Patterico's Pontifications


Updates On the Jones Case and the Suppression of Freedom of Speech in Dearborn, Michigan (Update: For Those of You Wondering What the Klan Thought of All of This… And the ACLU Intervenes)

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 12:36 pm

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.  Or by Twitter @AaronWorthing.]

Update: See the end when some nitwit asks, “Hey, what does the Klan think?”  And a more positive response from the local community.

Update (II): You can watch live at the courthouse, here.

Update (III): The ALCU files a brief. Go to the end to learn more.

The testimony has ended in the Jones case and we get two reports from inside the courtroom.  First, the blog post discusses the prosecutor’s case in general:

However, so far, much of the Dearborn Police Department’s case for denying the permit – as presented in testimony today – is based upon the size of expected counter-protests. Other than evidence that Jones and Sapp promoted their plans on online, the prosecution offered no evidence they wished to encourage a large turnout.

To be sure, Altar Road is not an ideal place to accommodate a mass gathering of any kind, and given the controversy surrounding Jones, he likely will attract a crowd. With the Islamic Friday services and Good Friday services at the nearby Christian Churches, that could be a recipe a public safety hazard caused by serious traffic tie-up.

If Dearborn had simply said, pick another date because this is a really bad day to have a protest there, they might have a point.

After all, as Dearborn Police Chief Ronald Haddad acknowledged from the witness box, the Westboro Baptist Church did receive a permit for a small, short protest at that same location late last year.

Unfortunately, the logistical challenges of allowing this protest, at this location, on Good Friday is really a small part of the case against Jones and Sapp.

Read the whole thing. It is very informative.  Likewise, we get a peak inside the whole trial, here:

Throughout the day, Jones said he’s coming to protest jihad and Sharia law and has no plans to burn Qurans or images of Muhammad.

“We are not criminals,” said Jones, who wore jeans and a black Harley Davison T-shirt to court. “All we want to do is exercise our First Amendment rights.”

Jones, 59, founder and president of Stand Up America Now!, acted as an 19th District Court trial today over the city’s decision to deny him a permit or set a “peace bond” to protest jihad and Sharia law on public land near the Islamic Center of America later this afternoon.

As a large contingent of police were outside, Jones rested his case after calling only two witnesses — a Texas pastor and Rabbi Nachum Shifren, a settler of the west bank, an educator in the los Angeles school district and an avid surfer who founded Jewish Surfers International.

“I do not intend to incite a riot,” Shifren said.

There are some specific lines that are worth pulling out:

Jones argued the Quran “promotes terrorist activities around the world.” Jones infamously conducted a burning of a Quran in March along with pastor Wayne Sapp, 42. The incident was blamed for an outbreak of violence in Afghanistan that led to several deaths.

So, um, you’re saying he was right?  Is that your final answer?

Jones and Sapp squared off against Dearborn Police Chief Ronald Haddad over Haddad’s denial of a permit based on intelligence information that Jones might burn a Quran later today. Haddad confirmed that Jones and his group never indicated they would burn a Quran.

“I have no evidence to back up my fears,” Haddad said, “but your behavior in the past has led me to that fear.”

So what?  He has a right to do it if he chooses to.

Haddad testified there is a potential for danger if Jones carries through with the protest.

He said he’s received information involving two individuals from the city’s southeast side who are being investigated for threats on Jones and promising violence at the protests. Haddad wouldn’t elaborate, but said during a break that the city has received another e-mailed threat about Jones’ plans.

Jesus, so we are going to reduce his freedom because someone emailed you a nasty note on your Blackberry?

Haddad said he feared Jones and his group would put the people of Dearborn in danger because Jones had shown a disregard for life in the past.

“He has shown a careless disregard for loss of life,” Haddad said. “He has shown a disregard for his own life.”

Right, Jones even had the complete lack of regard to say, “Give me liberty or give me death!”  Oh, wait, that wasn’t him…

And for those who are reading using Apple products as they track your every move, the text of that speech he is reenacting is here.

It is depressing that in two hundred years too many of us have gone from “Live Free or Die” to “oh no, we better not say that or they will kill us.”

One interesting wrinkle is that he is willing to wait until the trial is over before deciding whether to continue his protest:

Jones said today he had thought of the possibility of getting up and leaving if his jury trial is still going on at the time of his demonstration. But Jones instead said he will schedule the protest for next Friday if today’s proceeding stretches on.

“We’re going to continue with the protest,” Jones said this morning.

Which ironically gives the judge and a jury a positive incentive to just drag their feet.  Hopefully they will have more class than that.

And it is also worth noting that Dearborn, Michigan has had issues with freedom of speech and religion in the past.  For instance, here is a Muslim convert getting arrested at a Muslim festival for peacefully proselytizing:

And here are several missionaries being arrested for pamphleting outside the same festival:

Now admittedly I hate pamphleteers myself, but that is beside the point when the issue is freedom of expression.  Jihadwatch covers when the men were acquitted of charges of “disturbing the peace” (notice we are seeing that bogus concern again).  Look at the conduct in that video again.  Do those men look the least bit dangerous?  Indeed, was anyone disturbing the peace—either the Christians or the Muslims reacting to them?

And dickweed Mayor Jack O’Reilly appears in the acquittal story, too:

Even after the acquittals, Dearborn’s mayor, Jack O’Reilly, continued his ongoing and unprecedented personal attacks on the Christian evangelists, accusing them of being anti–Muslim bigots. O’Reilly’s continuous anti-Christian rhetoric was clearly an attempt to curry favor with Dearborn’s large Muslim population, which also explains the Police Department’s alarming mobilization to arrest the four Christians.

There have also been many different suits against them as this Thomas More Law Center Search of the word “Dearborn” suggests.  The story is frankly moving too fast to detangle all the threads right now, but it is clear that Dearborn has a freedom problem.  Which for all we know, might be why Pastor Jones is there today.

Update: In what has to be the dumbest commentary on Jones, Kyle Daly wonders, “Hey, what does the Klan think of Terry Jones?”  It turns out that they don’t like him.

Yeah, so let’s review.  Jones says that Islam inspires terrorism.  And that’s a bad thing in his book.  Then a terrorist organization (the KKK) says they don’t like Jones.  Also an organization that has historically been against freedom, is against Jones’ freedom.

And so now Daly thinks this is a reason to oppose Jones?

As the fight over Florida pastor Terry Jones’s crusade against Islam carries on in court, at least one barometer has surfaced that provides a sign of just how objectionable Jones is to people across the political spectrum. Earlier this week, Reddit users discovered a series of press releases from the Ku Klux Klan denouncing Florida pastor Terry Jones for his “ignorant,” “despicable” and “un-American” burning of the Koran. The discovery has gotten a good deal of attention around the Internet since it hit the web Monday night.

Besides, you idiot, maybe they are doing this to you…

It is admittedly sociologically interesting to wonder what they think of that sort of thing, but as a rule of thumb, you shouldn’t take your cues about what is acceptable conduct from the Klan.  Duh.

Meanwhile a more positive article states:

Muslims vow to confront Terry Jones rally with peace

The regularly scheduled Friday afternoon prayer took place at the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn today, as Muslims in this community await a rally by Pastor Terry Jones that some believe could smear their beliefs.

In the main hallway leading into the city’s largest mosque, people stopped to sign a laminated scroll of paper that those of all faiths were signing.

“We as caring neighbors in southeastern Michigan stand together in condemning the actions of those who spew hate and fear…” the heading on the scroll begins….

Well, you should start with Mayor O’Reilly, who apparently thinks that Muslims cannot withstand offense without lashing out.

Rami Faraj, 17, of Dearborn attended the afternoon prayer. “He’s preaching hate, we’re preaching peace,” he said. “He’s clearly doing this for show. Let’s not give him any attention.”

Which is the best way to handle it.  Jones says that Islam is dangerous.  So does Mayor O’Reilly.  Prove them wrong.

Update (III): The ACLU files a brief on Jones’ behalf. I can’t find a copy of it, but here’s a key passage from an article on it:

The ACLU’s brief argued that the government cannot suppress speech by making Jones pay a bond based on the cost of police services necessary for anticipated actions of others, calling it an “unconstitutional prior restraint of free speech.” The group also cites a 1992 Supreme Court ruling that said it’s unconstitutional to have a group bear the cost of police protection due to the content of their message.

The 1992 case they are referring to is almost certainly Forsyth v. Nationalist Movement, which I discussed here.

Former Macomb County Prosecutor Carl Marlinga agreed the procedure being used against Jones runs contrary to Supreme Court precedent.
“There appears to be no evidence, no allegation even that Rev. Jones has made a threat against a person or has made a threat against the property of another,” Marlinga said. “The Dearborn Police and Wayne County prosecutor are mixing apples and oranges.”
Marlinga said regardless of the outcome of today’s trial, Jones will have grounds for legal action. The city is better off if it loses in court today, because they “won’t have this mistake to be looking at,” Marlinga said.
“Even if you think someone will say something that will inflame a crowd, you cannot use the court process in advance to rule on whether or not a person can speak,” he said. “Constitutionally, you just can’t do it. You can’t say if you don’t put up money for a bond we’re not going to let you speak.”

Exactly. Let’s hope everyone starts to see reason, and soon.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

15 Responses to “Updates On the Jones Case and the Suppression of Freedom of Speech in Dearborn, Michigan (Update: For Those of You Wondering What the Klan Thought of All of This… And the ACLU Intervenes)”

  1. So, who wants to road-trip up to Dearborn, find a BBQ pit in a park or campsite, and torch a Islamic holy book to to piss off the officials that?

    Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

  2. Scott – There ought to me a few militias in the are who would be up for a pig roast or something.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  3. Yeah, but those militias always bring that cheap, s**ty domestic beer.

    I’d rather have some good imported (or micro-brew) beer while burning a holy book…

    Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

  4. Haddad testified there is a potential for danger if Jones carries through with the protest.

    He said he’s received information involving two individuals from the city’s southeast side who are being investigated for threats on Jones and promising violence at the protests. Haddad wouldn’t elaborate, but said during a break that the city has received another e-mailed threat about Jones’ plans.

    The appropriate law enforcement response if the threats are credible is to arrest the people making them for terrorist threatening. Because other people might commit crimes, the police wish to shut down Jones? Roight.

    I also want to know where Haddad gets off claiming that Jones has ever shown disregard for the life in the past. Does Jones have a record of OUIL (Michiganesse for DWI) or something which actually shows this? As far as I know Jones has no history anyone with his actions, unless perhaps we are talking about smoke inhalation from book fumes.

    max (2f2a28)

  5. Freedom of pseech is dangerous so let’s ban it


    DohBiden (15aa57)

  6. speech*

    BTW ACLU is responsible for getting a koran burner his job back…………….Wow they did something good.

    DohBiden (15aa57)

  7. Burning korans offends muslims.

    Silly me the islamocommies burning christians and other infidels offend me.

    DohBiden (15aa57)

  8. Ah…the smell of Qur’an smoked bacon in the morning…

    HIjack (10102d)

  9. 1) Are you all aware of what geographical region of the world the surname Haddad is associated with?
    (But not with a specific religion. There are Christians with that name, and my stepuncle had Sefardic in laws with that name.)

    2) As for Rabbi Shifren, this campaign website might be of interest. The context of his living in a West Bank settlement is that he lived in a place called Kfar Tapuach, while studying at a yeshivah, during a time period of which Wikipedia says this:
    Although the majority of residents are not active supporters of Kahanism, Kfar Tapuach is often associated with Kahanism since Rabbi Binyamin Kahane and his family moved there in 1990 with other core members of Kach and Kahane Chai organizations. Many of them still reside in the settlement and are active in public life and administration of the town.

    kishnevi (07cf78)

  10. Slight tangent;

    One of the sillier aspects of the on-again-off-again flag burning ruction is that the proper way to dispose of a flag that is being retired as too worn to display is by burning. Does anyone know what the accepted way of disposing of a too-worn-to-be-used Koran might be?

    And, no, I won’t believe anything involving pig fat.

    C. S. P. Schofield (8b1968)

  11. and verily as morning’s light shone on our prophet’s Holy City of Dearborn the amazed citizens saw the stone had been rolled away in the night and Terry, Terry was free!

    Go forth my friends and share the Good News!

    happyfeet (760ba3)

  12. Comment by C. S. P. Schofield — 4/23/2011 @ 5:55 am

    Don’t know the actual answer, but I suspect it would be, like many Islamic practices, similar to the Jewish treatment of holy books and objects (that is, anything which bears one of the seven names of God that can not be erased. or which is deemed worthy of extra reverence): kept in a special holding room or building (originally called a genizah), and eventually buried in a Jewish cemetery, in almost the same manner as a deceased person would be buried there.

    kishnevi (a6ffde)

  13. Greetings. I was just wandering where the Minute men are that Protested against Illegal imagrints! in 2008! they called for GWB head! And also now It is way worse! GWB nay been white, But the same even worse and more is conibg across The border! It has been more laxed, And now there are more Latinoes in American than African American which is american! Where are the Minute men now that they are now 3Rd Race in America! Scared to speak out on BHO Halve white man! The Black American is American! But some only protest against white men, At the same time a mix man is making it harder! By making the 3rd in line and a lot is illegal! Hows thar right! Instead of healping the black American, Forget that fraze We all Americans Black white We are Americans. Illegals are taking over! Will we Americabs sit And watch Just cause 1 Man says its OK! If You want to fall Go right Ahead Sit and blame White GWB Ass BHA does hys deed! not for the Black man or the White man Or as for us Americans!

    Chrye (927957)

  14. i spelled some wrong words, Typed fast, The American People Black,white, Hispanic, and all others we are Americans! When we allow millions of iilegals in the Usa, and now there are more South of the Bordor than African Americans< The somthing whong! There are 10,000 watchers of our Border But 10,000,000 wanting in Yet nothing Done! Why I don't KNow why some say for votes, It is now far worse than at Grorge W Bush time! Where is the Black Leaders standing up now like they stood up then! Against Bush the same even Worse is now!Just because Obama is Halve don't mean he for either side! Which is American! Be a true American which see's know color But tje Truth Don't be blinded by Race! We are Amercans!

    Chrye (927957)

  15. ^ Democrat moby.

    Dustin (b7410e)

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