Stoned Dearborn Christian Speaks
The video "American Muslims Stone Christians in Dearborn, MI” from this year’s Dearborn Arab Festival has gone viral. The group at the center of the incident, Official Street Preachers, is led by Ruben Israel. I sat down for a candid conversation and interview with the man behind this video and got an inside exclusive look at what really happened, including a frightening vehicular attack that wasn’t captured on video.
The 2012 Arab International Festival in Dearborn, Michigan ran this year from June 15 – 18 over the Father’s Day Weekend. Like every other year, incidents that occur there become YouTube sensations, but nothing like what happened this time around.
We have seen this before, and I have written and spoken on the Arab Festival for the last three years. At the 2010 festival, four Christians from the Acts 17 Apologetics group were arrested and charged with "breach of the peace.” Their cameras were confiscated, all for attempting to hand out Christian literature.
In September 2010, a jury acquitted all four Christians. Following the acquittal, Acts 17 filed a 96-page civil rights lawsuit against the city, its mayor, John B. O’Reilly, its chief of police, Ronald Haddad, 17 city police officers, and two executives from the American Arab Chamber of Commerce.
In January of this year, a Detroit judge awarded $103,401.96 to Acts 17 for attorney’s fees, and in February, a U.S. district court judge in Detroit, Michigan denied a request by the city of Dearborn to dismiss the civil rights suit.
In June 2010 when I wrote about the arrests, I focused on "Sharia in America” — people being arrested in an overwhelmingly Muslim community for nothing more than exercising their First Amendment right of free speech. But this year went far beyond people being arrested. This year they were stoned: (...)