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Mayor: Ignore Terry Jones–Don't Fight Him

In a letter to Dearborn residents and visitors, Mayor Jack O'Reilly shares his hope that attendees of the Arab International Festival will not let hateful messages provoke them.

Dear residents and friends of Dearborn,

This weekend by persons who want to use our community for their own ends. This time their target will be the , which has been part of our community for almost two decades.

These visitors are not interested in the festival or learning about and celebrating Arab culture. They are coming here to promote the concept that Islam is a false faith and that Muslims by teaching and nature are violent.

We know that there is no substance to their message–their goal is to promote fear and hatred in others.

More than a month ago in Dearborn, faith leaders of all religions from all over Metropolitan Detroit rejected their message by standing together, arm in arm, and proclaiming that Islam is a legitimate faith and Muslims are an important part of our greater faith community.

Nowhere was the dishonesty of those using Dearborn to attack Islam more clear than when Terry Jones stood on the steps of our and recited the Pledge of Allegiance over as if we in Dearborn had never heard it. In his ignorance he failed to recognize that we recite the Pledge of Allegiance at events all over our city–no matter who is the sponsor–because we always stand together as Americans.

I sincerely ask everyone that cares about our city to wish these people peace and God’s forgiveness and then ignore them and their empty words.

Their goal is to bait and anger us so that they can then misrepresent who we are in order to serve their personal agenda. Debating them and confronting them at this event or in our city can produce no positive result for us.

We know we are people of peace but we are also people. All humans take exception to those who wrongly accuse us or suggest that our deepest beliefs are false and evil.

It is human to become angry but it is divine to forgive. As all of our religions teach us we must rise above our human instincts and follow God’s instructions to be agents of peace and forgiveness. We must also encourage others to do the same.

We must be true to our collective goals of promoting a safe and positive environment for all of our residents and guests to be successful and enjoy their lives. We are a positive example of the ideals and goals of America to be a place of opportunity for everyone and a nation that respects everyone’s rights to their own beliefs.

If we will stand for peace and tolerance, we will stand for America and freedom.

Mayor Jack O'Reilly
City of Dearborn

Dan Seidel June 16, 2011 at 09:22 PM
dhimmis... more taqiyyah! al-wala' wa'l-bara' folks!!
Nasser Abunab June 20, 2011 at 06:35 AM
Is it fair that religious freedoms of one group step on the religion of another ? Who can tell me where does the constitution stand from this ? Why does Newt Gingrich play politics on a subject he chose not to understand ? What would you do if I come to your peaceful Christian town and burn your Bible ?

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