Monday, May 6, 2013

City of Dearborn Apologizes for Arresting Christians at 2010 Arab Festival; Settlement Reached in Lawsuit

In June of 2010, a few of us were on our way out of Dearborn's annual Arab International Festival, when some young Muslims began asking us questions, which we were happy to answer. Here's unedited footage of our last 20 minutes or so at the festival:


Nearly three years later, thanks to our lawyers Robert Muise and David Yerushalmi, the City of Dearborn has apologized for arresting us. (Click here for the apology on the City's website.)

David Wood's Arrest in 2010
Detroit, Michigan (May 6, 2013) — After more than two years of intense motion practice and discovery, the City of Dearborn has agreed to enter into a settlement that includes a public apology for arresting several Christian missionaries who were peacefully preaching to Muslims at the Dearborn Arab International Festival in 2010. The American Freedom Law Center (AFLC), a national nonprofit Judeo-Christian law firm, is representing Dr. Nabeel Qureshi, David Wood, and Paul Rezkalla, who were thrown in jail on June 18, 2010, and charged with “breach of the peace” for their free speech activity.

In September 2010, Robert Muise, AFLC Co-Founder and Senior Counsel, represented the Christians during a five-day criminal trial. At the end of the trial, the Christians were acquitted by a unanimous jury verdict. Following the acquittals, fellow AFLC Co-Founder and Senior Counsel David Yerushalmi and Muise filed a 100-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 on behalf Qureshi, Wood, and Rezkalla. The lawsuit was later amended to add the Arab Chamber as a defendant. The civil rights complaint alleged that the Christians’ constitutional rights were egregiously violated during the Arab festival.

Just this past week, the City agreed to enter into a settlement, which includes a public apology that will be posted on the City’s website for three years; the removal from the City’s website of a press release and letter from the mayor that contained derogatory comments about the Christians; and a payment to the Christians, the amount of which is confidential. The legal claims against the Arab Chamber defendants will proceed.

The City’s public apology states as follows: 

On June 18, 2010, David Wood, Nabeel Qureshi (co-founders of Acts 17 Apologetics) and Paul Rezkalla were arrested by Dearborn police officers at the Dearborn Arab International Festival (“Arab Festival”), while they were engaging in a peaceful dialogue about their Christian faith with several festival attendees. Wood, Qureshi, and Rezkalla were subsequently charged with breach of peace, a misdemeanor offense.

The decision to arrest these individuals was based in part on information provided to the Dearborn police by Arab Festival attendees, workers, and volunteers. When all of the information—including the video captured by Wood, Qureshi, and Rezkalla—was presented to a Dearborn jury, the jury found that these individuals were not guilty of the criminal offense of breach of peace.

The City of Dearborn regrets and apologizes for the decisions to arrest and prosecute David Wood, Nabeel Qureshi, and Paul Rezkalla and the hardship caused to everyone involved.

Through this apology and its acceptance by David Wood, Nabeel Qureshi, and Paul Rezkalla, the parties seek to build a bridge and to confirm to the community that members of all faiths are welcome in Dearborn to peacefully share their views and to engage in religious discussions.

Muise commented, “For too long our clients have been vilified for simply exercising their constitutional right to evangelize on a public street during the Arab Festival. And despite their acquittal, they continued to be treated as if they had committed a crime. With this settlement and apology, our clients have been vindicated and this dispute with the City will finally be put to rest.”

Yerushalmi added, “While the dispute with the City is over, there is still unfinished business with the Arab Chamber. As the City itself noted in its apology, Arab Festival volunteers and workers, who were acting under the guidance and direction of the Arab Chamber and its executive director, Fay Beydoun, and pursuant to the Chamber’s festival ‘rules and regulations,’ are similarly responsible for the violation of our clients’ rights, and we intend to hold them accountable.”

The American Freedom Law Center is a Judeo-Christian law firm that fights for faith and freedom. It accomplishes its mission through litigation, public policy initiatives, and related activities. It does not charge for its services. The Law Center is supported by contributions from individuals, corporations, and foundations, and is recognized by the IRS as a section 501(c)(3) organization. Visit us at www.americanfreedomlawcenter.org.

49 comments:

Blazing Cat Fur said...

Good stuff!

WhatsUpDoc said...

Justice prevailed. We got to keep the pressure up to uphold freedom of speech and expression.

Well done guys.

Teri said...

I bet it was difficult for them to "apologize" and "regret".

bislinks said...

Congratulations to David, Nabeel, and Paul.

Your patience paid back, finally.

Thank the Lord.

See you on YouTube.

GreekAsianPanda said...

Congratulations!

The lack of mention of Negeen seems kind of odd.

cheryl_maree said...

Right On David!!! So that means you are coming to Dearborn this Year?

Haecceitas said...

Great stuff. Congratulations on your well deserved victory! I've heard that the Arab Festival will be moved into a more private setting this year, so perhaps that will impact your plans somewhat. But from what I've heard, apparently it will be possible to at least use the sidewalks around the festival for similar purposes as before.

santana_10877 said...

who is buying me dinner?

David Wood said...

Me.

Blogguy said...

Was there a apology for publishing home address

Haecceitas said...

I took a brief look at the city of Dearborn website and wasn't able to find the apology.

Btw, since there are probably many people who follow your Youtube channel but almost never visit this blog, perhaps it would be useful to make a video about this.

Haecceitas said...

Oh, and one more thing. What about the honor killings mentioned by the police officer? It was mentioned briefly in the lawsuit but will there be further examination on that?

David Wood said...

I'll definitely make the video.

Our press release just came out today. The city has agreed to make the apology, but they may take a few days to actually post it.

Deleting said...

Congrats David.
What happened today was NOT a black eye for Islam, rather it was a stepping stone for many others to come to the knowledge of Christ, repentance and salvation.

That's how God does it sometimes folks. We can, and will, get persecuted everyone will. It's coming fast and hard and don't think for a second it will have an earthly happy ending.

Deleting said...

FYI...Voddie Baucham (he does a lot of the big conferences with Paul Washer and Steve Lawson, Phil McDonald and James White interviewed him on his show last year) just retweeted David's video 'understanding the islamic boston bombing video'...

crujjy said...

Soli Cristo Gloria

Traeh said...

Brilliant! Congratulations.

IslamLeadsToHell said...

CONGRATS! Your patience, suffering for truth and perseverance have been paid off!!

Now I have more respect for the American jury than before.

Derek Adams said...

Hope this doesn't mean you will cease exposing the corruption of this city/state. It needs saving and this is only a battle in the war.

EXPOSEDDDDDDDDD.

Nakdimon said...

Congrats!

But what about their outrageously criminal treatment of sister Negeen?

Mary said...

I'm glad they were made to apologize, and I hope the settlement was enough to make them think twice about ever acting like that again! When you settle with the Arab (Muslim) organization I hope you DEFUND it completely.

Tom said...

Thank you Jesus, Our Gracious Father continue to shower His Blessings of Wisdom & Knowledge, to expose the the lies & deceit of satan, to our dear Blessed brothers, David, Nabeel, Paul,& all those who were guided by the God of Abraham, Shalom.

Jim said...

Good Job David. May the Lord Bless you for your work!

southwood said...

God is good.

cheryl_maree said...

Daviid,
You deserve that and more because you do this out of love and I know that, I wish the muslims truly knew that. I know that God has a way of taking a situation and just flipping it around and causing it to be a blessing, thats what you are, a blessing!

cheryl_maree said...

If they move the festival does that mean no freedom of speech at the new site?

cheryl_maree said...

David you made the Fox2News in the D, it said they are moving the festival to Ford Woods Park, where it will be more controlled.

9jaguy said...

congratulations!!!
Good to see that there are still people that are not bullied and intimidated by these guys.

Haecceitas said...

cheryl_maree,

I think I saw that same clip. Perhaps this wasn't purposeful, but it was sort of ironic that when the reporter told how the organizers would be better able to control who are admitted to the festival area and who aren't, she was standing next to the park's "no dogs allowed" sign. That would fit quite well to symbolize the Islamic supremacist attitude against the type of people (Christian evangelists, etc.) who would be most likely to have a hard time entering the festival this year in this new location.

nacanacazo said...

alhamdilulalulalula

or something to that effect.

cheryl_maree said...

@haecceitas
No Dogs Allowed, that's kind of crazy for a Park! Oh I forgot that muslims don't like dogs and cats.

taomeano said...

David
Truth always wins out no matter how long it takes. God is still on the throne. Praise be to the Lord God and His Christ.

Nifgel said...

Dearborn caves again!!!!! Seems they cannot stand up to anyone. Would loved to have seen them squirming in court. What a pathetic bunch of officials!!! Congratulations from the UK and keep standing firm.

Nifgel said...

Dearborn caved again!!! Seems like they cannot stand up for anything? Would loved to have seen them squirm in court. What a pathetic bunch of officials. Congratulations from the UK. Keep standing firm.

Selecta Mark said...

Proverbs 18:17 The first speech in a court case is always convincing—until the cross-examination starts!

A big well done to you David. As we would say here in my community, Acts 17 Apologetics "Run Tings"!

Bless Ya'll

Trinity325 said...

David, I am happy that you and your team have been cleared of the false charges brought against you. Stay safe man.

sebsite said...

Congratulations...millions of congratulations

gabriella oak said...

Well Done, and not before time !

I would have insisted on a filmed apology from the mayor himself though, down on one knee begging forgiveness whilst wearing a "DEARBORN WELCOMES SAM SHAMOUN" hat.

Teach him the true meaning of justice...

Joe Bradley said...

Great news in a hard fought battle.

If the City of Dearborn had any integrity all city officials involved in this travesty would resign - that is IF they had a shred of integrity.

sg said...

I still cannot locate the apology on the City of Dearborn website.

sg said...

Has the City published the statement yet? Unable to locate it.

bislinks said...

I cannot find 'apology' post on city of Dearborn website...

Where should it be and where is it on their site?

bam bamba said...

Alleluyah! The truth is eternal

Joe Bradley said...

For those of you having questions regarding the "apology", you can ask the Dearborn Mayor, John B. O’Reilly, Jr., about it through the "Contact The Mayor" link on the left margin of his web page by [Clicking Here]

Cheesy Cheese said...

They should move the Arab Festival to Afghanistan, it is more appropriate....

Murtadd said...

Romans 8:31

31 What, then, shall we say in response to
these things? If God is for us, who can be
against us?

murtadd.wordpress.com

Edward Overton said...

Onward Christians!

Joe Bradley said...

I found the "apology" on the Dearborn website. It is buried in, what appears to be, a made-up web page specifically designed to host this link (since it is the only link on the, otherwise, blank page). It is NOT entitled as an apology, rather as "Arab Fest 2010". It is not written in html, rather it is an Acrobat file (PDF) that is available for download.

Click here to go to the page.

Jake said...

Yes!!!