Dearborn denies Florida pastor a permit for mosque protest
The city of Dearborn has denied a permit to a Quran-burning Florida pastor to hold a protest on Good Friday outside of a famous Islamic Center of America mosque in that city.
The Detroit News reports:
Jones could be arrested if he goes ahead with the protest outside the mosque without a permit, said city spokeswoman Mary Laundroche. She added that the permit had been denied for “public safety reasons.”
Jones said he had not received notification that the permit had been turned down but that he was undeterred.
Jones is due in 19th District Court in Dearborn on Thursday to answer prosecutors’ claims that his demonstration could cause a riot and demands he post a “peace bond” to cover police costs.
Dearborn officials said Jones can still demonstrate at one of two “free speech zones,” including City Hall. Before denying the permit, city officials expressed concern about public safety, traffic and disruptions to nearby churches.
Strangely, the Dearborn mayor cited the city’s alleged commitment to the constitution even while clearly violating it:
“Our commitment to the Constitution is unwavering, not merely convenient, which makes your hyperbole about Sharia Law being practiced in the courts or civil law of Dearborn nonsensical,” O’Reilly wrote. “So, you are coming to protest against an imaginary threat that doesn’t exist in our community. Not in our courts, not at our City Hall, not on our streets and not in any of our places of worship.”
If Jones challenges the permit denial, which he almost certainly will, it is very, very unlikely to hold up in court. The 1977 Supreme Court case National Socialist Party v. Skokie put this issue firmly to rest. The right to protest cannot be violated even if the event will be deliberately inflammatory and might lead to a violent reaction in the community.
And Skokie also tried the tactic of charging the Nazis who wanted to march a huge amount of money for an insurance bond, as Wayne County is seeking to do in this case; that has also been declared unconstitutional.