DEARBORN, Michigan – Friday night, September 28, a large crowd gathered in the Hubbard Ballroom of the Dearborn Civic Center for a night of speeches in defense of the prophet Mohammed. Large signs in the front of the hall proclaimed the message: “Say NO to Hate Mongering” and “Say No to Islamophobia” next to the American flag.
The community rally was organized in response to recent violent demonstrations throughout the Middle East related to an anti-Islamic film. Many Islamic and inter-faith leaders claim the film “Innocence of Muslims” denigrates the prophet Mohammed. Various news reports claim the derogatory film on Prophet Muhammed sparked the violent and deadly protests.
On the podium, above the Civic Center insignia (“City of Dearborn, Michigan – Home Town of Henry Ford”) was a poster promoting the event: “We Love Prophet Mohammed – Stand Up Against Violence and Hate – Community Rally”
It was a peaceful night. Speech after speech by government, inter-faith and Muslim leaders was heard — with a crowd of over 1,000 in attendance. Local government officials including Mayor John O’Reilly, Wayne County Commissioner Gary Woronchak, and Michigan State Representative George Darany were in attendance. Speakers included many local Muslim leaders, Arab-American activists, a Unitarian minister, U.S. Rep. John Conyers (D-Detroit), Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Richard Halloran, and civil rights leaders.
The rally in Dearborn was similar to hundreds of other rallies and protests organized around the globe in recent weeks – although more peaceful — and one of the few where the American flag was not burned.
Henry Payne, writing in the Detroit News said:
“This assault on the First Amendment in the name of the prophet Mohammed is a sad day in America – and confirms fears that Muslim-American activists do not understand the fundamental separation of church and state in the American Constitution.”
“There is a need for deterrent legal measures against those individuals or groups that want to damage relations between people, spread hate and incite violence,” said Arab-American News publisher Osama Siblani, a self-proclaimed “moderate” who is apparently oblivious to how gutting the First Amendment would affect his own business.
Muslim leaders claim the call for a global ban on anti-Islam ‘hate speech’ is not an attack on free speech. Raymond Ibrahim says (ironically) in a recent editorial that proposed laws that “would ban movies and cartoons that defame Islam, would also, by logical extension, have to ban the religion of Islam itself”.
Related Stories and Links
- Blasphemy and Free Speech – Dearborn Free Press (editorial)
- How ‘Religious Defamation’ Laws Would Ban Islam – Dearborn Free Press (editorial)
- Unified Rally at Dearborn Civic Center Attracts Over 1,000 – Arab American News
- Community Rally Sends Unified Message to Extremists – Arab American News
- Over 1,000 Rally Against Anti-Islam Film in Dearborn – Detroit Free Press
- Over 1,000 Rally Against Anti-Islam Film in Dearborn – PressTV – Iran
- Muslims in Dearborn Rally Against Free Speech, Call for Anti-Blasphemy Laws – Examiner
- Dearborn Muslims Rally For Anti-Blashphemy Laws – American Thinker
- Muslims in Michigan to Rally Against First Amendment – Weekly Standard
- Muslims in Dearborn Hold Massive Rally Against First Amendment (video) – Human Events
- Michigan Rally Against Anti-Islam Film Urges Peace – USA Today
- Muslim-Americans Call for ‘Deterrerent Legal Measures’ Over Anti-Islam Film – Washington Examiner
- Interfaith Leaders Condemn Hate Speech at ICA Rally – Arab American News
- Interfaith Groups React to Anti-Muslim Film, Condemn Violence Abroad – Arab American News
- The Dearborn Omen – Jerusalem Post
- At Mosque in Dearborn – Muslims rally against the anti-Islam film Innocence of Muslims – YouTube
- Dead Silence – The Movie – DeadSilenceTheMovie.com