Anti-Arab Discrimination Carries the Day in Dearborn
This is not the kind of story to give you confidence that this will be a good week.
The other day on the Craig Fahle Show on WDET, one of the few remaining programs even remotely worth listening to on Detroit’s WDET anymore (in my humble opinion), the host discussed the recent announcement that this year’s Arab International Festival in Dearborn will be cancelled. The Arab American Festival is no different than any of the other ethnic festivals that have been a major attraction in Southeastern Michigan during the summer months for decades. There is food, there are rides, and there is fun. The official reason for the cancellation is that since the festival is being moved to a new location they want to make sure everything is set up properly for it to proceed smoothly and there simply isn’t enough time between now and June 14 to do that.
The real story, of course, is just how effective targeted ignorance and racism can be, especially when wielded as a weapon of choice by a determined and highly focused crew of very ignorant people.
From Monday’s Advisor and Source Newspapers:
Next month’s event was scheduled to be targeted by anti-Islam demonstrators, including pastor Terry Jones of Gainesville, Fla., who has made several trips to Dearborn over the past few years; and the Bible Believers group, which had its lawsuit over police conduct at last year’s event dismissed by U.S. District Judge Patrick Duggan on Tuesday.
The Bible Believers’ attorney, Robert Muise of the American Freedom Law Center, said he would file an appeal with the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. If he loses there, he plans to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The Bible Believers sued Wayne County, Sheriff Benny Napoleon and two deputy chiefs, Mike Jaafar and Dennis Richardson, because they said they weren’t protected when being pelted with objects by angry festival-goers. The video was posted on YouTube.
The group said their First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and freedom of religion were violated, and they were not granted equal protection under the 14th Amendment. Duggan ruled that public safety trumped their claim.
“Despite the broad protection afforded to First Amendment freedoms, protection is not absolute,” Duggan wrote in the ruling.
Duggan also denied the group’s request to prohibit the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office from restricting the Bible Believers from displaying banners and signs on public sidewalks outside this year’s festival.
The Bible Believers made numerous claims at last year’s event, including that the Prophet Mohammed is a “liar, false prophet, murderer (and) child molesting pervert,” according to Duggan’s ruling.
One Bible Believer carried a pig’s head on a pike. Muslims do not eat pork.
Since the festival is (or would have been) hosted by what some consider to be the ‘wrong’ ethnic group, there were plans by certain groups that misleadingly refer to themselves as Christians to stage protests at the festival because, well, Arabs are more likely to be Muslims instead of Christians and that simply is not acceptable to these half-wits who have misplaced some rather important pages in their bibles; the ones that deal with what Christianity is supposed to be about.
Ignorance. Ya gotta love it.