When people ask, “What evidence do you have to show that sharia (Islamic) law is adversely affecting our constitutional freedoms?,” we point to Dearborn, Michigan as Exhibit A. It is no coincidence that Dearborn (referred to by many as Dearbornistan) has the largest, concentrated Muslim population in the U.S.
Under sharia, it is unlawful to preach Christianity, and the penalty for leaving Islam is death. So it should come as no surprise that Christians are often treated harshly and, yes, even jailed for trying to convert Muslims in the City of Dearborn.
Indeed, in 2009, Christian Pastor George Saieg was prohibited from distributing his Christian literature at the annual Dearborn Arab Festival. AFLC Co-Founder and Senior Counsel Robert Muise had the privilege of representing Pastor Saieg in his constitutional challenge to the City’s policy, which confined the pastor to a booth if he wanted to hand out his literature to festival goers, most of whom were Muslim. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled in our favor, holding that the speech restriction violated the First Amendment. In its decision, the Sixth Circuit noted a fundamental problem with the City’s policy in light of the fact that Saieg was seeking to evangelize Muslims. The court stated, “Saieg also faces a more basic problem with booth-based evangelism: ‘[t]he penalty of leaving Islam according to Islamic books is death,’ which makes Muslims reluctant to approach a booth that is publicly ‘labeled as . . . Christian.’” You can read that decision here.
In 2010, four Christian missionaries were handcuffed and jailed for peacefully preaching to Muslims at the Arab Festival. The City charged the Christians with “breach of the peace.” Robert Muise defended the Christians in their criminal trial against these bogus charges. At the close of the week-long trial, the jury returned verdicts of “not guilty.”
Following the acquittals, AFLC Co-Founders and Senior Counsel Robert Muise and David Yerushalmi filed a lengthy, civil rights lawsuit against the City, its mayor, the chief of police, seventeen police officers, and two festival organizers for violating the Christians’ fundamental constitutional rights. The City recently sought to dismiss the lawsuit. However, a Detroit federal judge denied the City’s request. You can read more about this ongoing case [and watch the shocking videos of City police officers arresting the Christians] here.
In 2011, the City was at it again. When a controversial Christian pastor wanted to hold a peaceful demonstration protesting sharia and jihad outside of the Islamic Center of America, the largest mosque in the U.S., which happens to be located in Dearborn, the City and the Wayne County Prosecutor haled the pastor and his associate to court under an archaic Michigan law that allowed for the imposition of a “peace bond” to prevent a crime. The prosecutor argued that because Muslim counter-protestors threatened violence if the pastor were allowed to hold his protest, the imposition of a “peace bond” to prevent the demonstration was justified. A local state court judge agreed. Following a two-day trial, the court imposed a “peace bond,” issued an order preventing the pastor from going near the mosque for three years, and jailed the pastor until he paid the bond. Neither the pastor nor his associate had legal representation during the course of the “peace bond” proceedings. Robert Muise agreed to represent the pastor and his associate on appeal, and successfully argued to the Michigan circuit court that the judgment and the speech restricting injunction should be reversed. You can read more about that case here.
Despite all of these costly losses for the City, its officials were at it again last week. This time they tried to burden a pastor’s right to freedom of speech by requiring him to enter a “hold harmless” agreement with the City in order to hold a peaceful protest on public property outside of a mosque. This agreement would essentially immunize the City for any wrongdoing on account of the pastor’s exercise of his constitutional rights. A Detroit federal judge issued a temporary restraining order, allowing the demonstration to proceed. You can read more about that case here.
As you can see, the threat of sharia to our constitutional freedoms is real, and there is no other public interest law firm that is as uniquely qualified to confront this threat at the local and national level than the American Freedom Law Center. Indeed, AFLC Co-Founder and Senior Counsel David Yerushalmi is the national leader in this battle to protect our Judeo/Christian freedoms from the threat of sharia. You can read more about his unique qualifications and expertise here and here. No other public interest law firm possesses such expertise.
Please know that the American Freedom Law Center will continue to fight for your faith and freedom by advancing and defending our Judeo/Christian heritage and moral values in courts all across our great Nation. Rest assured that we will defend against and attack all threats to our American freedoms, including the threat posed by sharia and stealth jihad.