Tensions flared Friday evening at the annual Arab International Festival in Dearborn as members of some Christian missionary groups — including one called the Bible Believers — taunted Arab Americans with a pig’s head and signs that promoted hatred of Islam.
“You’re gonna burn in hell,” one missionary shouted at a group of young Arab-American boys listening to him speak on Warren Avenue, where the festival takes place.
The festival continues today in Dearborn, but the members of the Bible Believers won’t be there because they’ll be protesting a gay festival in Ohio, said Arab Festival organizers.
The three-day festival is the largest public gathering of Arab-Americans in the U.S.; it has drawn Christian missionaries for years, but in 2009, some become more aggressive, leading to arrests and legal feuds. Dearborn has the highest concentration of Arab-Americans in the U.S., many of them Muslim, making it a magnet for some Christian missionaries.
The Bible Believers also protested at last year’s Arab Festival, holding up both anti-Muslim and anti-Catholic signs and causing one Arab-American Muslim girl to cry.
What a great way to make us feel welcome in America. Let’s assume all Arabs are Muslim, and let’s assume a festival which does nothing more than celebrate our food, our music, and our heritage is really all just about how we’re dirty heathens in need of being “saved.”
If those protestors think that their actions were anything short of blatant racism, they’re as stupid as they are cruel. Dearborn is an Arab neighborhood, and what these “protestors,” did is nothing different than crashing a neighborhood block party simply because “omg look they’re not as white as most of us.”
Way to make us feel unsafe where we live.