News / USA

Controversial Florida Pastor Denied Protest at Michigan Mosque

Pastor Terry Jones, right, and Wayne Sapp react to the jury's verdict, that both of them are likely to cause a breach of the peace with their proposed protest against at the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn, Mich., April 22, 2011
Pastor Terry Jones, right, and Wayne Sapp react to the jury's verdict, that both of them are likely to cause a breach of the peace with their proposed protest against at the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn, Mich., April 22, 2011

A U.S. jury  has banned Pastor Terry Jones from staging a protest in front of the largest mosque in North America in the U. S. state of Michigan.  The jury in Dearborn, home  to one of the country's largest Muslim communities, said such a protest would disturb the peace. Jones, pastor of a small evangelical church in the southern state of Florida, made international headlines last year when he threatened to burn the Quran, the Islamic holy book. Jones eventually did burn the Quran March 20 and posted video on his church’s website.  The move caused widespread violence in Afghanistan, and scores of people were killed including U.N. personnel.  The controversy that surrounds Terry Jones followed him into a courtroom Friday, when concerns about public safety intersected with Jones’s desire to stage the protest.  The jury's decision puts an end, for now, to Jones's plans.

The message of controversial Pastor Terry Jones, and his associate Wayne Sapp, was not welcome in the town of Dearborn, Michigan.

"I believe the Quran, if strictly followed, can and does lead to terrorist activities," he said.

Reverend Ronald Griffin, and other members of the Interfaith Community in Dearborn, deeply disagrees with Jones’ views of the Muslim faith.

"We will not tolerate this.  We don’t accept what you are espousing.  And we’re not going to allow you to divide this community," he said.

Griffin says even though the two might disagree, there was wide support for Jones's right to express himself freely.  Even Imam Sayed Hassan al-Qazwini, a leader of the Islamic Center of America, a local mosque in Dearborn, believed Jones’s right to free speech is protected by the 1st amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

"We have no problem with Terry Jones exercising his freedom of expression, and that does not really bother us, but he needs to understand that when he burns the Quran, he is insulting not only the Muslim community, but also the Christian community as well, because the Quran glorifies Jesus, on whom he speaks on his behalf," he said.

The city of Dearborn denied Jones’ request for a permit to stage his protest, which he claimed was against radical Islam and Sharia law. Police officials were concerned Jones’s presence at the Islamic Center of America, the largest mosque in North America, could incite a riot, and encouraged him to plan the protest elsewhere.

Jones contested the city, leading to a hastily arranged case in Dearborn's 19th district court.  A jury ultimately sided with the city, deciding that both Jones and Sapp would breach the peace if they carried out their plans.  

Judge Mark Somers then restricted both men from being near the mosque for three years, and ordered them to pay a "peace bond" of one dollar each.

Jones and Sapp initially refused, leading Judge Somer to order them into custody. Charlie Langton, a legal analyst, says the court's action was highly unusual.

"The condition hasn’t happened yet.  It creates what they call a chilling effect on speech.  This is not a good statute, and I think that Jones does have some constitutional arguments," he said.

Jones and Sapp later paid the one-dollar "peace bond," and were released.  They did not talk to the media, or the crowd of onlookers who gathered outside the Dearborn police station.

Earlier, Jones told the media he would continue his plans regardless of the outcome of the court case, though it is unclear when.

Judge Somers's three-year ban remains in effect, unless mosque leaders petition the court to reconsider that decision.

You May Like

Video Experts Warn World Losing Ebola Fight

Doctors Without Borders says world is losing battle against Ebola, unless wealthy nations dispatch specialized biological disaster response teams More

Video Experts: Rise of Islamic State Significant Development in Jihadism

Many analysts contend the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years More

US-Based Hong Kongers Pledge Support for Pro-Democracy Activists

Democracy advocates call on Chinese living abroad to join them in opposing new election rules for their home territory More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid