Friday, April 6, 2012

Islam, Christian, Athiest: Religious Freedom In Dearborn

U.S. District Judge Denise Page Hood ruled in the case of Terry Jones v The City of Dearborn only hours ago. The case was brought by The Thomas More Law Center representing Terry Jones against The City of Dearborn for their request for a “hold harmless” agreement before granting permission to hold a “religious rally,” speaking on Radical Islam and Sharia Law outside of the Islamic Institute.
The City of Dearborn requested the Holds Harmless agreement because they didn’t want to be responsible for Terry Jones or his members due to a protest or rally held on land that wasn’t developed for pedestrian use. The Mosque is located on Ford Road and could be potentially dangerous. I’m sure that is just the legal terminology that justified the fact that they truly didn’t want a Radical Judeo Christian uprising in the peaceful Muslim community. I think the City of Dearborn was trying to protect, not only the Muslim community, but also Mr. Jones. Any responsible city would take measures that would aim to protect all involved and keep the city safe from potential lawsuits. We have to remember that Jones didn’t ask to march down city streets, through the parks, or in the arenas, he wanted front stage, center. The Islamic Center, the largest Muslim Mosque in North America, is where Jones chooses his face off with the Muslim community.

Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of The Thomas More Law Center said: “Dearborn has a history of discriminating against Christians who what to speak out against the internal threat of Sharia Law and Islam. And every time the City attempts to curtail the Constitutional Right of Christians, we will confront them in a court of law. There is no doubt in my mind that the City knew the Hold Harmless agreement they were trying to get Jones’ organization to sign was unconstitutional.”

I had to smile. Richard didn’t do his Mayor Orville Hubbard homework before he made that statement, did he?

I went to the website for the Thomas More Law Center and my first thought was “scary.”  They call themselves the “Sword and Sheild” for people of “Christian faith.” I read the “key issues” which defined who they are and what they believe. They are extreme right wing Christian radicals with law degrees.  Some key issues are: “Defending the Religious Freedom of Christians” (against separation of Church and State claiming no Constitutional basis, yet it is clear in the First Amendment that with Freedom of Religion comes separation of Church and State for obvious reasons.) “Restoring Family Values” (anti homosexual.) “Defending the Sanctity of Human Life” (anti abortion.) “Confronting the Threat of Islam” (fighting Sharia law and Radical Islam.) “Defending National Security” (defending a U.S. Marine involved in the Haditha Massacre. Twenty-four Iraqi civilians, women, children, and old men were killed in their homes by marines who opened fire.) “Protecting the Military” (shame and disgrace brought on by homosexuals in the military weakening our national defense.) After much reading my fear turn into pity. I felt sorry for them for their close minded bigotry. They fear what they don’t know and can’t understand. They criticize and try to intimidate when someone doesn’t fit their mold of what “should be.” They defend the “pride of the military” above lives of innocent people?  Interesting Christian views. Their key issues go into detail on their website and it explains a lot more than I am willing to explain here. It becomes obvious why they would jump on the “Terry Jones” bandwagon.

Now, let’s move on to Terry Jones. He is a former hotel manager.  He left for Germany as a missionary and led Christian Community of Cologne Church until 2009. In 2002, Jones was fined $3,800 in a Cologne court for using “Doctor” as a prefix. The fine was imposed because Jones didn’t earn a degree from an accredited source. Jones was removed from his church because of his “radicalism.” One of the current leaders of the former church, Stephan Baar, told the German News Agency, DPA, that there were suspicions of financial irregularities in the church surrounding Jones. Other members stated that Jones created a “climate of fear and control.” Free will was not allowed. Jones demanded “blind faith.” Jones preached beating children with rods, and “distinctive demonology.” He is also accused of brainwashing. Andrew Schafer, who worked as a religious monitor, felt Jones “appeared to have a delusional personality.” The extremism led Jones to begin targeting Islam in his sermons. Members became too afraid to attend services out of fear of being attacked by Muslims. “Terry Jones has a way of finding topical social issues and seizing on them for his own cause.” Schafer said. He also believes that Jones is a fanatic who loves the media attention because he feels the “immense loss of power and significance.”

From the 800-1000 member Christian Community of Cologne Church Jones led in Germany to the 30-50 members he leads today I’m sure he has became parched and power thirsty.

In the decision Judge Hood agreed it was a violation of Jones’ First Amendment rights. I agree, it was the only ruling Judge Hood could make under the circumstances, just like the ruling on behalf of Westboro Church when their rights were protected in picketing a gay combat soldiers funeral. I love the First Amendment, but I like it more when it benefits the good in people, not the bad. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work out that way.

The accusation of Sharia Law in Dearborn is laughable. Dearborn Mayor John O’Reilly called the accusation “ridiculous.” Dearborn Residents, even the non Arabic speaking residents, know this is nothing more than a reason to stir “terrorist terror” in a place it doesn’t exist. We all know “fear” is a great moderator and Jones is going to try to instill it, by and through his “righteous God.” He is going to try his hardest to stir fear in the Christians and non Muslims against the Muslims. The worst part is he is going to try to convert the longstanding and deeply devout Muslims to his rationale. He is trying to create an uneasy atmosphere in a comfortable situation. This could be dangerous and potentially volatile. But it’s not going to work. The Dearborn Muslims are comfortable in their hearts and homes and so are their Christian neighbors. It’s what makes Dearborn work. Jones doesn’t have what it takes to strip Dearborn of its dignity and honor as a city that has evolved beyond the recesses of closed minds.

Obviously, Terry Jones and those affiliated with him, never sat in the home of a Muslim. They have never had the chance to accept the true kindness that is generated by the Arabic community toward all people, not just to other Arabic people, not just to allied Muslims, and not just to Dearbornites. Jones has missed out on the deep sincerity of the Arabic Muslim community and the appreciation they have toward the simplest show of kindness. The hearts of these people are true and run deep. It is truly sewn in the fabric of who they are.

I know Jones would like us all to fall his belief that we are being “invaded” and “taken over” by the Dearborn Muslims. Dearborn has been the same for years and there has yet to be a Holy War in the streets. By today’s standards, especially in the Western World Muslim Culture, Sharia Law is not something that is used in government or lawmaking situations. We all believe in Sharia Law if we believe that God governs and directs our personal and family life. For those that don’t believe in God, it is our conscience, or natural beliefs that guide us between right, wrong, good, and bad.  Sharia Law binds Muslims to the rules of their faith, just like it binds Catholics, Methodists, Baptists, Mormons, Buddists, Hindus, Agnostics, and Atheists to their personal code of ethics. Sharia Law, is merely an Arabic term that fits all regulations in faith, across the board. 

I know the people of Dearborn are going to unite and let the words that fly from the mouth of Jones drip off of them as gently as soft rain on a hot and dry day. The words and their meaning will evaporate without harshness felt. As a community, Dearborn residents are going to join forces and kill the “Crusade of Jones” with kindness. There will be Unity in the city that will prevail without fight or disturbance. We will not allow Jones to divide us with his mouth. We are smarter and we know he is simply trying to push the “incite a riot” button of loyalty to faith to “prove” his false testimony. It doesn’t work that way in Dearborn, Mr. Jones. You have wasted your time and money coming here. You only have the power given by those who want to bash you, and we choose to simply ignore you, therefore, you remain powerless in Dearborn. You lose. Go home.

To my Dearborn friends…We have built lives together. We have learned from the differences of each other. We have grown together, cried together, laughed together and shared lives. The focus on Dearborn has been on the negatives of Islam, radicals, and Sharia Law. Tomorrow, in front of the Mosque, let Terry Jones stand alone without our ears to hear his unwanted words. Let’s stand in Unity and show Mr. Jones what he is up against. He isn’t up against Radical Islam.  He is basically alone in a city filled with Catholics, Baptists, Mormons, Muslims, Agnostics, and Atheists that are peace loving people and not easily led by his harsh words of hatred. Dearborn citizens are not and will not be a people divided by religion, race, gender, language, or fashion. We don’t need swords, we don’t need fight, and we don’t thrive on anguish. We learned to live, love, and learn together a long time ago, but we do understand that some people have to wallow in the complacency of their own ignorance.
That, Mr. Jones, is the heart of Dearborn and that is simply how we roll. Yeah, like that.

Till Tomorrow….Salam


No comments:

Post a Comment