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
TEXT SIZE - +

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

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

Turkish Law Gives Spy Agency Controversial Powers

Parliament approves legislation to bolster powers of intelligence service, which government claims is necessary to modernize and deal with new threats Turkey faces More

Video Face of American Farmer Changing

Average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population 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.
Face of American Farmer is Changingi
X
Mike Osborne
April 18, 2014
The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid