Well. And wow. The updates keep coming so fast that I almost can't keep up. Readers will remember that I reported here on police attempts to "corral" the Christian group Arabic Christian Perspective at the recent Arab festival in Dearbornistan.
One of my leftish commentators was highly skeptical of the implication that Christians were being singled out. After all, he said, perhaps only those who "didn't rent a booth" were singled out. Maybe, you know, the entire five block area really was blocked off to anybody who didn't rent a booth? Huh? Maybe leafletting on public streets really is suddenly illegal for everybody when an "Arab festival" has been declared?
In that post I speculated about what might happen if ACP next year did not happen to notify police--which the police took as a request for permission, though no permission is needed for free speech in America. Would the police walk about looking to target Christian groups at the festival?
Well, as they say, we have data on that. And we didn't even after to wait for next year. You see, as we might have suspected, security at the Arab festival appears to be carried out by a Brute Squad of OMEA men. Who knows. Perhaps they actually have been given some sort of official police powers, but that would only make their behavior more outrageous. The appearance in the video I am about to share, however, is that real police don't show up until one gets outside of the festival area. Within that area, the sharia police get to operate as they like, which means ganging up on members of a different group, Acts 17 Apologetics Ministries, when they are merely attempting to talk peacefully with people at one of the Muslim booths. Festival security members hit their cameras over and over again, pushing them, threatening them with force, and eventually converging in a body to drive them with threats ("I'll make you keep walking, trust me") off of the festival grounds, where security proceeds to lie to the first actual uniformed police officers they encounter. In the course of the assault, the leader tells them the name of the intersection where, he says, "Your preaching area is." That intersection is apparently the one that was assigned as the Christian corral for ACP. The festival sharia police got the impression that they had all the Christians rounded up there and were outraged to find David Wood and Nabeel Qureshi of Acts 17 actually wandering around freely on public streets, taking videotapes and asking questions. The nerve.
Watch it all. It is truly shocking, and it is difficult to believe that this is America. If Mr. Wood gets any sort of legal satisfaction for this assault, all performed on camera, I hope I hear about it. But I'm not holding my breath.
HT Jihad Watch
Update: Here is David Wood's own blog entry at Acts 17 Apologetics Ministries' blog. A couple of interesting notes about the legal situation are in order. First of all, according to the story reported at Jihad Watch about Arab Christian Perspectives, the police order was made only to ACP, because only ACP contacted the police ahead of time. It was this order that was not stopped by a requested emergency stay by a federal court. So technically, only ACP was actually forbidden from distributing literature. Acts 17 Ministries realized, however, that the Arab festival organizers took it that all Christian groups were forbidden from distributing, and to be on the safe side, Acts 17 Ministries assumed that indeed the order applied to all Christian groups, and in fact they did not distribute literature. That the festival organizers so assumed is borne out by the repeated attempts to get the Acts 17 guys to give someone a Christian pamphlet on the part of security, as though this were a violation of something or other. So right away, we apparently have one anti-1st Amendment extension of the already legally highly questionable police order to ACP--namely, that it applied to literature distribution by all Christian groups. Second, David Wood testifies--and I have no reason to question his testimony--that they personally witnessed other people passing literature while walking around the festival. So it was not the case that there was a "no literature passing" blanket rule at the festival, even if such a rule could be supported under the 1st Amendment (which I think is questionable). Christians were singled out. Then, as the above video shows, and as Wood points out, the anti-Christian ban on speech was extended by security forces to all Christian dialogue during the festival with people at booths, even without literature passing. So we have targeting of Christians, a ban specifically on Christian literature distribution, even for groups that have not previously been told they cannot distribute by police, and a ban even on Christian free movement and discussion, not to mention filming, at the festival. This is exceedingly bad.
The evidence of this video is obviously supportive of ACP's claims of content-based violation of freedom of speech, and I hope that ACP will be able to use the video in court in their own lawsuit.
One commentator asked whom to contact. I believe that Acts 17 Ministries is for the moment not telling anyone exactly what else they plan to do in terms of legal action. For all I know, they may be getting legal advice. But meanwhile, they have themselves contacted the Arab Chamber of Commerce, who hired the private security forces. So that might be one place to start, though I myself wish there were some effective way to complain to the actual Dearborn local government, which is ultimately responsible for the problem here.
Related: Here are several anecdotes from a Brit about police refusal to investigate and punish violent crimes in Dover when performed by Muslims, including knifing and threatening with a knife. According to the commentator, the police threatened a local paper with prosecution for "inciting hatred" even for reporting one such crime, thus effectively muzzling the press.
HT for both update links: Esteemed Husband