22 Aug Controversial New Zealand pastor deported from Australia
A New Zealand pastor who allegedly disrupted Islamic worship at two Brisbane mosques has been deported from Australia. A source confirmed to Fairfax Media that Ipswich-based Pastor Logan Robertson – who is facing charges of being a public nuisance after allegedly disturbing worship at Kuraby Mosque and Darra Mosque two weeks ago – had been returned to New Zealand this week. Queensland Police alleged four men disrupted proceedings inside the Kuraby Mosque about 12.30pm on Wednesday, July 4, and the same men caused a disturbance at the Darra Mosque about midday on Thursday, July 5.
The Australian Border Force decided to cancel Mr Robertson’s visa and take Mr Robertson into immigration detention on Friday, July 6, following the alleged mosque invasions. Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said at the time that Mr Robertson had been “counselled” by ABF officials when he first arrived in Australia over the use of extreme rhetoric in his anti-Islam preaching. “My message is clear – if people come to this country they need to abide by the conditions of their visas,” he said.
“We have a wonderful tradition in our country of freedom of speech, but we’re not going to tolerate people going to a place of worship and harassing others.” Mr Robertson preached regularly at Pillar Baptist Church in Goodna, described as an “independent fundamental Baptist church”. Three days ago Mr Robertson’s YouTube channel uploaded a video titled ‘Why Islam is a stupid religion’, part of a sermon preached at a Phoenix, Arizona church.
The Baptist Church of New Zealand disavowed Mr Robertson in 2014, and Pillar Baptist is not affiliated with the Queensland Baptists or Australian Baptist Ministries. Verity Baptist Church in Sacramento, California, has been raising funds for Mr Robertson to fight the charges after a fundraising page was taken down for violating GoFundMe’s policies. It’s not clear how much has been raised by Verity Baptist. The original page had already raised more than $10,000 but GoFundMe refunded all donations when the page was taken down. Three other men were also charged over the alleged disruptions at Kuraby and Darra Mosques.
A 25-year-old Bellbird Park man, a 29-year-old Redbank man and a 28-year-old Sunnybank man were charged with two counts of public nuisance and one count of entering premises with intent and trespass. All four were expected to reappear in the Holland Park Magistrates Court on July 25.