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Dearborn settles out of court

This is a cause for rejoicing. Rarely do the good guys have sufficient legal oomph to push and to keep on pushing until the petty powers that be have to give in. This time, they did. Kudos to lawyers Robert Muise and David Yerushalmi.

Long-time readers will remember my coverage (see here for one of my longest posts) of the shocking arrest of missionaries Nabeel Qureshi, David Wood, and Paul Rezkallah in Dearborn, Michigan, several years ago when they were merely standing on a public street discussing the deity of Jesus Christ with a group of Muslims.

Now, three years later, the City of Dearborn has settled a constitutional lawsuit out of court for an undisclosed sum of money and an apology posted on the city's web site. The city has also revoked comments that implied that the missionaries were doing something wrong.

From last year, I already had evidence that David Wood and his companions are now being allowed to speak peacefully with Arab Festival participants. My guess is that the city will have to continue that this year and not arrest Acts 17 missionaries.

The remaining clouds on the horizon are:

--Answering Muslims has reported that there have been proposals to move the Arab Festival indoors. This might make it easier to punish those who come to speak about Christ at the festival.

--The fourth person arrested at the time in 2010, Negeen Mayel, was in fact convicted of the bogus crime of "disobeying an officer." Her "crime" was public videotaping and not instantaneously putting down her video camera when ordered to do so by a policeman. Perhaps in part because of her conviction (the three men were acquitted in their breach of the peace trials) and perhaps in part because she did not wish to pursue the suit, Negeen does not appear to have been a party to the constitutional lawsuit that has just been settled out of court.

--The American Freedom Law Center representing the missionaries is continuing to press a suit against the Arab Festival, which refused to settle out of court. This doesn't bode well for the outcome if the festival is in fact moved indoors.

Comments (10)

Given the state of modern computer forensics, there is no excuse for a seized phone to ever be altered by the cops. You can buy a comprehensive, professional suite of forensics tools for less than the cost of a small complement of SWAT gear from the DoD's domestic policing surplus program (but then that would be professional of them, not fun for them).

So when a phone ends up erased, the suspect should automatically walk. Doing forensics the right way is very easy today compared to even just 5-10 years ago. Conservatives should have absolutely no mercy when someone is arrested for videotaping a cop and the media is returned in an altered state. You can buy a solid write blocker for less than $200 which will prevent the data from being modified no matter what (drops all bus traffic saying "write this data" before it even hits the storage).

Oh, I think they got all their film back with everything on it. That's what I recall anyway. However, the jury in Negeen's case was, as I recall, instructed that it was a cut and dried matter and that they must find her guilty if she disobeyed what the cop told her. Now, there has to be some limitation on that (obviously). The statute can't literally mean that you have to do _anything_ a cop tells you to do, and her filming was a perfectly legal activity. But the judge's instructions to the jury led them to find her guilty. In any event, I don't think any video was altered.

Youtube tried to start taking the videos down at one point, though. I think that was caught and stopped.

Good news!

Hooray for Acts 17!

Mike, somehow I really don't think the Dearborn police were much concerned with following rules. And as far as I can tell, the Dearborn judge (at least the one who tried the case for Nageen) might not have cared much, either.

Tony, the point is that the ease by which they can follow the rules today is so great that we ought to insist on draconian consequences for law enforcement if they don't. I'm thinking a few line law that says that failure to follow basic digital forensics procedures results in summary dismissal of all charges without regard for the nature of the crime. Similarly, arresting someone for recording the police without the police having non-testimonial evidence that they were obstructed should be grounds in all times and places for a wallet-destroying lawsuit against the PD and the individual cop.

"Her "crime" was public videotaping and not instantaneously putting down her video camera when ordered to do so by a policeman."

Since the policeman had no authority to do so, there was no crime. I would appeal and ask that the original judge be rebuked for even allowing this to go to trial.


The Chicken

My husband is from Dearborn and his parents still live there, so I have been following this case.

Perhaps what is called for is a bit of Black Knighting. If you are not familiar with the term Black Knighting, it was originally coined by Vox Day, I believe, as a way to combat absurd feminist behavior. He writes:

It means acting exactly like a woman would every single time a female coworker does something that would result in a complaint to the employment authority if a male coworker did it. The purpose is not to get the female coworker fired, but rather, work towards shutting down the abusive system by utilizing it to its full extent. When faced with absurdity, the correct response is to push the pedal to the metal and aucto ad absurdum.

So men, for example, will complain about clubs have ladies' nights specials if there are no similar men's nights, not because they really care about having a men's night but because they want women to experience the full force of what feminism means: real, true, full equality with no special privileges.

Perhaps every time we have Muslims coming door to door to discuss their religion and leave Koranic brochures, we ought to call the police. Turnabout is, after all, fair play.

I don't think I've ever heard of Muslims coming door to door with literature. Unlike Mormons, they don't seem to work that way. But perhaps my evidence set is unrepresentative.

In any event, I don't think that complaining when Muslims do this or that similar thing is ever going to work. Look at it this way: There have been credible reports of Muslims blocking the streets of Paris for Friday prayers, literally making it impossible to get by, yet no one does anything about it. Or there was the case I reported on here at W4 where a Muslim grabbed a sign off the neck of an atheist at a Halloween parade who was dressed up as "Zombie Mohammad" and pushed and struggled with the atheist to get the sign away. It was a clear case of (minor) assault, but the judge refused to punish the Muslim and instead lectured the atheist for being offensive. We're in a sense *far past* the point where pointing out an *overwhelming* double standard in favor of Muslims is going to do any good. Such symbolic actions as trying to portray ourselves as the victim group really get worse than nowhere, and if the complaints are frivolous (as they would be if one called the police over Muslims engaging in clearly peaceable and unobjectionable behavior), we would simply be told, "That's a frivolous complaint. What whiners you Christians are," and the irony would be lost on everyone.

Ah, I see that there is the one group doing a door-to-door lit-passing. The story does say it's "unique." No, of course I wouldn't call the police on him. I can imagine a lot of Christians who would understandably regard it as a good opportunity to witness to him, and they might even succeed. In any event, I don't believe, ever, in doing wrong that good may come. It shouldn't be illegal for a Muslim peacefully to pass out such a brochure, and in fact it isn't illegal, and it would be not only ridiculous and worse than futile but also an objective abuse of the system to waste the time of the police or anyone else trying to get him in trouble for it.

I see that there is the one group doing a door-to-door lit-passing.

Interestingly, in this news story, the group portrays themselves as handing out tracts, but in fact this was not so. We received something from them - a Qur'an. They went door to door through our neighborhood and left Qur'ans in everyone's mailboxes with a letter instructing you on how to properly care for the book; for instance, if you did not want to keep it, you were instructed to call them to come pick it up and put it in a plastic bag, but be sure not to place it on the ground. Quite absurd.

I don't think that complaining when Muslims do this or that similar thing is ever going to work [...] it would be not only ridiculous and worse than futile but also an objective abuse of the system to waste the time of the police or anyone else trying to get him in trouble for it.

Yes, ma'am, I agree with you. I have raised that point on Vox Day's site before, that Black Knighting tends to get men called whiners and goes against their nature. The men there explained it to me like this; they've exhausted every reasonable and rational means possible and the deck is so stacked against them that complaining when women want special privileges some of the time and equal rights when it suits them is all that's really left to do as a form of protest. It seems the same with Muslims; they want to proselytize by handing out Qur'ans but they don't want anyone else to be able to have even a simple conversation on a public street about Jesus. You see from the response of the Dearborn police that the Christians were hopelessly discriminated against. But I agree: Black Knighting goes against our preference to behave in a noble manner.

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