I’d heard some various things about Dearborn Michigan and Islam. Generally ignored them. There’s always somebody grumpy at somebody else.
Yet IF the assertions in this story are correct, it is a distressing turn of events. My take on things is that you have a Christian group deliberately “getting in the face” of Muslims (at their Mosques and at various meetings) and being a PITA. (EVEN if just ‘exercising their rights’ to talk and hand out materials. I’d not want an Islamic Brigade Of Believers greeting me outside my Church each sunday…) BUT, further down in the story, the tactics being used against them look rather like entrapment and selective enforcement.
Yes, there is a fundamental conflict between evangelical Christianity and Islam (as BOTH assert a need to convert / proselytize to others and Islam is intolerant of such speech and freedom). Yet to have the power of the legal structures asymmetrically employed is a great evil. I’ll just quote a couple of bits. You can read more at the link:
Later that day, we began hearing horror stories of Christians whose rights had been violated. The Muslim security guards (one of whom had “Hezbollah” tattooed down his arm) were using the no-distribution rule to harass and persecute certain Christians. Instead of merely stopping these Christians from distributing items, security guards were entrapping Christians who weren’t distributing anything but were only attempting to evangelize. Again and again, a plain-clothes security guard would walk up to a Christian and say, “Hey, I see you’ve got a pocket Bible. Can I see it? I want to look something up.” Then, as soon as the Christian attempted to hand the Bible over, security would take a picture and escort the Christian to police for violating festival rules. Thus, Muslim security guards were getting Christians into trouble for breaking the rules, even when Christians weren’t breaking the rules. The goal was to keep certain Christian evangelists from witnessing to Muslims. (Note: This even happened to me at the festival. I had a pamphlet in my pocket, and a plain-clothes security guard asked me for it. Since I had already heard about this security guard using the same tactic to get Christians in trouble, I didn’t fall for it. When I refused, I was told that I had better not talk to anyone about Christianity. These were the sorts of things leading up to our encounter with security.)
IV. HATE MESSAGES IN DEARBORN
After finishing our debates on Sunday, we returned for the final day of the festival. We were disturbed when we again noticed an inconsistency. Christians were being targeted and harassed for evangelizing, yet Muslims were free to distribute t-shirts with a boy peeing on an Israeli flag.
This part sounds a bit paranoid, yet ‘names names’ and has non-members of their organization listed as observers and there is video confirmation for some of it:
IX. SECURITY CONSPIRES AGAINST US
When festival security guards (who had been embarrassed by our YouTube video demonstrating their thug tactics) realized we had returned to the festival, they began conspiring to have us kicked out. Leading the conspiracy was the Arab Chamber of Commerce’s Norma Haidous, the Muslim woman who had assaulted Mary Jo at last year’s festival (and one of the three individuals police had assured us would be banned from the festival). How do we know about the plot? Security revealed their plan to an Arab Christian, whom they mistakenly thought was a Muslim (due to his Arab garb). This Arab Christian later informed us of the plot against us. Additionally, a New York police sergeant who was visiting the festival overheard the plotting of festival security, and he also informed us of what was going on. Indeed, the New York police sergeant even contacted Dearborn Police Sergeant Mrowka to let him know that security was attempting to set us up. Sergeant Mrowka, however, refused to intervene. (Sergeant Mrowka later gave the order to arrest us. Was he in on the plot from the beginning?)
X. DOUBLE STANDARDS IN DEARBORN
The double standards at the festival were quite disturbing. Officially, people were only free to distribute materials at their booths. However, since Muslim security guards were in charge of enforcing this rule, it was applied selectively. As we walked through the festival, we saw numerous people distributing items outside of booths. Yet, if a Christian (assuming he hadn’t earned the favor of the Arab Chamber of Commerce) were to hand out a tract or pamphlet, he would be harassed, bullied, and taken to police.
and further down:
According to Dearborn Mayor John O’Reilly, police ordered us to break up our conversation, but we refused. We also deliberately blocked a tent exit in order to cause a scene. These were supposedly the reasons for our arrest. These are interesting claims, since Mayor O’Reilly watched the video footage of our arrests, and since the video footage proves that the mayor’s claims are false. I asked police if we should move, and they said, “No, you’re fine.” I don’t speak Dearbornese, so I didn’t realize that “You’re fine” means “Leave now or we’ll arrest you.”
As there is video to one effect, and police claims to the opposite (despite their police statements on video to the contrary) something doesn’t add up.
XIV. DAVID’S ARREST
It seems that holding a camera in Dearborn is unofficially illegal. That’s the only possible justification for having Paul and me arrested, since we were simply holding video cameras. Later, of course, the Mayor realized that there are no laws on the books against filming a dialogue, so he had to invent a story about me blocking a tent entrance in order to justify my arrest. But those pesky video cameras of ours just don’t lie.
It goes on and gets a bit worse from there. One interesting note for completion is this:
XXV. LOVING MUSLIMS, CHALLENGING ISLAM
Following our acquittals in Dearborn, Mayor John O’Reilly continued his barrage of false accusations against us. I responded to some of the mayor’s deliberate misrepresentations of our views:
So some part of the process worked as an acquittal happened.
I also have to admit that I fell into the group who was dismissive of the “Sharia in Dearborn” claim as it just is NOT under Sharia Law… yet I find the following description of the failure to make a distinction between being ruled by Sharia vs. having partial application of Sharia; well, it exactly describes the error I made:
XXVI. SHARIA IN DEARBORN?
As is always the case, it’s easy to misinterpret things when one hasn’t carefully examined the facts. This happened when political candidate Sharron Angle claimed that Dearborn is under Sharia law. Due to this claim, Angle was repeatedly ridiculed by the media. To clear up the misunderstanding, consider the difference between the following claims:
CLAIM #1: Dearborn is under Sharia.
CLAIM #2: Someone enforced Sharia in Dearborn.
The first claim suggests that the city is officially governed by Sharia. The second simply claims that someone carried out some tenet of Islamic law. For instance, if someone in Dearborn steals a radio, and, in accordance with Islamic law, a Muslim chops off his hand, I would say that someone enforced Sharia in Dearborn.
As we have repeatedly stated on our blog, we are claiming that someone has enforced Sharia in Dearborn. When I find that I am not free to distribute materials outside of a booth, while numerous Muslims are free to distribute materials outside of their booths, and I learn that Muslim security guards are the ones behind this situation, I conclude that someone is implementing an element of Sharia. When Muslim security guards physically assault Christians for questioning Islam at a booth, I conclude that someone has enforced Sharia. When Christians get arrested while having a peaceful discussion with Muslims (and the Muslims don’t get arrested), I conclude that someone has enforced Sharia. Does this mean that the entire city is governed by Sharia, or that the city has seceded from the United States? Not at all. It seems that many of our critics believe that there are only two possibilities: Either (1) a city is completely, totally, utterly governed by Sharia, or (2) Sharia has no impact at all. These alternatives, however, are incomplete. A third alternative is that Sharia has a limited impact in the city, and I would say that this is the case in Dearborn.
Clearly Dearborn is going to be the “test case” for Islam taking over a community, expelling competing views, dominating the legal structures, and eventually implementing Sharia. Don’t know if it will take a year, a decade, or a century, but that is the direction of the process. It will bear watching.
I came to that “summary of events” posting from this link:
Sharia Judge Michael J. Callahan Nullifies the Fourth Amendment Rights of Christians in Michigan
Michigan’s war against the Constitutional rights of Christians has reached its peak.
In every state in this country, with one exception, a police officer cannot seize a person or her property without probable cause (a reasonable belief that a person has committed a crime).
IMHO a bit over the top. There is a broader conflict playing out in society with “Police with cameras” vs “Public with cameras” being contested in many places and venues. YOU can be told to turn off your camera by police in many venues and failure to comply results in arrest for “resisting an officer” (or their orders). Several professional news folks have been dealt with that way (including some big names). Yet YOU can not tell the police to shut off their cameras. It’s not just a Sharia vs Christians thing. Yet in this case it looks to be presented that way. (And driven by a Sharia vs Christians local causality.)
A Camera Idea
So, as I’m unlikely to do much with this camera idea, I’m going to donate another “Bright Idea” to the world. It might already be ‘out there’, but I’ve not seen one. The basic problem is that holding up your cell phone is clearly ‘filming’. The Camera itself is tiny. About the size of a small broach or tie clip. Soo….
Put a camera in a bit of jewelry, button, hat, handbag, whatever… and have it transmit via BlueTooth to the cell phone that is in a pocket. The Cell Phone is set up to immediately transmit the image to a remote computer. All the equipment can be confiscated, the video lives on… Takes some software (not a lot) and some hardware (a small camera with bluetooth built in and perhaps a built in MPEG compression chip depending on how much data bluetooth can carry) The whole thing ought to be about the size of a large “ear bud” that does the same thing for sound; though without the compression.
At that point, without a close physical inspection of every person in the area, you have no idea WHO is capturing video and who is not. (For TLAs, a scanner will pick up the signals, and for serious “issues” BlueTooth frequencies can be jammed, so major approved police operations can still be done; or I’d not share the idea…) It is just the ‘random on the street’ events that can no longer be swept under the rug via confiscation of equipment…
FWIW, I’m still agnostic on the question of “ban cameras” vs “film everything”. I can see both arguments. What I’m very much NOT agnostic on is the question of symmetry. If ONE SIDE can film, both can. If ONE SIDE can distribute materials and speak, both can. If ONE SIDE can demand banning folks from the public square both can…
Or all three sides….
No Legal Solution
One thing that is quite clear, though, is that this will not be solved by the courts. There is a fundamental conflict between Islam and Western Culture as well as a conflict between Islam and Christianity (and an avowed hatred of Israel). While the folks ‘getting in the grill’ of the Arabs / Islamists in Dearborn are not being particularly “understanding”, they are acting inside classical western ideals of freedom of speech and self promotion. That Islam reacts badly and that the local courts have endorsed that bad behaviour (no doubt in the interest of avoiding conflict / promoting ‘peace’) ought to be the “news”.
As we saw in an earlier thread, “Islamic Peace” largely means “convert to Islam and we’ll leave you alone” (IMHO reading the Koran and Hadith.) As that kind of ‘peace’ is antagonistic to being a Christian, Jew, or even just believing in Western Culture (either / any of Liberal, Progressive, Conservative, or Enlightenment) the true outcome can only be non-peace (in the traditional non-Muslim meaning…). It looks to me like we have an early view of the future unfolding in Dearborn. The major question just being: Will the USA roll over and suffer “conversion for peace”, or will it recognize the antagonistic nature of these behaviours to Western Ideals.?
(Me? While I’d love to have a world where Islam has a ‘reformation’ process as did Christianity, and abandons the violent and aggressive aspects of Hadith, I do not think it possible. Christianity had ‘conversion by the sword’ early on and was very aggressive “Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition.”… it was able to change since the Bible is a stand alone document subject to many ‘interpretations’. The Koran is pretty much locked in stone, with the Hadith a bit more variable, but also pretty much fixed at the known quotes. Reading them, there is nearly no room to moderate the virulent and aggressive, violent and fundamentally asymmetrical nature of Islam. So I very reluctantly conclude that the best that can be achieved is “separated and respectful”, as any attempt at an ‘integrated and accepting’ mixing will instead result in The Lebanon Process…)