I have not commented yet on the Dearborn situation; now I feel I should.
Others, including Dr. James White at www.aomin.org, and Turretinfan , have commented and have linked to this video; but it seemed good to me to also link to this video and call for prayer for our brothers and sister in Christ. The video is now out and the evidence seems clear that the Acts 17 Apologists / evangelists did nothing wrong.
These Evangelical Christians were arrested for just sharing their faith and answering real questions that Muslims have; and video taping their interactions with Muslims. arrested for answering questions They have explained why they needed to video tape this time again, as last year they were harassed and treated unjustly.
Some of the questions the Muslim's asked seemed straight out of Ahmad Deedat/Zakir Naik's statements and debates. They were all typical questions that Muslims have and we would like the opportunity to answer these questions and explain what true Christianity is. Nabeel did a good job of answering their questions. If other Muslims complained to the police, why won't those Muslims allow them to answer and explain? What are they afraid of?
One of the biggest problems in history in the Muslim world is that Muslim cultures do not allow Christians to speak and evangelize and explain their faith. They do not allow Muslims to become Christians. The Hadith, Sahih Al Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 52, Number 260 calls for the death penalty for turning from Islam, which is apostasy in Islam. "If anyone turns from Islam, kill him." There are many other Hadith narratives that teach this; search over at www.answering-islam.org
Sahih Al Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 52, Number 260 (Notice the subject of all of book 52)
Ali burnt some people and this news reached Ibn 'Abbas, who said, "Had I been in his place I would not have burnt them, as the Prophet said, 'Don't punish (anybody) with Allah's Punishment.' No doubt, I would have killed them, for the Prophet said, 'If somebody (a Muslim) discards his religion, kill him.' "
I don't know if Muslims complained to the police; or the police were under orders from their superiors, or that there is a co-ordinated effort by Muslims and the police to shut down the Christian preachers/evangelists, but it seems like one of these options or a mixture of all those choices is in play here. If the police are afraid of "stirring up the Muslims and making them angry", then, doesn't that say something about Muslims' ability to control their emotions? And doesn't that say something about what Islam teaches? The Muslims who complained to the police probably felt threatened by the preaching and possibly don't like their young people being exposed to good answers. It is not a stretch to think that they don't like David Wood and Nabeel Qureshi because of their website/blog because the content of their blog exposes lots of information about Islam that is embarrassing to Muslims; or they believe it is insulting to Islam. That is a problem, there is no freedom of speech in real, doctrinal Islam.
I really admire the courage and boldness of Nabeel Qureshi and David Wood and Negeen Mayel and Paul Rezkalla for sharing their faith and their tenacity and perseverance in challenging this and documenting the evidence. The Mayor and the police, because of the current climate of "political correctness', are probably going overboard to appease the Muslims who are making the complaints to them about the Acts 17 apologists. They seemed to have thought they would just shut down the Christians and that they would give up and this would go away. After all, Christians are not supposed to stand up for their rights, right? (see Acts 22:22-30 and 25:1-12) The security people at Dearborn Arab Festival 2009, last year's event were wrong in their behaviors and, this time, the police were wrong to arrest them. Let's all pray for justice to be done in their upcoming court case.
Hopefully, this will motivate more Christians to share their faith with Muslims here in the USA and be prepared in apologetic issues and evangelism to give answers, as Nabeel did. O Christians, respect Christ more than letting the fear of man rule your hearts. O Christians, crucify your fears and set Christ apart as Lord in your hearts. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; and "The fear of the Lord is to hate evil". O Christians, walk in holiness and walk in the Spirit and guard your heart!
If we do engage Muslims, there will always be misunderstandings, and both sides have to deal with their emotions and responses. Muslims many times like to bring up politics and mistakes of the past of western culture/history. We will be tempted to fight back and get angry and judge motives. We must fight hatred, fear, pride, prejudice, and anger in our hearts also. If and when we do respond wrongly, we must also be ready to confess our own anger and frustration and wrong judgments and pride. That will make our witness even more powerful, when we show the fruit of the Spirit when Muslims get angry.
Nabeel, David, Paul, and Negeen did nothing wrong and I cannot understand why some Christians have criticized them. We need both bold public preaching like this, as modeled throughout the book of Acts; and we also need those times of hospitality types of outreaches with Muslims, like Jesus modeled - eating with sinners and tax-collectors. (Matthew 9:10-13/Luke 5:27-32; Luke 15:1-2; Luke 19:1-10; Luke 7:34-50)
I Peter 3:13-18 - English Standard Version:
13 Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good?
14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them,nor be troubled,
15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy,always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,
16 having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.
17 For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil.
18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit,