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.

  • http://healtheland.wordpress.com Job

    OK, now that these Christians have been acquitted, are you willing to FINALLY revise your comments and APOLOGIZE to them? Or are you suggesting that this JURY was not given access to this “missing footage”?

    The evangelist in question gave his answer to you, and did so in a rational, reasoned manner. He stated that the reason why his group was targeted and others weren’t is because his group was the only one that was challenging Islam. And that is the real battle in this country right now. So long as Christianity is seen as only one valid option among many, you aren’t going to experience problems. So, other evangelists were perfectly free to hand out Bibles, preach, and do whatever they wanted so long as they were only promoting Christianity and not criticizing other religions.

    But the second that you reject pluralism is when you get into trouble these days. That is why the mayor called them “Muslim haters”, because they had the message that Jesus Christ is the ONLY way and because they publicly (not in the safety of an Internet site or blog that people can choose to participate in or ignore but publicly) called Christianity the truth and Islam a lie.

    And when you call Christianity the truth and other religions a lie publicly, you will encounter opposition. People are going to get angry with you. It is going to cause confrontations. That is what happened in the book of Acts. It is what happened during the ministry of Jesus Christ. So, why do we think that it is going to be any different for us? Why do we have to submit to some watered down gospel that is content to accept to be an item in the religious cafeteria of the public square in return for not being arrested? Christians have the right to argue with Muslims over their beliefs. Period.

    • http://www.cracksinthecrescent.com Hussein

      Job,

      You missed the whole point. Did you read my article from the Acts 17 link? I have written more on this topic since. Please let me know if you have further questions.

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  • im4JC

    I share the Gospel with Muslims in Dearborn all the time. I went door to door in neighborhoods that are majority Muslim in the week preceding the Arab Fest and passed out flyers for a Christian booth. I attended the Arab Fest and saw firsthand that Christians were distributing the Gospel, in both English and Arabic, without any interference. The difficulties experienced by the Acts 17 ministry are not shared by the multitude of ministries to Muslims that are based in Dearborn.

    • http://www.cracksinthecrescent.com Hussein

      Thank you for the comment. I agree with you. I know Christians in Dearborn who go door to door witnessing all year round and they have not been subjected to harassment or censure by police or Dearborn Muslim residents.

    • http://www.answeringmuslims.com Nabeel

      We never said that all Christians face what we faced. But there are double standards in Dearborn for Christians and Muslims, watch this video: http://www.answeringmuslims.com/2010/07/double-standards-in-dearborn.html, and if you are vocal about asking questions about Islam (even if in a peaceful manner) you will be shut down. That’s what happened to us. That’s our claim.

      Again, we never said all Christians are persecuted, nor have we said no one can hand out Bibles, etc. But what we experienced, being vocal Christians at the festival, is what we’re commenting on.

  • http://hereiblog.com/ Mark

    Will your family be fasting for 40 days during the month of Ramadhan?

    • http://www.cracksinthecrescent.com Hussein

      You are hilarious, Mark :-) The sighting of the moon is key. They will fast 29 to 30 days.

  • http://aristophrenium.com Ryft Braeloch

    Imagined suspicions and hearsay accusations are no substitute for clear video evidence. If you are willing to hold them suspect based on the former against the latter, well, that is rather telling. Countless brothers and sisters in Christ are holding these four missionaries in their prayers, and all of us can only pray that the justice system does not view them in the light that you appear to.

    • http://www.cracksinthecrescent.com Hussein

      Imagined suspicions and hearsay accusations are no substitute for clear video evidence.

      Why is it so hard to provide the 15-20 minutes footage prior to Nageen’s arrest? You claim on your website that the missionaries have been exonerated. I am not jumping to that conclusion. If they do not provide a footage and still maintain that they “recorded every second” of their activity at the festival, they will have a hard time proving their innocence in court because police and Christian witnesses will tell the “missing” footage story.

      • http://aristophrenium.com Ryft Braeloch

        I think you are making my point for me. On the one hand, I am willing to judge based on existent video evidence seen, which contradicts the police report of the arrest; i.e., the video evidence exonerated them of what the arrest report had variously alleged. (Incidentally, comparing the arrest report with the video footage is about forming a conclusion, not jumping to one.) On the other hand, you appear willing to judge based on imagined video evidence not seen; furthermore, I’m not sure what your source is for the claim that there is 15-20 minutes of footage ‘missing’ from the published footage we see of Mayel’s arrest. I was not aware she had been filming for that long. What is your source?

        Second, the credibility of the police reports (to “tell the ‘missing’ footage story”) is already called into serious question. If what the police described of the arrest was proven false by what the camera recorded of the event, then we should be very critical of what else the police have to say. Their testimony thus far is demonstrably unreliable.

        Third, people lie; the camera doesn’t. The police said when they approached the men to arrest them, the crowd was yelling profanities and Qureshi was screaming into the crowd. The camera showed that to be false: no one was yelling, profanities or otherwise. The mayor said that Wood had a large crowd around him and was obstructing a key exit for a tent. The camera showed that to be false: the crowd was around Qureshi, and people can be seen using the exit with ease. The mayor said the gentlemen refused to move when the police asked them to disperse. The camera showed that to be false: the police said everyone might have to move soon but were fine for now, and both Wood and Qureshi can be heard acquiescing and saying they were about to leave anyway. The examples can be multiplied but the point is made. What people claim is so routinely contradicted by what the camera shows that we have very little reason to trust the “police and Christian witnesses [to] tell the ‘missing’ footage story.”

        Fourth, Qureshi and Wood are recounting their experiences knowing very well (a) not only what the video footage shows but also (b) that the police have a complete copy of that footage. It strains credibility to think they would be this vocal and public with their story if there was video footage that incriminated them (i.e., showing the accusations to be true). They know what is on the cameras and they know the police have a copy of everything. And yet they are this vocal and public with their story.

        Fifth, they do not have to prove their innocence in court. That is not how it works. They’re already innocent; it’s their guilt that must be proven in court, and that is the state prosecutor’s job.

        • http://www.cracksinthecrescent.com Hussein

          Third, people lie; the camera doesn’t.

          Oh really? The City of Dearborn already claims that videos posted on Acts 17 website have been doctored.

          Fourth, Qureshi and Wood are recounting their experiences knowing very well (a) not only what the video footage shows but also (b) that the police have a complete copy of that footage. It strains credibility to think they would be this vocal and public with their story if there was video footage that incriminated them (i.e., showing the accusations to be true). They know what is on the cameras and they know the police have a copy of everything. And yet they are this vocal and public with their story.

          Since the city already claims that videos have been doctored, and let’s say the prosecution shows videos that show actual screams, who would the judge and jury find credible? The police or Acts 17 missionaries? Mark you; this group has been anything but consistent in their stories. Their last year’s account is also full of holes. Do you think the prosecution is blind?

          • Haecceitas

            Perhaps I’ve missed something but I don’t know of any statement by the city of Dearborn that would accuse Acts 17 of “doctoring” their videos from this year’s Arabfest. Such accusations would be worth taking seriously if they were made. What I am aware of is that they have claimed that Acts 17′s videos from the previous year’s festival have been edited to give a distorted picture, but here the obvious problem is that they don’t have the originals to compare with, so one would have to be more sceptical of such accusations. Given how the Dearborn officials are in a situation where they need to somehow justify their actions, it would not be surprising if they made unfounded accusations.

            Also, can you point out some of the inconsistencies and “holes” in their account?

          • Haecceitas

            Never mind, I think I found the accusation you mentioned.

            ——–
            FROM THE CITY OF DEARBORN WEBSITE:
            “The video Acts 17 Apologetics posted on “YouTube” following the 2010 Dearborn Arab International Festival is an inaccurate depiction of the events. This video was filmed on Saturday, June 19, 2010 and was edited by Acts 17 Apologetics to appear that the video is showing members of Acts 17 Apologetics being arrested for handing out Christian literature.”
            ——–

            But of course this is just about as false as any accusation can be. In the video that they are referring to, David Wood explicitly says that “they let us go and just explained the rules to us”. There is nothing in the video that makes a false claim about them being arrested that day. Some people on the web have mistaken this video as the one that shows their arrest and have consequently made the mistaken claim that they were arrested in this clip, but this isn’t anything that Acts 17 could be blamed about. So at best this shows that the city officials made an accusation against Acts 17 based on very sloppy research, and at worst this is a case of deliberate misrepresentation on their part.

        • http://www.purposedrivel.com Paula Coyle

          This is all quite obvious, and it’s sad to me that you are having to explain it. But… well, there it is.

          • http://www.cracksinthecrescent.com Hussein

            Paula,

            You apparently don’t have a clue, unless you are being sarcastic, that this footage was written in response to you and Dr. White, who prematurely called upon Christians to apologize publicly to Acts 17 because posted footage proved their innocence.

  • http://www.danielspratlin.com Daniel Spratlin

    >>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.<>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?<>Christians who witnessed the missionaries’ arrests give differing accounts and video footages are inconclusive.

    Inconclusive? In the words of Inigo Montoya: “You keep on saying that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

    What is inconclusive about video evidence detailing EXACTLY what happened? Your ability to completely deny all reality is absolutely astounding.

    >>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?<<

    Some Christians define "argue" and "harass" as speaking anything that isn't covered with their version of "Jesus meek and mild". These are the same Christians who wear WWJD bracelets. These people are so afraid of hurting some Muslim's "feelings" that they completely forget the gospel and water it down to the point where it is no longer the gospel at all.

    Its amazing that there is not one piece of evidence showing them "argue" or "harass" Muslims and an abundance of evidence showing the complete opposite. But you still believe contrary to reality. It's just your MO.

    • http://www.cracksinthecrescent.com Hussein

      Why is it so hard to provide the 15-20 minutes footage prior to the first arrest? After all, Acts 17 missionaries have everything taped and they did nothing illegal. I agree with you on a few things. The first being when the police approached Dr. Nabeel and Mr. Wood, the duo was doing nothing that warranted their arrest.

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