DEARBORN, Mich. — A Florida pastor’s planned demonstration outside a Michigan mosque was scuttled Friday after a jury determined the protest would constitute a breach of the peace and he was briefly jailed for refusing to pay what authorities called a “peace bond.”
The Rev. Terry Jones, whose past rhetoric against Muslims has inflamed anti-Western sentiment in Afghanistan, said he refused to pay the $1 bond because to do so would violate his freedom of speech. He later paid it and was released.
Jones had planned a demonstration Friday evening outside the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn, a suburb of Detroit that is home to one of the largest Muslim communities in the nation. An estimated 30,000 people in Dearborn, about a third of the city’s population, trace their roots to the Middle East.
Prosecutors worried the protest would lead to violence and asked Dearborn District Judge Mark Somers to intervene. Somers conducted a one-day jury trial to determine whether Jones would pose a threat to peace. They did, and Somers then ordered Jones and an associate to post the bond to ostensibly cover the costs of police protection.
Terry Jones said Saturday that he plans to file a lawsuit against the Wayne County prosecutor’s office and other government entities in connection with his arrest Friday and the case filed against him over his planned protest.