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Posted on Tue, Jul 13, 2010 : 11 a.m.

Missionaries charged with disorderly conduct at Dearborn Arab festival

By Pam Stout

On Monday, four Christian missionaries were arraigned in Dearborn's 19th District Court for disturbing the peace while handing out Christian literature at the city's Arab International Festival last month, according to the Detroit Free Press.

The missionaries, who are members of a group called Acts 17 Apologetics, said the charges violate their First Amendment right to free speech. Dearborn police said the situation was a public safety issue because the group caused a large number of people to gather in a small space, and members of the group were arrested for failing to obey commands of the police.

Ann Arbor attorney Robert Muise of the Thomas More Law Center, entered a not guilty plea on the missionaries' behalf. The article quotes Nabeel Qureshi, one of the missionaries from Virginia, saying, "We are praying the criminal charges will be dropped because we didn't do anything wrong. ... We allowed people to approach us and we weren't looking for a confrontation."

According to the Detroit Free Press, the group caused a similar stir at the festival last year.

Dearborn Mayor John O'Reilly Jr. issued a statement on the city's website.


Martin Zaria

Sun, Jul 18, 2010 : 12:29 p.m.

The 1st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution isn't about sensitivity its about free speech. Its clear that this group is fearless and certainly some muslims do no like them but that doesn't allow the police to confiscate their cameras and arrest them for talking to people in public.


Wed, Jul 14, 2010 : 12:29 p.m.

Wow, talk about being completely insensitive to others. They obviously went there with the intention to offend people.