My Sharia Amour: Christian Missionaries Arraigned for Proselytizing at Arab Festival

As you read this, imagine the outrageous outrage from CAIR and others if the tables were turned and Muslims were arrested for handing out literature about Islam at a Christian conference:

Four Christian missionaries were arraigned today on misdemeanor charges of disturbing the peace following their June 18 arrest at the Arab International Festival.

Negeen Mayel, 18, of California; Nabeel Qureshi, 29, of Virginia; Paul Rezkalla, 18 of New York, and David Wood, 34, also of New York, face fines of up to $500 each and up to 93 days in jail. Dearborn authorities said the four “chose to escalate their behavior, which appeared well-orchestrated and deliberate” as they handed out religious literature and talking with people at the festival. The woman and three men are members or founders of a group called “Acts 17 Apologetics.”

But Ann Arbor attorney Robert Muise, senior trial counsel with the Thomas More Law Center, said their constitutional rights were violated and they engaged in no illegal behaviors.

“The encroachment of the First Amendment is just astonishing,” said Muise, who said police confiscated the video cameras and have yet to return them, despite repeated requests. He said he would take the case to trial.

The Christian group’s account obviously differs from the claims of Arab Festival security:

The team said they saw festival security personnel, who were not associated with Dearborn police, speaking with two teenage boys. One of the boys approached Qureshi and demanded to know why he was there. The second teen snatched a pamphlet from Qureshi’s hand and gave it to a security guard, apparently thinking it was a Gospel tract, when it actually was an Islamic tract Qureshi had picked up.

Four security guards then approached the Christian group and told them they could not preach on the streets or hand out literature — neither of which the group was doing, Sharp said. Sharp and Wood videotaped that confrontation and the security guards kept insisting the cameras be turned off and repeatedly hit the cameras.

After her camera was hit, Sharp said, “Hey, you can’t touch my camera. This is America.” The security guard replied, “I don’t care,” according to the group’s account.

The apologetics team retreated backwards as the security guards and others followed, continuing to swipe at the cameras. One of the guards reportedly told the group, “Keep walking. Keep walking or I’ll make you keep walking.”

Qureshi said he and Wood were tripped and kicked as they retreated.

So who’s telling the truth? The fact that Dearborn authorities won’t release any video taken by the Christian group might offer a clue to the answer to that question.

They don’t call it “Dearbornistan” for nothing. As a matter of fact, if you’re a Christian and want to distribute pamphlets to Muslims in that city, you first need to obtain permission from a court. When we’re getting dangerously close (if not there already) to applying Sharia law to a US city, we’re in trouble.

Watch how fast the Dearborn police will swarm if you’re distributing Christian literature in a passive non-forceful way outside a festival in Dearborn — and the guy filming it (who wasn’t handing out anything) was taken into custody for the crime of… standing around on a public street in Dearborn while non-Muslim, I guess:

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About Doug Powers

Doug Powers is a writer, editor and commentator covering news of the day from a conservative viewpoint with an occasional shot of irreverence and a blast of snark. Townhall Media editor. alum. Bowling novice.