Some have described it as ‘police enforcement of Sharia law’
DEARBORN MI (ANS) -- In what some have described as “police enforcement of Sharia law” at the annual Dearborn Arab International Festival, last Friday night (June 18, 2010), Dearborn Police Officers arrested four Christian missionaries and “illegally confiscated their video cameras which were recording the events surrounding their arrests.”
A scene at a previous Arab International Festival in Dearborn
Dearborn, Michigan, is one of the most densely populated Arab, Muslim communities in the US. It is estimated that out of 98,000 inhabitants, nearly 30,000 are Arab Muslims.
Now comes the news that The Thomas More Law Center, a public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, today announced it is representing all of the Christian missionaries.
Arrested on charges of Breach of the Peace are:
Negeen Mayel, Dr. Nabeel Qureshi, Paul Rezkalla, and David Wood. Mayel, an eighteen year old female, whose parents emigrated from Afghanistan and a recent convert from Islam to Christianity, was also charged with failure to obey a police officer’s orders. She was approximately 100 feet away and videotaping a discussion with some Muslims when her camera was seized.
Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Law Center, commented, “These Christian missionaries were exercising their Constitutional rights to free speech and the free exercise of religion, but apparently the Constitution carries little weight in Dearborn, where the Muslim population seems to dominate the political apparatus.
“It’s apparent that these arrests were a retaliatory action over the embarrassing video of the strong arm tactics used last year by Festival Security Guards. This time, the first thing police officers did before making the arrests was to confiscate the video cameras in order to prevent a recording of what was actually happening.”
Thompson continued, “Contrary to the comments made by Police Chief Ron Haddad, our Constitution does not allow police to ban the right of free speech just because there are some hecklers. Not all police officers approve of the way their department treated these Christians.”
Robert Muise, Senior Trial Counsel with the Law Center in charge of the case, yesterday faxed a letter to Chief Haddad demanding that the three video cameras and tapes illegally seized from the missionaries be immediately returned.
The Law Center is also representing Pastor George Saeig who was prohibited by the Festival and Police authorities from distributing religious material at last year’s festival.
That case is ongoing. Sudan-born Saeig, is the founder and director of Arabic Christian Perspective (ACP) and Ministry to Muslims (http://ministrytomuslims.net), both of which are based in Anaheim, California.
The Thomas More Law Center defends and promotes America’s Christian heritage and moral values, including the religious freedom of Christians, time-honored family values, and the sanctity of human life. It supports a strong national defense and an independent and sovereign United States of America. The Law Center accomplishes its mission through litigation, education, and related activities.
It does not charge for its services. The Law Center is supported by contributions from individuals, corporations and foundations, and is recognized by the IRS as a section 501(c)(3) organization. You may reach the Thomas More Law Center at (734) 827-2001 or visit our website at www.thomasmore.org where you can also view videos of those arrested talking about what occurred to them.
However, not all who work with Muslims in America are pleased with what took place in Dearborn and the style of the evangelism of the group. One person, who I have not named, wrote to ANS saying, “I belong to a Christian group that reaches out to Muslims, but our attempt is to have a dialog with them and to exchange information, i.e. learn about the Koran, what Muslims think of Christians, etc., and what we think of Muslims rather than attempt to convert them outright. The Christians at this affair would have done better had they had that objective in mind.”
By Dan Wooding
Founder of ASSIST Ministries
Dan Wooding, 69, is an award winning British journalist now living in Southern California with his wife Norma, to whom he has been married for 46 years. He is the founder and international director of ASSIST (Aid to Special Saints in Strategic Times) and the ASSIST News Service (ANS). He was, for ten years, a commentator, on the UPI Radio Network in Washington, DC., and now hosts the weekly “Front Page Radio” show on KWVE in Southern California and which is also carried on the Calvary Radio Network throughout the United States. The program is also aired in Great Britain on Calvary Chapel Radio UK. Wooding also a regular contributor to The Weekend Stand on the Crawford Broadcasting Network, and a host for His Channel Live, which is carried via the Internet to some 192 countries. He is the author of some 43 books. Two of the latest include his autobiography, “From Tabloid to Truth”, which is published by Theatron Books. To order a copy, press this link. Wooding, who was born in Nigeria of British missionary parents, has also recently released his first novel “Red Dagger” which is available here