An update on this story: several Christian activists from the Acts 17 Apologetics group were arrested in Dearborn, Michigan a few weeks ago, after they started having discussions with Muslims. Is it now illegal — in accord with Sharia — to preach Christianity to Muslims in the United States? Dearborn Mayor John B. O’Reilly Jr. has been taking a lot of heat for these arrests, understandably, on First Amendment grounds, and so in response he published a statement with the hotly defensive title, “Please consider the following before condemning us.”
In it, he makes the bizarre claim that the City of Dearborn is “under attack” from the Acts 17 group:
The City of Dearborn has been under attack for several years by a group
identifying themselves as Acts 17 Apologetics. They arrive in Dearborn with the intent to
disrupt a local cultural festival and misrepresent facts in order to further their mission of
raising funds through emotional response. The funds they raise are then used to finance
travel and cameras to disrupt other events in other cities.
He also said that the group only “pretended to be arrested”:
Yes, I said pretended to be arrested. In a video they have posted on their website, they are standing near the Ferris wheel when some police officers approached them on Saturday, June 19. They lead you to believe that they were arrested shortly thereafter for passing out Christian flyers. Although they were temporarily detained for violating the festival rules regarding the location of the distribution of literature, they were not arrested on that day. And they were never arrested for passing out flyers.
On Friday, June 18, they behaved very differently than what you saw on film from Saturday, June 19. They were not handing out flyers but were aggressively engaging passers-by in confrontational debate when they were arrested and cited for Breach of the Peace and Failure to Obey the Lawful Order of a Police Officer. See www.cityofdearborn.org for more details.
All right. Let’s go to the videotapes. The top video is footage of the arrest of two Acts 17 Apologetics activists, Nabeel Qureshi and Paul Rezkalla. It shows Nabeel having a peaceful conversation with Muslims just before being arrested. Paul was simply standing there with a camcorder.
The second video shows Dearborn police arresting Negeen, a young Christian girl, apparently for the crime of holding a camera and telling them to stop touching her. Her trial for “Disturbing the Peace” and “Failure to Obey a Police Order” is set for September 20. Pre-trial is August 30.
These videos paint a very different picture from what the police reports and mayor are saying. And they certainly leave wide open the question that the Dearborn mayor tried to close — as to whether or not Dearborn police were kowtowing to Sharia and Islamic supremacism and arresting these Christians simply for proselytizing.
More details here.