We're going to be posting several more videos in the weeks to come, but I thought it would be helpful to give everyone a timeline, since there's been confusion about the order of events.
I. ARAB FESTIVAL 2009: SHARIA IN THE U.S.
At the 2009 Dearborn Arab Festival, Nabeel tried to ask a question at a booth that invited us to ask questions. The Muslims gave us permission to record the conversation (a fact which has been almost completely ignored by our critics). Ironically, Nabeel was asking a question about Surah 9:29 of the Qur'an, which calls for the subjugation of non-Muslims. Muslim security guards gave us their answer, by conspiring against us and physically assaulting us. Notice that they also assaulted Mary Jo Sharp, who was simply holding a camera.
II. NEGEEN'S ARREST
We returned to the Arab Festival this year. Since (a) security attacked us last year, (b) they tried to set us up, and (c) Muslims threatened to harm/kill us if we returned, we knew that we had better keep cameras rolling the entire time. Negeen's job was to film us from a distance, in case something went wrong. Once police had decided to arrest us, they realized that they had better get Negeen out of the picture, so that the arrests wouldn't be recorded. Police approached Negeen, ordered her to turn off her camera (illegal), put their hands on her (illegal), and arrested her when she hadn't broken any laws (illegal). In case anyone is wondering, no, United States citizens do not have to obey the orders of a police officer if the officer has no right to issue the order. (For those who asked, Negeen's testimony can be seen here.)
III. NABEEL'S DIALOGUE WITH HAKEEM
Since we didn't know Negeen had been arrested, we kept walking through the tent we were in. A young Muslim approached us with our cameras rolling, and then said he was going to sue us for recording him. (Strange, since he walked in front of our cameras.) Nabeel engaged him in dialogue, and everything was going smoothly within a few minutes. Police can even be seen actually doing their job (I'm surprised they were able to take time away from harassing Christians), when they told Muslims to take a step back from Nabeel. As we now know, however, they were already plotting to arrest us, and were looking for an excuse.
IV. POLICE TELL US WE'RE FINE
According to Dearborn Mayor John C. O'Reilly, police ordered us to break up our conversation, and we refused. We also deliberately blocked a tent exit in order to cause a scene. These were supposedly the reasons for our arrest. Apparently, Mayor O'Reilly didn't think our cameras picked up what police actually said. I asked police if we should move, and they said, "No, you're fine." I don't speak Dearbornese, so I didn't realize that "You're fine" means "Leave now or we'll arrest you."
V. DAVID'S ARREST
It seems that holding a camera in Dearborn is unofficially illegal. That's the only possible justification for having me arrested, since I was simply holding a camera. Later, of course, the Mayor realized that there are no laws on the books against filming a dialogue, so he had to invent a story about me blocking a tent entrance in order to justify my arrest. But those pesky video cameras of ours just don't lie.
VI. PAUL AND NABEEL'S ARREST
After police arrested me, they went for Paul and Nabeel. Notice how peacefully Nabeel was responding to the questions of Muslims, and how peacefully he reacted when police put him in handcuffs. This is quite different from the Nabeel we read about in the police report and Mayor's letter (i.e. the Nabeel who was screaming at a crowd and grew louder when police took him into custody).
VII. OUR POST-ARREST VIDEO
Shortly after we were released from jail, we recorded a video explaining what had happened. Many Muslims were rejoicing at our arrests and spreading all kinds of false accusations (more on this later). Nabeel made an important claim in this video, namely, that our stories would not change, while the stories of our critics would have to change in light of video footage. Apart from some minor details (e.g. Negeen seems to me to be less than 100 feet away, and we seem to have blurred the last two dialogues together in our minds--simple memory problems due to our cameras being taken way), our story is exactly the same. We were engaging in peaceful dialogue with Muslims when police arrested us. But what about the stories of our critics? What of all the claims that we were screaming at the crowd, that we were harassing Muslims, that we were inciting a riot, etc.? These stories are changing day by day, just as we said they would.
VIII. POLICE TAKE US INTO CUSTODY FOR HANDING OUT THE GOSPEL OF JOHN
Two days after our arrest, Paul, Negeen, and I returned to the Arab Festival, along with our friend Antonio. Paul and Antonio were distributing copies of the Gospel of John for less than three minutes when eight police officers surrounded them. Police also seized my camera (illegally) and took all of us into custody. When Antonio tried to call his pastor, police took his phone. They took us to their portable police station, photographed us, and wrote down all of our information. They told us that we would have to walk five blocks away from the festival if we wanted to distribute copies of the Gospel. If we dared hand anything out again within five blocks of the festival, we would be taken to jail.
We have several more videos of the festival that we will be posting, but this is a fair summary for now. I invite all of our readers to link to this summary to help us refute the lies that are being spread.