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Koran-Burning Preacher Terry Jones Briefly Jailed In Michigan

23 April 2011 Huffington Post 9 Comments Email This Post Email This Post

Pastor Terry Jones, right, and Wayne Sapp react to the jury's verdict, that both of them are likely to cause a breach of the peace with their proposed protest against at the Islamic Center of America, Friday, April 22, 2011 in Dearborn, Mich. (AP Photo/John T. Greilick, Pool)

April 23, 2011 2:01:48 AM

By Bernie Woodall

DEARBORN, Mich. (Reuters) – A militant Christian preacher was jailed briefly Friday after a Michigan court ruled that a protest he planned outside a mosque was likely to provoke violence and ordered him to stay away.

Terry Jones, whose burning of a Koran in March triggered deadly riots in Afghanistan, had planned a protest outside the largest mosque in the United States.

Jones was sent to jail after he refused to pay a $1 bond ordered by Judge Mark Somers, who also ordered him to stay away for three years from the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn.

Police said Jones and a supporter, Wayne Sapp, were later released from custody after the token $1 bond was paid.

A six-person jury in a Dearborn court decided earlier that the planned protest was “likely to breach the peace” in the Detroit suburb with a large Muslim American population.

Jones, 59, is the leader of a tiny, fringe fundamentalist church in Gainesville, Florida. He was an unknown until he courted publicity and controversy by burning the Koran as part of what he describes as a campaign against “radical Islam.”

Jones had asked for a permit to stage a protest on Good Friday on public land across from the mosque. City officials said the mosque and four nearby churches were expected to be crowded with several thousand worshipers at that time.

Police denied Jones’s request and asked him to protest instead in a “free speech zone” in front of one of the city buildings. Jones argued that violated his free speech rights.

The American Civil Liberties Union petitioned unsuccessfully for the case against Jones to be thrown out.

An ACLU spokeswoman said officials had violated free speech protections in the U.S. Constitution and given more publicity to a divisive fringe figure by trying to bar his protest.

“We vehemently disagree with Mr. Jones and his cohorts. However, this is a complete abuse of the court process,” said ACLU spokeswoman Rana Elmir.

“I believe that Rev. Jones came to Dearborn for his 15 minutes of fame and the judge and prosecutors have now effectively given him hours of that.”

Hundreds of people gathered in light rain outside a Dearborn library to protest against Jones. (Reporting by Bernie Woodall; editing by Anthony Boadle)

Copyright 2011 Thomson Reuters. Click for Restrictions.

Original post: Koran-Burning Preacher Terry Jones Briefly Jailed In Michigan


  1. Mr Jones is a nut job but he should have been allowed to protest. Everyone’s 1st amendment rights need to be respected. Even if they are nut jobs.


  2. I’ll bet he appeals. But good for the judge for keeping him away.

  3. One of the problems with supporting free speech is that you often wind up supporting someone who you wouldn’t want to sit across from at a dinner party.

  4. At last Mr. Jones is being closed down by some sensible people! His activities are just an abuse and mockery of First Amendment rights. It has nothing to do with whether one agrees with him or not. I for one find his behaviour obnoxious and execrable, but that’s not the reason why I think he should be reprimanded. Wanting people shut up merely because you don’t agree with them is petty. The First Amendment and the rights it protects for ALL citizens doesn’t exist as a means and excuse for bigoted intolerant individuals to pursue their own selfish and uncivil-minded ambitions. One of the rights the First Amendment insures is that of free expression and pursuit of religion. People are so often heard to voice their willingness to die to protect the freedom of speech- what about other freedoms? Would they be willing to die to protect the rights of Muslims to practice Islam- a right afforded by the Constitution?

  5. Of course Halima, the day our government starts trying to shut down Islamic Temples and forbidding the practice of the Islamic Religion you will find me and many others there protesting and making our voices heard. I may not agree with your beliefs but at that point your interests and my interests merge. Muslims deserve the right to assemble and worship as they please so long as it does not interefere with the rights and beliefs of others. For example a Christian church who does not believe in abortion and furthermore believes it is murder, cannot send its members out to kill abortion doctors or burn down their clinics. If they do they will be arrested and the church will probally be shut down. It is ok to hold belifs but religious beliefs cannot interefere with secluar society except through the election process or the ability to persuade people to see your side on an issue. That is why you cannot tell me that I cannot burn a copy of the Koran but you can persuade me as to why I should not do so. In return maybe I can persuade people why they should not burn the U.S. Flag or make crosses and burn them at protests. Having people respect your belifs through acceptence is much better and stronger than telling people to respect your belifs or you will be punished.

  6. funny he’s a “militant christian”. how has he acted in a militant manner?

    so is osama bin laden a “militant muslim”?

  7. i can’t believe that every muslim in the country isn’t offended by this ruling? why make this ruling unless you believe that muslims will react with violence.

  8. I defy Mr . Preacher Boy to burn a Jewsish Talmud in front of a synagogue. Now THAT would take balls. And the Talmud endorses killing non-jews more than the Koran.

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