Monday, September 27, 2010

Video: Why Aren't First Amendment Rights Protected In Detroit The Way They Are At Ground Zero?

As many in the liberal media will tell you, the protest against building the a mosque 2 blocks from Ground Zero doesn't have as much to do with insensitivity towards the family of the victims, or questions about how moderate--or how law abiding--imam Rauf and his friends are. No, the whole issue really boils down to a simple and absolute question of First Amendment rights.

That being the case, I expect that any day now we will hear the outrage reported by Islamist Watch as Christians Preach to Muslims, Get Arrested.

And it's not as if this were a one-time occurrence:

  • On June 18, four Christians were arrested for breach of peace at the Arab International Festival in Dearborn, Michigan. The group's videosshow them engaging in reasoned debate with Muslims or merely roaming around, but one festival volunteer accused them of harassment, making him feel "nervous." According to the Detroit Free Press, "Police said the missionaries were arrested because they failed to obey police commands. Officers maintain the group's actions were a public safety issue because they caused a large number of people to gather in a small place." The trial is now in progress.

  • On July 3, two evangelicals in front of Philadelphia's Masjid al-Jamia were arrested by University of Pennsylvania police officers for disorderly conduct and obstruction of a highway. Michael Marcavage says that a bicycle cop demanded that they cease preaching there. When backup arrived, Marcavage started to film. The Daily Pennsylvanian recounts: "He claimed that Officer Nicole Michel assaulted him and forcibly shut off his camera. Marcavage called 911 because 'the officer was out of control,' and began filming once more, at which point the police confiscated the device." He insists that they intentionally destroyed his footage. The trial is scheduled for November.

  • On August 30, Mark Holick was outside the Islamic Society of Wichita, Kansas, distributing "packets that included the Gospel of John and the Book of Romans in English and Arabic, [and] a DVD with testimonies of former Islamists who have come to the Lord," when police allegedly ordered him and a dozen others to move away from the building. He was then arrested for "loitering and failing to disperse." Holick wants the charges dropped.
Here is a video of Acts17Apologetics attempting to ask questions at Arabfest, Dearborn on June 21st, 2009.

Granted, you can argue that this is more directly in-your-face than the Ground Zero mosque, but if the argument is that the First Amendment protects the right of Free Speech even when it is not what you want to hear as well as religions different than your own, then it is time to stop giving preferential treatment to one particular religious group.

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