Thursday, March 08, 2012

‘Keep Dearborn Clean’ Is Now ‘Keep Dearborn Quiet’

The City of Dearborn’s bank account is $100,000 lighter after paying the legal fees and costs of the Christian evangelist, George Saieg, thanks to a federal appeals court finding that Dearborn police trampled his free speech rights at the 2010 Arab-American festival.

City police in 2010 barred George Saieg and his allies from freely walking sidewalks with literature to convert Muslims to Christianity. Chief Ron Haddad says he was just controlling foot traffic, but a federal appeals court says the city violated the First Amendment. (“Dearborn pays $100,000 in lawsuit by evangelists”).

If you’re interested in reading the court’s opinion you can do so here.

This constitutional violation of George Saieg’s rights can now be combined with the constitutional violation of Terry Jones’s rights found by a Michigan judge last November when he tossed out Jones’s phony conviction. That ruling found a due process violation, but the city and county officials who tossed legal procedure into a sausage-grinder -- Mayor Jack O’Reilly, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy, Chief of Police Ronald Haddad, and Judge Mark Somers – did it with the specific purpose of silencing Jones from criticizing Islam.

Then there is the case of the four missionaries of Acts 17 Apologetics, who were falsely charged with inciting a crowd at the Arab American Festival in 2010.  The four were acquitted. Andrew McCarthy said of the incident: ““Camouflaged as a crackdown on ‘disturbing the peace,’ [this] was transparently the enforcement of sharia’s prohibition against preaching religions other than Islam.”

Now there is a civil rights case being brought by the Thomas More Law Center and David Yarushelmi on behalf of Acts 17 against the Usual Suspects, including, naturally Chief Ron Haddad and Mayor Jack O’Reilly. I am reasonably confident the city, unless it settles first, will be found liable of violating the freedoms of speech and religion of these plaintiffs.

Does anyone else notice a pattern here?

His Honor may need to write us all another open letter reassuring us how there is no “Sharia law being practiced in the courts or civil law of Dearborn [or] … in our courts, [or] at our City Hall, [or] in any of our places of worship.”

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