BY ERIC G. CZAJKA
Pastor Terry Jones, an anti-Islamic pastor from Florida, has confirmed that he will be holding another demonstration to protest Islam at a mosque in Dearborn.
In an interview with The Michigan Journal, Jones said that he will be holding the demonstration in front of the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn. The protest is scheduled for April 7.
In April 2011, Jones was denied a request to protest at the mosque and was arrested for breaching the peace. Dearborn Judge Mark Somers banned Jones from the Islamic Center and adjacent property, halting his protest against the religion. Jones and another protester, Pastor Wayne Sapp, were ordered to pay a peace bond of $1 each. When Jones and Sapp refused to meet the court’s orders, they were jailed.
Jones’ ban from the Islamic Center and nearby property in Dearborn resulted in a fight over freedom of religion and speech. Seven months after he was banned from protesting, a Wayne County Circuit Judge overruled the lower court’s ban. With nothing impeding his protests, Jones is once again free to hold demonstrations in Dearborn.
“We are coming back to Dearborn this time because we won that court case,” said Jones. “That is of course the motivating reason for – or one of them, for coming back.”
Jones’ protests have sparked outrage and debate throughout the world. He was banned from entering the U.K. in 2011 because of his radical views on Islam. Jones, who believes that 160-170 million Muslims are willing “to die, kill, and bomb” for their religion, plans to hold similar protests at other mosques throughout the country.
Jones’ protest drew national attention and outraged citizens throughout the country. Despite this, Jones plans for this year’s protest to be larger than the one in 2011.
“We are expecting a couple hundred people,” Jones said.
In 2010, Jones gained worldwide criticism by threatening to burn the Quran. He again threatened to burn the Quran in 2011, and executed his threat on March 20, 2011. The fallout from these two events led to protests in Afghanistan that resulted in at least 35 deaths and 73 injuries. Even though the protests were attributed to the burning, Jones does not feel responsible for them.
“I don’t think we caused it – we don’t feel responsible for it,” said Jones.
Jones said that he does not have any plans to burn the Quran during the April protest at the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn.