The Middle Ages had Charles the Hammer — and America has her lawyers. A large Arab festival in Dearborn, Michigan, has once again been cancelled because of high insurance costs resulting from attacks on Christians during the event. Writes the Detroit Free Press’ Niraj Warikoo:
The Arab International Festival in Dearborn has been canceled for the second year in a row, raising questions about the future of the three-day gathering in June that had become an annual tradition.
The festival was canceled last year when the city and festival organizers, the American Arab Chamber of Commerce [AACC], faced higher liability insurance costs because of growing tensions with some Christian missionaries that had resulted in arrests, accusations of harassment and lawsuits.
The festival, held over Father’s Day weekend and used as a fundraiser for the AACC, has been plagued by anti-Christian activity. The first well-publicized incident occurred in 2010 when David Wood, and ex-Muslims Negeen Mayel, Nabeel Qureshi, and Paul Rezkalla, of a Christian group called Acts 17 were arrested after sharing the Gospel. In the video found here, Qureshi is seen being taken into police custody after simply engaging Muslim youth in peaceful dialogue.
The site Bare Naked Islam, which has characterized the incident as “police enforcement of Sharia law,” added some detail, writing in 2010 that the four were arrested to “the jeers and shouts of ‘Allah Akbar’ by the Muslim crowd” and that Mayel, Wood, and Rezkalla — who were videoing what transpired — “had their cameras and other equipment illegally seized before police arrested them as well.” Acts 17 also noted the festival attendees’ attitude of Islamic triumphalism, pointing out at its blog that many Muslims took “delight” in the Christians’ arrest.
This delight, however, was short-lived. A jury acquitted the missionaries in September 2010 of a charge of breaching the peace, and in 2013 it was revealed that Dearborn had to pay Acts 17 $300,000 in a settlement also requiring that an apology to the group remain posted on the city’s website for three years.
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