Update: For those who are unaware, the annual Arab festival in Dearborn, MI has been discontinued and has not taken place for a number of years now.
Written by Joe Carey on June 20th, 2010:
Dearborn, Michigan has the notoriety of having the largest density of Muslim residents of any city. For the past 15 years the city has hosted an annual Arab American Cultural Festival which draws literally hundreds of thousands of people from every part of the nation.
For the past five years I have been part of a team of Christians that has visited this festival with the intent of sharing the good news of Jesus with these Arab people. The great majority of Arab people in the world are Muslim. Islam was birthed in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
I did not attend the festival this year.
Last night, a few of my fellow Christian Apologist to Islam friends were arrested in Dearborn at this year's festival. They spent the night in jail and were bailed out this morning (June 19). According to their blog, their crime was simply being present at the festival. Note: this festival is a public event, not a private affair. There is no charge to attend, it is hosted by the city, and public facilities (streets and sidewalks) serve as the festival venue.
Their crime: a group of Muslims did not want them at the festival this year, so drummed up charges against them to have them arrested for "breaching the peace." According to Nabeel:
I know from my experience last year in Dearborn that hostility toward Christians is on the rise. My wife and I were with David and Nabeel when our group was roughed up by the festival security staff.
As these events show, a day is coming when it will no longer be legal to preach the gospel in public. That time apparently has already come to Dearborn. For the rest of us, let us be busy about our Father's work, boldly proclaiming Jesus Christ crucified, risen, and ascended into heaven. It is not Muhammad that is seated in heaven with God, it is Jesus himself. Why would I want to follow Muhammad to the grave when I can follow Jesus to heaven and live there eternally?
Video of Harassment by Festival Security in 2009
Unedited Footage from 2009
Video Posted of the Arrest This Year
Unedited Footage From This Year