Sect members thrown off doomed boat

Asylum-seekers boarding a doomed illegal boat voyage to Christmas Island believed they were being jinxed by members of a religious sect and kicked them off the vessel, a court was told today.

The committal proceedings against one of the accused people smugglers heard the asylum-seekers, who were Muslims, also tore out pages of their holy book - The Koran - and threw them into the sea in the hope the gesture would calm the waters.

A member of the Sabians, regarded as unlucky by the Muslims, told the hearing in Brisbane he was ordered off the boat after suggesting when he boarded the vessel in Indonesia that it was unsafe and would never make it to Australia.

Bashar Lafta Zabari, 30, told Brisbane's Magistrates Court the Muslims labelled Sabians "dirty" for the boat.

Mr Zabari said they claimed the boat would never make it with them on board.