Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Dearborn Plans to Deny Pastor Terry Jones' Permit Request for Protest


SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WJBK) - Security will be tight when Pastor Terry Jones arrives in Dearborn, and it's not going to come cheap. The Koran burning pastor is planning a controversial visit in two days on Good Friday.

FOX 2 has learned the City of Dearborn will most likely deny his permit to hold a demonstration near the Islamic Center of America, but he can still rally at what they are calling free speech zones. If Jones insists on holding it near the Islamic Center, he risks being arrested.

"We are definitely going to go through with our protest, that nothing will stop that," said Jones.

Grey skies loomed Wednesday over the Islamic Center, a peaceful place of worship that Florida pastor Terry Jones wants to use as a backdrop. He's requested a permit to hold a demonstration Good Friday at the city owned lot across the street.

Despite outrage over the Koran burning pastor's visit, Jones says he's coming.

FOX 2's Ronnie Dahl asked him whether he's ready to go to jail for that.

"Yes, of course. We are prepared for whatever consequences they feel are necessary," Jones said.

Dearborn's mayor wrote an open letter to Pastor Jones urging him to cancel. Police claim the visit will put a dent in the city's coffers, estimating security will cost around $46,000.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy is asking a judge to halt the protest to prevent crime. She also thinks Jones should be held accountable for the cost and is requesting that he pay a $100,000 bond.

"It is (an) infringement on our constitutional rights, First Amendment rights," Jones told FOX 2.

"We think what the prosecutor did by ordering him or requesting that he pay a $100,000 bond, we think that's the worst possible thing she could've possibly done for our community. This is America. In America, we're entitled to free speech," said attorney Majed Moughni.

He is supporting Pastor Jones' right to free speech, even if he doesn't like what he has to say. The Dearborn attorney wanted to hold a "Stop the Hate" rally near Jones' protest, but his permit was denied. The event is being moved to the Civic Center, a move he supports after learning Pastor Jones' plans on bringing his gun.

"We're telling our people to stay away from him. He's a violent man. He's a crazy man, and we want to stay away from crazy people," Moughni said.

"If we are, of course, attacked or shot at, then, of course, we would be forced to defend ourselves. That it is definitely, definitely, definitely not our intention to come there in any type of … provocative way," said Jones.

Once again, Jones is not being told, at this point in time, that he can't hold his demonstration. What they're concerned about is just where he wants to hold it. Those free speech zones are at the City Hall, as well as the Civic Center.

The court hearing is still scheduled for 3:00 p.m. Thursday. FOX 2 will, of course, be there and bring you all the latest developments.

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