Saturday, September 25, 2010

Four Missionaries Acquitted in Dearborn

The four missionaries charged with “inciting a crowd” while evangelizing at the Dearborn Arab International Festival last June were acquitted on Friday. One of the four, Negeen Mayel, was found guilty of failing to follow a police officer’s order. (“4 missionaries acquitted of inciting crowd”).

I’m glad the four were acquitted of the incitement charge, which was pure nonsense from the get-go. I’m also glad Ms. Mayel was convicted of disobeying a police officer. When I listened to Negeen on the tape of her arrest using what I have to describe as an unbearable girl-victim stage voice (“Don’t touch me! Don’t touch me!”) I simply couldn’t find it in me to resent that poor cop for doing whatever it took to shut her up.

Don’t get me wrong. That kind of passive-aggressive wheedling, while clearly meant to be provocative, was hardly an incitement of a crowd, which is what the four were charged with. I support the cause of this acquittal because I support our cause of pushing back Shariah in Dearborn. I also support the First and Fourth Amendments, which tooka pretty bad beating with these arrests.

When this first happened, I was supportive of the missionaries. As things progressed, and I spent many tedious hours trying to make certain that these folks weren’t all the horrible things Jack O’Reilly said they were, I found myself liking the Acts 17 individuals less and less -- but not because I think they ever did anything that is against the law in Dearborn.

No matter: whether I find David Wood puffed up, or disapprove of the way Ms. Mayel exploits being itty-bitty enough for toting around in Paris Hilton’s handbag, the big facts about all this are impossible to miss.

First, these charges should have never been brought. This was a clear instance of the Dearborn executive authority being abused, (and the taxpayer’s money wasted on this hopeless trial), to prove to Dearborn’s Muslim leaders that in any public rumble that has gives an appearance of “Muslims against non-Muslims,” Dearborn government intends to outdo itself proving its prior commitment to take the Muslim side.

Second, Dearborn government, the mayor’s office and the police department, are badly compromised for the diligence at placating Muslim feelings -- real or imagine -- about all this. As Andrew McCarthy describes it, “Camouflaged as a crackdown on ‘disturbing the peace,’ [this] was transparently the enforcement of sharia’s prohibition against preaching religions other than Islam.”

O’Reilly was all in on the malicious prosecution of these four, including publishing a letter in which he pre-judged the criminal case and materially misrepresented what he had to know of the facts. O’Reilly had to know, and the police certainly did, that there was no “large crowd” gathered around the missionaries, or any “public danger.” While many may have reservations about the motives of Acts 17, there’s no doubt that both Chief Haddad and the mayor -- remember they are government officials, not private citizens -- falsely characterized events around the arrests as “incitement,” just so they could support the baseless charges they’d already laid against the four.

Even after the city lost this unnecessary trial on Friday, O’Reilly was still hurling unsupported claims against the acquitted defendants:
“It's really about a hatred of Muslims,” O’Reilly said. “That is what the whole heart of this is. ... Their idea is that there is no place for Muslims in America. They fail to understand the Constitution.”
I’ve got no idea what O’Reilly has in mind with that remark about the Constitution, because no one has suggested that any constitutional rights of Muslims were violated in this whole episode.

Unless, of course, it’s the constitutional right of hundreds of thousands of Muslims not to have to hear about Jesus Christ from four infidels.


Dearborn Observer said...

T.R., I can tell you from personal experience with Jack O'Reilly that he gets very upset with the suggestion that he is following the Muslim agenda. What else can we call it, though? As you pointed out, his accusations of anti-Muslim bias and even 'hatred' of Muslims by the four Christians have no foundation at all, beyond the obvious fact that Christians don't believe Islam is the correct religion. So, why does our Mayor get so angry at the Christians that he lies about them, even after the verdict? The police chief Haddad lied on the stand, as you pointed out. We non-Muslims have a lot to worry about in Dearborn.

Not even Christian, but appalled said...

Mr. Clancy,

I noticed that the Free Press brought in the Muslim reporter to write the story after the innocent verdict. As you noticed, the story mostly consisted of the Mayor and others charging the four - who had just been acquitted, remember - with being bigots and full of 'hatred' of Muslims. I guess that is what you are in Dearborn if you are simply Christian. But previously, the Freep had other reporters on the story. Melanie Scott wrote the story of the first day. She couldn't believe the trial was even taking place. The wrap-up story though, written by Niraj Warikoo, slants totally against the four. The Freep, biased? There has never been a clearer example.

David Wood said...

Mr. Clancy,

I'm not sure why you have such contempt for Negeen. She was surrounded by six people (two police officers, one person from the Arab Chamber of Commerce, one festival volunteer, and two Access members), who startled her and ordered her to turn off her camera. Based on the fact that we were assaulted by security last year at the festival, we had told Negeen not to turn off her camera (and legally, she wasn't required to). When she tried to walk away (which, legally, she was free to do), she was grabbed by police, who then snatched her camera. Police then dragged her away from the tent.

Do you really think that her small stature is irrelevant to the seriousness of what happened? Perhaps if you have a teenage daughter one day, and she is suddenly surrounded by six people, who grab her, seize her property, and throw her in a filthy jail cell for thinking that she has Constitutional rights, you might change your mind one day.

Anonymous said...

I will certainly think twice before ever driving through Dearborn again. That makes DB a no-go zone for me!