Crowd Confronts Pastor Jones On Dearborn Street
Florida Pastor Plans To Protest At Dearborn's International Arab Festival
There were arrests Friday when a large crowd confronted controversial Florida pastor Terry Jones on a Dearborn street while he was on his way to the International Arab Festival.
Jones had planned to walk the two miles from Dearborn City Hall to the festival, but was stopped at Michigan Avenue and Schaefer by about a group of 40 people. There was yelling, shoving and altercations and at least four anti-Jones protesters were arrested. Jones was put into a black SUV by Dearborn police and taken back to City Hall.
In the City Hall parking lot, Jones told Local 4 that his intentions had been peaceful and he was disappointed when violence started erupting around him.
He said he was never fearful for his life, but did not want to continue the walk to the festival because people were not going to let him pass. He said he would return to his hotel room and fly back to Florida on Saturday.
However, he also said he would return at some point to Dearborn.
Jones has drawn international criticism by burning a copy of the Quran on March 20.
Crowds gathered earlier in the day to protest his visit.
Jones was in Dearborn last month, where he held a protest outside Dearborn's City Hall. That followed an attempted protest at the Dearborn Islamic Center.
The Gainesville, Fla., pastor has said he has nothing against peaceful Muslims, but worries about Islamic law coming to the United States.
Jones had sent a request to the National Guard asking them to protect him during his visit this week. He issued a statement saying tens of thousands of counter-protestors could turn out Friday and he wants the National Guard there to protect his first amendment rights.
The International Arab Festival starts at 5 p.m. on Friday and runs through Sunday on Warren Avenue in Dearborn.
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