President of the Rise Up Australia Party.
In his youth he claimed to have been a drummer in night clubs around Sri Lanka before the lead guitarist in his band turned to God, which encouraged him to do the same.
He says that he worked with an underground Christian church in Saudi Arabia, a country that does not does not permit Christianity, and that his young family lived and preached near Mecca which he documented in an autobiography titled “Worship Under the Sword”.
“While in Saudi Arabia, following an encounter he had with Jesus on 21st July 1997 (from 3.40am to 6.00am), in obedience to this, he decided to move to Australia and set up a base known as Catch The Fire Ministries Inc” his website biography reads.
He claims to have been instrumental in the release of Christians arrested there in 1998.
“His work influenced the highest levels in the US Government, when Bill Clinton personally requested the release of all prisoners.”
Rev Nalliah, together with another pastor Daniel Scott, was at the centre of a racial vilification case in which the Islamic Council of Victoria alleged that Muslims were vilified in a seminar, newsletter and website article issued by the Catch the Fire Ministries.
The case was overturned in the Supreme court in 2007.
On his website, Rev Nalliah refers to occasions where God has spoken to him directly or through dreams.
One article caused outrage when he linked the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires to the liberalisation of abortion laws in Victoria.
“In my dream I saw fire everywhere with flames burning very high and uncontrollably. With this I woke up from my dream with the interpretation as the following words came to me in a flash from the Spirit of God.
“That His conditional protection has been removed from the nation of Australia, in particular Victoria, for approving the slaughter of innocent children in the womb.”
Mr Nalliah, a former Family First candidate, declared Prime Minister Julia Gillard a heathen "living in sin" and former Greens leader Bob Brown an "openly practising homosexual" and said that he felt sick to the stomach watching them shake hands.
WHAT IS HIS CONNECTION TO LORD MONCKTON?
Prominent climate sceptic Lord Monckton was present at the Rise Up Australia launch yesterday, throwing his weight behind Mr Nalliah's election campaign.
“It is not for me as a Brit to endorse any Australian political party, ... but I'm going to anyway,” Lord Monckton said.
Lord Monckton defended Mr Nalliah when asked about his anti-abortion views.
“Go and do your job and stop trying to pick nits when somebody like Pastor Danny, whose intentions are manifestly kindly, is thought to have something that you can have some fun with. Come on, grow up,” he said.
The party's views converge with those of Lord Monckton on climate change.
“To ensure that Australia's natural resources (forestry, minerals, fisheries, agriculture, water, biodiversity etc) and unique environments are managed wisely in accord with rational science and not by ideological environmental mantras,” part five of Rise Up's policy statement reads.
The other planks the party outlines in its manifesto are social conservative and free-market ideologies such as the affirmation of the male-female family unit and the dismissal of socialism in favour of enterprise.