Arab International Festival in Dearborn is Canceled in Wake of Religious Tensions

Niraj Warikoo, Detroit Free Press, May 17, 2013

After growing religious tensions between some Christian missionaries and local Muslims, the annual Arab International Festival in Dearborn has been canceled for this year, organizers said Friday.

The announcement left many disappointed that a small number of aggressive extremists could ruin what had become a tradition in the eastern section of Dearborn, which has a significant number of Arab Americans.

The city and organizers were facing increased insurance and liability costs because of the tensions and lawsuits over the festival. Last month, the City of Dearborn had proposed moving the festival to a park instead of the traditional location on Warren Avenue in order to decrease conflict.

But Fay Baydoun, director of the American-Arab Chamber of Commerce, said Friday that it would have been impossible to organize a successful event in time at the new location. {snip}

The decision to cancel the festival comes after four years of tensions at the event between some Christian missionaries and local Muslims. Their encounters resulted in heated arguments, scuffles, some bottle-throwing and several lawsuits. {snip}

Last year, one group of Christian missionaries brought a pig’s head and signs insulting Islam’s prophet, which drew a strong reaction from some children. Earlier this month, the City of Dearborn apologized and paid an undisclosed amount of money to a group of Christian missionaries arrested in 2010 at the festival for disturbing the peace. They were later acquitted.


Local Arab Americans were upset over the cancellation of the festival because the original intent of it was to highlight Arab-American businesses, which helped turn east Dearborn from a ghost town into a thriving commercial destination, said local leaders.


Over the years, the festival has attracted big donors, from Detroit automakers to the CIA.

There was concern that this year’s festival could become even more tense.

Quran-burning Pastor Terry Jones said he was planning to attend the first day along with the California man who brought the pig’s head last year. In 2011, Jones attempted to attend the festival, but was met by angry protesters who tried to block him as he walked. Police then asked him to not attend.


Some conservatives say the incidents at the festival happened because the city is under the influence of Shari’a, Islamic law, a claim O’Reilly has repeatedly dismissed as absurd.

Robert Muise, an Ann Arbor attorney who represents the California-based Bible Believers—the Christian group that brought a pig’s head and anti-Islam signs last year to the festival—said the cancellation of the festival was “disappointing.”

“However,” he added, “had the Christians’ rights been protected from the beginning, I doubt we would be at this point.”

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  • The__Bobster

    Who are these Christian missionaries? Maronites?

  • Old Right

    Until Teddy Kennedy opened the floodgates with the 1965 Immigration Act, nearly all Arab-Americans were Christians of one kind or another (Orthodox, Maronite, Melkite, Chaldean, etc.) and got along with the larger population. It’s heartbreaking to see what has happened since then.

    • Triarius

      Not in Dearborn’s case. Henry Ford brought in Muslims in the 20’s and 30’s to keep the jews and Detroit jewish gangs (purple gang, etc.) away from his plants. Kennedy has nothing to do with Dearborn, but he didn’t help.

    • OlderWoman

      Those aren’t Christians. Those are Catholics. Big difference between the two. Catholicism is counterfeit Christianity. It’s just pagan superstition.

  • Lakeview Senior

    You’re on top of it, Old Right! I read Tony Blair’s autobiography, ‘My Political Life’ and he called Senator Edward ‘Teddy’ Kennedy a “great statesman.” Sen. Kennedy was the floor manager who pushed the 1965 Immigration Act thru the Congress and claimed at the time that it wouldn’t change the demographics of this country one bit. What a lying fool, just like the former Prime Minister, Tony Blair. To think that Ted Kennedy is buried in Arlington National Cemetery is hard to take also. Joe Kennedy, Sr. had Teddy assigned to the NATO Headquarters in Paris, France during the Korean War so he wouldn’t end up dead or wounded like so many of his peers. What a joke!

    • bigone4u

      In a white homeland, certain bodies will have to be exhumed and shipped to the new black and Mexxie lands. Woman killer Teddy’s body is one of those.

      • Jackryanvb

        One project we need to work on is compiling a list of the grave sights of the worst enemies of our people such as

        Ted Kennedy

        Then we can encourage patriots to discreetly….

        Pee on their graves

        (Water bottle libations)

        • detroiter

          Dearborn ended up paying the Christian missionaries $300,000 as an apology.

        • bigone4u

          There is a cult classic movie titled “I Spit on Your Grave.” Change one letter in that title and you have what deserves to be done to Teddy’s grave. If not by a human, then by a patriotic “racist” dog.

      • newscomments70

        lol, you want Massachusetts??

    • LaSantaHermandad

      Why would anyone have believed Teddy in the FIRST PLACE?
      It’s common sense that when you import Arabs, Sub-Saharan Africans into the country of course you’re going to affect the demographics, It’s common sense.

      He probably told Mary Jo Kopechne that he loved her as well before he left her to drown.

      And as his final send off, HE had a Solemn High Requiem Mass celebrated by an Arch-Bishop and other Church dignitaries. That bordered on Sacrilege.

    • OlderWoman

      Teddy was nothing but a drunk and a murderer. The Kennedy’s are like blacks. They’re a curse on America.

  • White Mom in WDC


  • MikeS

    “Christians and Muslims don’t get along in Michigan.”
    Muslims don’t get along with anyone, anywhere at anytime for any reason.

  • Bill

    How many times can this PC retard remind readers about the pig’s head in one stinking article? Over and over. How about she address the black muslim who just beheaded a British soldier and gloated over it? Which is worse? A pig’s head, or a severed human head separated from the body of a living man done by one of their precious muzzies?

    By the way, pig’s heads go toward making delicious scrapple. You easterners know what that is. Can’t understand what the muzzies object to.

    • IstvanIN

      My grandfather loved scrapple.

      • OlderWoman

        So did my Grandmother and my father. Personally I never could stand the thought of it.

        • Kblankenship7

          That is actually an adaption of the German dish suelze. Love it!

    • Unperson

      How many times can this PC retard remind readers about the pig’s head in one stinking article

      I noticed that too: Three mentions of the pig’s head in one short article.
      That’s the worst they ever have to deal with? These Mohammedans who now seem to run Dearborn (how the hell did THAT happen, BTW?) should be giving thanks to their desert moon-god that the worst religious persecution they face in America is that on one day per year, someone might make fun of their (irrational, superstitious) ban on eating of the swine.

      But then, what else would you expect from a reporter named Niraj Warikoo?

      • saxonsun

        In the early eighties I read an article by William F. Buckley in The National Review. He stated his fear concerning the arabs flooding Michigan–how prophetic he was.

  • bigone4u

    The local grocers sell pigs heads because the Mexxies love to bar-b-que them or make tamales from them or whatever. I can’t wait for the Mexxies and Muzzies to get thrown together, the Mexxies with their racial superiority theories (we are the cosmic race descended from ancient astronauts) and voodoo Catholicism, and the muzzies with their warrior religion. It will make for a nice race war when these groups collide.

    • Jackryanvb

      But in politics, both groups will vote for lib Marxists that appoint Lesbian Supreme Court justices like Elena Kagan.

      • Puggg

        I also remember there being some Hispanic-Muslim cooperation in the 9/11 narrative.

        Remember Jose Padilla?

  • anarchyst

    Islam has no place in American society. As a foreign political system masquerading as a “religion”, there are no Constitutional issues with outlawing this “system”. All muslims should be required to register as “agents of a foreign government” with the U S State Department pending future deportation.
    That being said, any other foreign political movement that does not put the interests of MY country first, should receive the same treatment. Yes, this includes zionists . . .

  • sbuffalonative

    I’m going to a food vendor booth called “Bacon on a Stick”. It will serve bacon, oven roasted, on a stick. It will be clearly visible as bacon on a stick; along with the scent of bacon wafting through the air.

    That should keep the MooseLimbs from coming near me.

    • David Ashton

      In Britain the not-so-secret police visited a lady who put a toy pig in her window for an allegedly “offensive” purpose.

      • Martel

        Is darren conway released by now?

  • Jefferson

    “Christians and Muslims don’t get along in Michigan.”

    But I thought diversity was our strength. Does this mean diversity does not always = peaceful perfect utopias where everybody gets along just like this 1970s Coca Cola commercial promoting diversity.

  • John Smith

    They live on our welfare as they seek to destroy us: ‘Muslim Preacher Tells Followers Getting Welfare Cash For Holy Wars Is Easy And Right’.

  • LaSantaHermandad

    Muslims can’t seem to get along with anyone; including other Muslims.
    Deport the SOAMBICHIS back from whence they came.

  • Sheila Dinehart

    I wonder what Henry Ford would have in mind these days?

    • Unperson

      I suspect Old Hank would now be saying something like, “If I’d know THIS was coming, I wouldn’t have been so hard on the Jews.”