Patterico's Pontifications


Christians Arrested at Dearborn Arab Festival

Filed under: Civil Liberties,Religion — DRJ @ 6:01 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Four Christians were reportedly jailed last Friday at a Dearborn, MI, Arab festival:

“Police in the heavily Arab Detroit suburb of Dearborn say they arrested four Christian missionaries for disorderly conduct at an Arab cultural festival.”

The link above goes to Hot Air where the post states the Christians were handing out literature. The BlogProf says he has corresponded with one of the arrested men who also attended last year’s Dearborn festival, and he apparently claims they weren’t even doing that:

I received this note from David Wood of Answering Muslims:

Muslims threatened to kill Nabeel and me if we showed up again at Arab Fest in Dearborn, so we went there yesterday. They didn’t kill us. Instead, police arrested us and we got to spend a night in jail (along with two others who were video recording us). Interesting city. I feel a documentary coming on. Title: “Welcome to Dearborn.”

Is it now illegal to preach Christianity in Dearborn, Michigan? Have Sharia rules been imposed there?

David added in a later note:

Yes, we’re banned from handing out literature, but we didn’t do that. We followed the rules, and still got thrown in jail. They flat out lied about us. We can prove they lied with the video footage (just like last year), but the police took our cameras and won’t let us have the footage. There’s major oppression of anyone who criticizes Islam.”

I’d like to hear more from the police because this sounds like the arrests were made based on trumped-up disorderly conduct charges. If so, a lawsuit and court order might convince the Dearborn police not to pick the easy way out. Frankly, though, I hope there is a better explanation because it shouldn’t be this easy to get Americans to put the Sharia way over U.S. Constitutional law.


57 Responses to “Christians Arrested at Dearborn Arab Festival”

  1. I hope that — in response — a hundred Christians are on hand to pass out literature at the next Dearborn Arab Festival.

    aunursa (484069)

  2. What is it with police taking cameras? I can understand if the recording itself was part of a crime, but what is the reason in this situation? Sounds to me like a “Civil Rights Violation”.

    RIGHT HERE IN AMERICA by Larry Norman

    And we are passing out leaflets and underground pamphlets
    From Buffalo to Monterey
    And we’re talkin’ ’bout Jesus and all of a sudden
    We’re arrested and taken away.

    And to think it might happen right here in America,
    I see you shaking your heads and I hear you saying
    It just can’t be true.
    But it’s happened to me right here in America,
    Wait ’til it happens to you.

    MD in Philly (5a98ff)

  3. Greetings:

    In a reverse psychology kind of way, this is emblematic of how to attack Islam, and I don’t mean Islamism, radical Islam or any other of our current post-modern constructs. Where Islam is most vulnerable is in its scriptures, the koran, haddiths and suras. When those little tidbits of Islam, like Mohammed’s sex with his 9 year old bride come to the fore, people may just say to themselves, “Hmmm, are you sure that’s a religion?” That’s why muslims are so dead set against being prostelitized. When they lose control of the “message” that thin veneer of religion begins to wear through and the underlying political ideology becomes apparent. And that ideology is what must be attacked and, if not destroyed, be driven into worldwide disrepute.

    11B40 (21c852)

  4. This is how it works, isn’t it? They just take over a suburb of a large American city. All the good progressive multi-cultis have been programmed to say, “Well, they’re the majority there and in the interest of promoting harmony we should let them observe their customs.” Then they start to take over other suburbs and pretty soon Detroit is London or Amsterdam or Brussels, and there is not a damn thing anyone can do about it.

    Annursa, I agree wholeheartedly with you. Let’s face it, though: the last two or three generations of Americans have been stuffed so full of multicultural third-worldsim that there is virtually no chance you can find 100 Christians who would bother to fight this. The ones that would fight probably don’t give a rat’s ass about Detroit and figure (maybe rightly so) that it’s a lost cause anyway.

    JVW (2d309e)

  5. Then they start to take over other suburbs and pretty soon Detroit is London or Amsterdam or Brussels

    Yes… heaven forbid that the economic cesspool known as Detroit should ever become half as thriving as London.

    Mike (da9a79)

  6. Any word on how Dearborn police feel about Hare Krishnas?

    elissa (4fe1f3)

  7. Mike (7:28 pm): A person could easily make the argument that the adoption of a repressive set of laws and customs is a small price to pay for economic progress, but that person isn’t going to be me. Besides, I assume that you don’t really see a link between London’s traditional place as a center of world finance and it’s toleration of the city’s Islamist faction.

    JVW (2d309e)

  8. I would be willing to put a $100 dollars towards the expense of busing an inner city Detroit Baptist congregation to go witness at the next event.

    BradnSA (24ba37)

  9. I suggest a gay pride parade right in the middle of the city. Then lets talk about tolerance.

    Susanna (a30985)

  10. I spent many summer days in Dearborn when I was a teenager. My step father was in to Classic cars. So we’d be there for several days for the classic car meet that happened each year displaying his cars at Greenfield Village.

    I’ll miss that place after the Muslims rampage through it. “History” is what’s in the Qur’an. Anything else is to be destroyed, wiped out, and expunged from history.


    JD (9ac83d)

  11. if i could figure out how to get there ($$ issues) i’d be there, even though i’m agnostic.

    i can still hand out flyers, such as “Top Ten Problems with Islam:
    1. the whole child molestation thing.
    2. etc.

    i want to see the Dearborn PD suppress my First Amendment rights.

    as a side bar, what are the Michigan laws on concealed or open carry? 🙂

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  12. Red, MI is a shall issue state with a high level of reciprocity. What state issued your permit?

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  13. Actually, MI will accept a current concealed carry permit from any US State.

    WTF is MI putting TX to shame here for?

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  14. i’d have to take a class for Utah or something, since the PRC doesn’t believe in such things.

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  15. I thought you were a vet. Just send your DD214 to Florida and get a non resident permit. Not that this does you a lick of good in California.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  16. well, hell. that’s easy.

    something to do this week.

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  17. Comment by redc1c4 — 6/24/2010 @ 12:54 am

    You’ll need more than just a DD214. First go to and ask for an application. They’ll send you some forms to fill out for the background check, plus some fingerprint cards. You’ll have to return those, plus your DD214 (which waives the training requirement) and some “passport” sized photos, and money. By FL law, they must issue or deny within 90 days of reciept of your completed application.

    AD - RtR/OS! (6f143b)

  18. Contact me, I sell CCTV equipment and have tiny hard to detect cameras that can record sound and video for approx 2-4 hours at a time. The police would not even know what they were.

    Greg (70b12b)

  19. Well said, AD. I simply meant you don’t need a class. You can easily (And in many cases, more affordably) get a concealed permit that is valid in many states by following your instructions.

    If a veteran was well trained enough to defend his country, he’s well trained enough to defend himself.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  20. There was an incident many years ago in San Diego where the police confiscated a video camera from an onlooker to a Police beating. The camera vanished while in custody and was never returned, despite the Chief of Police himself publicly urging the camera be found and returned. A shameful episode.

    Why do they do it? It’s the Rodney King syndrome. Police are paranoid about cameras (and evidence) not in their control.

    What’s truly frightening is the effort in some states to formally legalize such unethical tactics with the power of criminal sanctions.

    Brad (2cebab)

  21. The Christians were in the news a week or two ago when their permit to proselytize was shot down by a judge. (they were allowed to proselytize in a public space abutting the fair, but not in the fair itself)

    So that’s the context here: they were told by a judge they couldn’t proselytize in the fair, and they went ahead and did it.

    jpe (55dab0)

  22. three states have no made it illegal to film the police. pretty darn scary.

    ruby (9a12f9)

  23. I see per the post that they weren’t leafleting. So the question is whether going up to Muslims and asking them to convert (or whatever they were doing) is against the festival rules. It wouldn’t surprise me a bit if there were a catchall “don’t be a jerk” rule, and shoving cameras in random strangers’ faces and proselytizing seems to me to fit squarely w/in that rule.

    (note also that, per the 6th circuit, even though the festival took place on public property, it isn’t a public forum for first amendment purposes. It’s like a short-term lease of the property, converting public into private property, and the festival organizers can set their own rules (“don’t be a jerk” would be a fine and wholly expected rule. If I were organizing a fair, I’d certainly set that rule to be able to kick out jagoffs if necessary)

    jpe (55dab0)

  24. “They just take over a suburb of a large American city.”


    ‘take over’? And who is ‘they’?

    Typical behavior of both the right and the left to take one incident and blow it out of proportion to advance their view, even before any evidence is in.

    Do we always take the lawbreaker’s side? I thought conservatives were alw and order folks. But it’s much more convenient to take them at their word so it supports a ridiculous ‘sharia law’ conspiracy that doesn’t even exist.

    Next week they get their hands cut off.

    JEA (dffa7e)

  25. Watch the video. According to what was provided, they DID hand out at least a small amount of literature. You can see them giving a couple of people copies of the Gospel of John. But they did it OUTSIDE of the fair.

    Also, the videographer was not “shoving cameras in random strangers faces”. He was a significant distance from the pamphleteers. It looks like he was at least 25 or 20 feet away.

    There are some details I’d like to see clarified. According to the closing minutes of the video (the one posted at Powerline, anyway), they were talked to and released. But according to another interview (the “pushback” one in Allahpundit’s update) they were arrested and held overnight. I’m hoping the Detroit papers will have more careful details.

    Gesundheit (cfa313)

  26. OK, the Freep did have a tiny article about it here:

    It confirms that they were actually arrested and jailed and released on bail. No info at all on where they were standing, what they did or said, etc.

    The shouting that the Arab respondent points to in the second HotAir video seems to be in response to Christians already being led away by the cops, something that would certainly tend to make some bystanders angry. There’s no evidence yet that these people were arrested for being aggressive or offensive – unless you count handing out a pamphlet to those who will take one as offensive.

    Gesundheit (cfa313)

  27. The release from the Thomas More Center says they were 100 feet from the festival. Since the 6th Circuit said that people violating festival rules had to be at least 5 blocks from the festival, they were well w/in the perimeter set by the court and subject to the festival rules.

    jpe (742b63)

  28. So much for the 1st Amendment.

    JD (23a165)

  29. jpe, thanks for looking up details.

    Assuming what you said about the Thomas More Center is true, it sounds like instead of trying to appeal the judges ruling as unreasonable (if possible), they went ahead with what they thought was a reasonable accomodation/civil protest.

    Assuming they violated the judges order, I guess they will suffer a fine, etc.

    But has anyone ever heard of a 5 block perimeter?

    MD in Philly (5a98ff)

  30. But has anyone ever heard of a 5 block perimeter?

    Democrat National Convention, perhaps? lol

    JD (23a165)

  31. What JD said. It seems free speech zones – sadly – are becoming more and more common.

    jpe (742b63)

  32. The Dearborn police chief is a Muslim BTW.

    Patricia (160852)

  33. Comment by Patricia-

    Thank you for that info.

    31.What JD said. It seems free speech zones – sadly – are becoming more and more common.
    Comment by jpe

    Perhaps it is more appropriately described as a “speech free zone”.

    It appears this may raise the uncomfortable question on whether the practice of Islam is logically inconsistent with American liberties, and if so, what is to be done about it.

    Many have spoken that freedom of speech allows mocking and derision of Muslims and their beliefs. Does it also allow for presentation of alternate religious views?

    Does the right to practice one’s religion according to one’s conscience include the “right” to not have to be exposed to another’s speech in a public place? I think both the law and common courtesy allow for someone to say, “No, thank you” and keep walking without further “harrassment”, but to make it illegal to present a differing view in public is antithetical to American law and culture.

    MD in Philly (5a98ff)

  34. The Dearborn police chief is a Muslim BTW.

    Now that does explain a lot. Of course muslims in Dearbornistan put one of their own in charge of the police. And now evidence has magically disappeared.

    Creeping sharia indeed.

    iconoclast (bbd5ee)

  35. “The Christians were in the news a week or two ago when their permit to proselytize was shot down by a judge.”

    Ever see Muslims walking around carrying signs that say ‘Behead those who insult Islam’?

    I have.

    Betcha a million dollars THEY aren’t required to get permits before they speak their peace in Michigan or anywhere else.

    Michigan’s state constitution says…

    “Every person may freely speak, write, express and publish his views on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of such right; and no law shall be enacted to restrain or abridge the liberty of speech or of the press.”

    Obviously, the local authorities are in violation of the state constitution if they’re arresting people just for speaking their peace on public lands.

    If the Arabs want to have an Arab festival and tell people what they can say and can’t say…let them do it on private property. No way should we allow private groups to appropriate public land and then set their own rules that are in direct opposition to state laws.

    “(note also that, per the 6th circuit, even though the festival took place on public property, it isn’t a public forum for first amendment purposes.”

    I couldn’t care less what the 6th Circuit has to say. This is none of their business, and it has nothing to do with the 1st Amendment (which the feds never have followed, and never will, anyway). The 1st Amendement puts a limit on the powers of Congress…only, and what the state constitution says is what applies here.

    The court has no jurisdiction and no legitimate power to tell people what they can say or where they can say it in this case.

    Dave Surls (24953f)

  36. I guess the First Amendment protects nuts protesting at a soldier’s funeral, but Christians at a Muslim festival, not so much.

    rochf (ae9c58)

  37. This case or a case like it is going to go to the Supreme Court because “time, place, and manner” limits on 1st Amendment speech are in conflict with Free Exercise rights.

    shipwreckedcrew (436eab)

  38. I guess the First Amendment protects nuts protesting at a soldier’s funeral, but Christians at a Muslim festival, not so much.

    Exactly. Just as Comedy Channel will self-censor regarding islam but somehow find the courage to release parodies of Christianity. Real profile in courage there.

    iconoclast (c91a7c)

  39. This was a street fair, meaning that the organization (which was not a religious organization by the way) LEASED the streets from the city for the event. Therefore they were not really “public” during that time. These people could go there right now and just speechify about their imaginary friend all they want. I feel sorry for anybody who is brainwashed enough to think they have to convert the entire world to their religion, Christian or Muslim. Six of one half dozen of another. However in this case the festival goers didn’t do anything, it’s the Christians who were all up in everyone’s grill.

    Katie (fcc481)

  40. Katie – If they were outside the event on public property, why is that a problem?

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  41. Is this the threat in which we Christians victimize ourselves and mope? Count me in.

    boo-sox (d5d81e)

  42. boo-sox is up for censorship! Anybody else? Show of hands.

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  43. “This was a street fair, meaning that the organization (which was not a religious organization by the way) LEASED the streets from the city”


    So if the Nazis lease land from a city government they can ignore the law, set their own rules, and start setting up death camps for Jews?

    Or does that only apply to an Arab organization that wants to suspend the Michigan law regarding free speech?

    Dave Surls (24953f)

  44. Judge not according to the appearance,but judge righteous judgement.Dont believe all you have heard about this.If you werent there you dont know what really happened.

    Mike Barnett (0e498f)

  45. Were you there? If so, please share what you know.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  46. If I had my druthers, every news cast would be subject to cross examination under oath. In fact, I would be willing to even pay for a news service that did that.

    FWIW, I heard a blurb on a “Christian” radio station earlier today that some other reportedly Christian group (? an interfaith group?) in the area was upset about the folks who were arrested, saying that they had been obnoxious and up in people’s faces, deserved to be arrested, and gave Christians a bad name.

    Well, that’s certainly not what the video showed, so… somebody has a disinformation campaign afoot.

    I second DRJ’s question to Mike Barnett. We weren’t there, but we saw a video.

    MD in Philly (5a98ff)

  47. 36.I guess the First Amendment protects nuts protesting at a soldier’s funeral, but Christians at a Muslim festival, not so much.

    They were protected to about the same degree, actually. Phelps had to be, IIRC, about the same distance from the funeral as the proselytizers had to be from the festival.

    jpe (e31238)

  48. There used to be a blog, The Conservababes from New Fallujah, that posted from the Detroit area. I remember one of the babes got married and moved to Arizona. Not sure the blog is active anymore.

    PCD (1d8b6d)

  49. I was at the festival.By the way,it was an Arab festival,not a Muslim festival.There were no interfaith groups there as far as I know,just Christian groups with different approaches to evangelism.The “Christians” who were arrested deserved it because they were purposely stirring up random Muslims and trying to video it.The police simply did what any good police dept.should-they upheld the law-and not “Sharia law”It was not a question of where they were,but how they were acting.

    Mike Barnett (0e498f)

  50. Barnett _ Sort of like what a US media organization (ABC, I believe I recall) that sent people in Muslim dress to NASCAR events to try and provoke racist reaction from NASCAR fans?

    Seems that the NASCAR people were perfect ladies and gentleman and the reporters were not arrested. Here the people being goaded/tested reacted poorly and yet it is the person serving in the medias role from the last example who is arrested. Interesting.

    Have Blue (854a6e)

  51. “The “Christians” who were arrested deserved it because they were purposely stirring up random Muslims and trying to video it.”

    MB – Don’t you mean random “Arabs” since as you pointed out this was an Arabs festival, not a Muslim festival? Again, were the christians outside the event or inside?

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  52. maybe chief haddad
    first clue that something rotten
    dearborn michigan

    ColonelHaiku (181d1a)

  53. “I guess the First Amendment protects nuts protesting at a soldier’s funeral”

    That’s what an appeals courts said in Snyder v. Phelps…

    “On October 31, 2007, WBC, Fred Phelps and his two daughters, Shirley Phelps-Roper and Rebecca Phelps-Davis, were found liable for invasion of privacy and intentional infliction of emotional distress. A federal jury awarded Snyder $2.9 million in compensatory damages, then later added a decision to award $6 million in punitive damages for invasion of privacy and an additional $2 million for causing emotional distress (a total of $10,900,000). The organization said it would not change its message because of the verdict.[79][80][81]”

    “WBC said that it was thankful for the verdict,[82] but also unsuccessfully sought a mistrial (based on alleged prejudicial statements made by the judge and violations of the gag order by the plaintiff’s attorney)[83] and also filed an appeal.”

    “On February 4, 2008, U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett upheld the ruling, but reduced the punitive damages from $8 million to $2.1 million, bringing the total judgment to $5 million.[84] Liens were ordered on church buildings and Phelps’ law office in an attempt to ensure that the damages would be paid.[85]”

    “On September 24, 2009, a federal appeals court ruled in favor of Westboro Baptist Church. It found their picket near the funeral is protected speech and did not violate the privacy of the service member’s family, reversing the lower court’s award.[86] On March 30, 2010, the appeals court ordered Albert Snyder to pay the church’s court costs of over $16,000, a move that Snyder’s attorney’s referred to as “adding insult to injury”.”–wiki

    The case is slated to go before the SCOTUS in October.

    Dave Surls (5c81b6)

  54. I have to ask this… but are Christians there SEE if they get arrested or are they there to actually save souls???? To save souls should be in the forefront of the purpose, not provoke an arrest or controversy so you can sensationalize the whole thing…. I am a Christian, but I wonder sometimes about people’s true motives.

    What the Heck (c787ec)

  55. Barnett, have you addressed the video in question or are you just repeating someone’s talking points?

    SPQR (26be8b)

  56. my dentist installed a veneer on my front tooth and it looks better than ever”,-

    Isobel Shaw (c973f4)

  57. If this was proven to be a peaceful conversation then I guess Dearborn is not a good place for Christians.

    This would not happen in TEXAS!

    williams (746150)

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