Tensions at Dearborn Festival Written Up as Attack on Christians

A reasonable observation from Alan Noble at Christ and Pop Culture:

Get a bunch of kids together, mock their beliefs, try to ward them away with a pig head on a stick, yell at them, and no matter what religion they are, don’t be surprised if they start throwing trash. That doesn’t in any way justify their action, but it does explain it.

Noble was responding to reports that Muslims had “stoned” Christian evangelists in Dearborn – the source for these is a video created by Tom Trento‘s “United West” outfit:

Ruben Israel returned this year to the Arab Festival and once again incited the festival goers to scream and yell and throw trash… It was picked up by The BlazeAmerican VisionAmerican ThinkerFrontPage Magazine, and other, smaller conservative websites.

Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer have also promoted the story. However:

…The video edits out the part where Ruben Israel explains to a police officer that they have a pig head on a pole because Muslims are “petrified” of pigs and so it “keeps them at bay.” No really. He says that… They also cut out Ruben Israel mocking the crowd for being a “religion of peace.”  And one of the other “preachers” yelling at the kids that all they think about is violence and murder and hate.”

Noble notes that the edited version also leaves out footage of police working to keep order, and adults attending the festival attempting to calm the youths down. I’m surprised that this bad faith spun version of the story has received so much traction – mainstream media had a full account at the time, and Noble notes that even the Blaze had originally reported the incident as “Screaming Anti-Islam Protestors Taunt Muslims with Pig’s Head”.

There is also a claim that media has underplayed the violence Israel and his gang encountered; in particular, Israel alleges that one Muslim attempted to drive his car into the group, with the result that he is “now officially charged with 9 counts of attempted murder” (Walid Shoebat, taking this even further, headlines his own post on the subject as “Dearborn Muslim charged with Nine Counts of Murder”).

Ruben Israel’s “Official Street Preachers” have been around for a while; in 2009 they abused worshippers at a mosque in Tampa while en route to evangelising a Super Bowl event; perhaps the publicity which the stunt received (along with the lesson of Pastor Terry Jones’ rise to fame the following year) encouraged Israel to concentrate his focus more on Muslims. After I wrote about the 2009 incident on this blog, the Preachers were kind enough to feature me on their website, where I am described as a “beer guzzling, left wing LIBERAL”.

Of course, waving a pig’s head around has nothing to do with telling Muslims about Jesus – it is purely an expression of contempt, which is why activists with the English Defence League have done exactly the same thing.

(H/T Islamophobia Watch)