This Arab American News story is written as if the Christian preachers were spreading bubonic plague, and of course, for the Muslims interviewed for it, they might as well have been: Islamic law mandates death for those who leave the religion, and so from the Islamic perspective, these preachers were actively endangering the lives of those Muslims to whom they were preaching.
Nonetheless, it is not illegal in the United States to preach Christianity or any other religion. It is only illegal to preach Christianity under Islamic law. But perhaps unsure as to whether Dearborn were under the rule of the U.S. Constitution or Sharia, Dearborn Police Chief Ron Haddad checked with lawyers and got the bad news: “According to our corporation counsel, it appears to be legal to engage in the noted activities under the First Amendment in the park.”
At least he asked this time. A few years ago, Dearborn Police arrested some Christian evangelists for daring to try to preach to Muslims (the video and photos are gone from that link, but you can still get the gist of what happened). But remember: if you’re concerned about the influence of Sharia in the U.S., you’re a racist, bigoted “Islamophobe.”
DEARBORN — On August 7 and 8, Christian missionaries from California visited Hemlock Park in East Dearborn. In the span of two days, workers face-painted with children, handed out prizes and shared their faith. A number of the parents who were in the park allowed their children to venture into the event unaware of the religious preaching. Some of the parents didn’t know what their kids were engaged in due to the language barrier.
“According to our corporation counsel, it appears to be legal to engage in the noted activities under the First Amendment in the park, ” Police Chief Ron Haddad told The AANews.
On video obtained by The AANews, which was filmed by Heather Faye and Christy Lynn on Aug. 8, a preacher appears to be proselytizing Christianity to the Dearborn youths. The missionary workers came from all different places, but most were from California, according to one of the missionary workers, Jessica Cserhalmi.
The worrisome thing, Lynn told the Detroit Free Press, is that the missionaries weren’t really approaching the parents.
“They were approaching the children,” she said….
Dearborn resident Labaneya Maisoun wasn’t present for the missionary activities on either Aug. 7 or 8, but did witness the conclusion of a similar event at Hemlock Park toward the end of July, during an Eid al-Fitr celebration. She said she didn’t know if the same missionary workers were in Dearborn on both occasions.
Maisoun said a non-profit Islamic organization was holding the Eid al-Fitr event and that the missionary workers chose that specific day to come to Dearborn. She also said she witnessed a heated exchange between one missionary worker and a parent.
“Some of our sisters wanted to diffuse the problems,” she said. “We don’t want any problems with our Christian brethren. We all have one faith under one God.”
Maisoun said the missionary workers enticed the youth with a henna party, candy and other treats, then preached to the children about Jesus.
“The kids don’t mind, they love Jesus,” she said, adding that the missionary workers are misusing the lack of proficiency in English by the parents, many of whom are newcomers.
The video from August 8 sparked a debate in the community on The Arab American News Facebook page.
“[Hemlock] is a public park and so parents need to be aware of what is happening around them, watch their kids and be present for such moments as this,” said Stephen Coats, who wrote that he has lived in Dearborn since 2001.
“Don’t be the victim, get smart, keep to your own and don’t wait around for Allah to make a decision,” Ayad Succar wrote. “Make it yourself, know what the person with a loudspeaker is saying to your child, know your environment.”…