The city and organizers were facing increased insurance and liability costs because of the lawsuits filed and won by Christians who have repeatedly been subjected to taunts and physical assaults outside the festival in the past.
Detroit Free Press (h/t Rob E) The decision to cancel the festival comes after four years of tensions at the event between some Christian missionaries and local Muslims. Their encounters resulted in heated arguments, scuffles, some bottle-throwing and several lawsuits.
Last year, one group of Christian missionaries brought a pig’s head and signs insulting Islam’s prophet, which drew a strong reaction from some children. Earlier this month, the City of Dearborn apologized and paid an undisclosed amount of money to a group of Christian missionaries arrested in 2010 at the festival for disturbing the peace. They were later acquitted.
Local Arab Americans were upset over the cancellation of the festival because the original intent of it was to highlight Arab-American businesses, which helped turn east Dearborn from a ghost town into a thriving commercial destination, said local leaders, (where non-Muslims increasingly dare not go)
“It’s unfortunate there are groups who are seeking to create problems and incite people in a community where people are trying to build bridges of diversity,” (by barring Christians?) said Suehaila Amen, 34, of Dearborn. “This festival was about creating a Muslim family atmosphere during Father’s Day weekend. And yet, there are those who do not wish to see people enjoy their life.”
Dearborn resident Majed Moughni also said he was disappointed in the cancellation, but added that he understands the decision, given the high insurance and logistical costs for what became an increasingly tense event. “It’s not worth the cost,” he said.
In an attempt to create a more peaceful atmosphere, O’Reilly moved the location of the festival to Ford Woods Park. His plan would have allowed the festival to be in an enclosed area and would have required an admission fee.
But Baydoun said: “With the move to a new location, Ford Woods Park, we needed more time to ensure we provide a quality event that the community has come to expect from us.” There was concern that this year’s festival could become even more tense.
Quran-burning Pastor Terry Jones said he was planning to attend the first day along with the California man who brought the pig’s head last year. In 2011, Jones attempted to attend the festival, but was met by angry protesters who tried to block him as he walked. Police then asked him to not attend.
The decision to cancel the festival illustrates some tensions between its Arab-American organizers and Dearborn officials. O’Reilly has been pushing to move the festival for three years, but the Chamber of Commerce resisted because the purpose of the festival was to promote Arab-American businesses along Warren.
Earlier this year, the city indicated it would not be giving permits for the Warren Avenue location and asked the chamber to consider having the festival in the park. Now, “it’s gotten to the point where people don’t even want to take their children to the festival because they don’t want them to be exposed to these bigoted messages and hateful speech,” Amen said.
Some conservatives say the incidents at the festival happened because the city is under the influence of Shari’a, Islamic law, a claim O’Reilly has repeatedly dismissed as absurd.
Robert Muise, an Ann Arbor attorney who represents the California-based Bible Believers — the Christian group that brought a pig’s head and anti-Islam signs last year to the festival — said the cancellation of the festival was “disappointing.” “However,” he added, “had the Christians’ rights been protected from the beginning, I doubt we would be at this point.”
As you watch the below video keep in mind
1. The Christian Street preachers notified in writing the Wayne County Sheriffs Department they would be attending the festival.
2. The Street preachers attended the festival last year and the police knew Ruben Israel and worked together in the past.
3. Wayne County Sheriff’s Chose not to provide Mr. Israel with two officers to provide security as the crowds became agitated.
4. Putting all these fact together one would conclude this was a Wayne County Sheriffs riot because Deputy Chiefs Jaafar and Richardson could have easily managed the situation and willfully abdicated their responsibility as public servants.
5. The street preachers never retaliated or said a negative word in anger to the Muslim rioters or law enforcement despite personal injury, cuts, bruises, spit, physical, and verbal abuse.