Archive for July 19th, 2010

July 19th, 2010

Dearborn Christian Missionaries’ Arrests, the “Missing” Footage

Headlines read: “Christian Missionaries Arrested at Dearborn Islam Festival—Presence Offensive to Muslims,” “Christians Taken Away in Handcuffs, Cameras Confiscated, While Muslims Chant “Allahu Akhbar!” on US Soil,” “Arrested for being a Christian in Dearborn,” “Arrested for Being Christian Preachers in Dearborn, 2010,” and etcetera. Blogs and news headlines were unequivocal. Many still believe that Acts 17 Apologetics missionaries were wrongly arrested. After all, they “recorded every second of” their activity at the festival. The police returned the videos last week and there is about 20 minutes footage available online.

Some have already called on Christians who doubted the missionaries’ motives or questioned the reason behind their arrests to apologize. Dr. James White says, “The video proof now exists. I think a lot of Christians owe Acts 17 major apologies. I hope they offer those apologies, publicly.” [Emphasis mine.] Based on evidence that has been presented, I still maintain that the missionaries were not arrested for preaching the gospel to Muslims or for merely being a Christian in Dearborn. Dearborn Police department is not negatively biased toward Christians as some Christians have publicly portrayed it. I have friends who live in the city and they refute this allegation. If the department were, how come the 70 percent of population which is not Muslim has not lodged public complaints? How can the likes of Josh McDowell shared publicly his faith without any run-ins with law enforcement? In a recent appearance on Moody Radio he said, “That’s a lie!” when the host Mark Elfstrand asked him about “how Christians weren’t even welcome” at the annual Arab American Festival. He said he answered Muslims’ questions on Jesus, the Bible and resurrection. Perhaps by some Christian’s standard he was not bearing a Christian witness to Muslims at the festival. Josh said one man started an argument and he refused to engage him. The man later apologized for his attitude. He even went door to door a day before the start of the festival! Hear it for yourself here.

Christians who witnessed the missionaries’ arrests give differing accounts and video footages are inconclusive. The footage on the first arrest raises more questions than it provides answers. David Wood said it was recorded 15 minutes prior to his and Dr. Nabeel Qureish’s arrests. What happened prior to the first arrest? We have “no” idea because no video footage has been made public yet.

The police officer arresting Nageen told her that there was “a criminal complaint against you.” Has the public seen this criminal complaint? Is there something on the missionaries’ videos that exonerates them? If not, is it possible the missionaries did not tape “every second” of their activity at the festival as they have led the public to believe?

Some Christians witnessed both David and Nabeel “argue” and “harass” Muslims who later reported the matter to the police. These Christians witnessed what transpired before and after the arrests. Is there video footage that shows the missionaries’ “argument” and “harassment” was not tantamount to “disorderly conduct” or “disturbing the peace” charge? Let us continue to pray for these missionaries and their court trial in September. Nothing happens without God allowing it.

On another note on Christian outreach to Muslims, my Muslim family will start observing the fast during the month of Ramadhan starting on August 11. I will be exposing the “Cracks” in the Muslim fast during that month. Stay tuned.