“We are not criminals. All we want to do is exercise our First Amendment rights,” claimed Florida pastor Terry Jones who defended his right to protest outside a Michigan mosque Friday. Jones acted as his own attorney in a Dearborn, Michigan court to fight the city’s refusal of a permit for a rally.
UPI – His rally was scheduled for late Friday afternoon. Jones and pastor Wayne Sapp faced off against Dearborn Police Chief Ronald Haddad in court over his denial of a permit based on information that Jones might burn a Quran. The chief acknowledged that Jones never said he would do so.
“I have no evidence to back up my fears,” he said, “but your behavior in the past has led me to that fear.” Haddad testified there is a risk of violence and two people are being investigated for threats against Jones. Jones “has shown a careless disregard for loss of life,” the chief said. “He has shown a disregard for his own life.”
Dearborn lawyer Majed Moughni says the pastor has a right to protest outside the mosque. Jones should be allowed to “speak as he wishes, which is his right under the Constitution,” Moughni told the Detroit Free Press Thursday.
Moughni is no Jones fan, though. He told the newspaper he burned Jones in effigy last year outside his Dearborn home after Jones threatened to observe the ninth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks by burning more than 200 copies of Quran, the sacred text of Islam, at his Florida church.
Jones, a non-denominational pastor, canceled the burning but oversaw the burning of a single Quran six months later after a mock criminal trial at his church March 20. That burning, which Jones called an “execution,” drew little response worldwide except in Afghanistan, where protesters overran a U.N. compound April 1, killing 12 people.
As you may have seen in the archives here, this isn’t the first time Christians have had trouble in Dearbornistan.
Answering Muslims (H/T albert w loescher)