Facing Controversy, Anti-Muslim Preacher Tones Down Criticism
The groups behind the Rick Perry hate church gathering in Austin earlier this year are now in Detroit.
The only thing more noticeable than Lou Engle saying he was going to pray that Muslims would have “dreams of Jesus” during his marathon 24-hour prayer gathering over the weekend in Detroit were the efforts he undertook to show that he was all about sensitivity to minorities.
From the American Indians dancing in full-feathered dress to his proclamation a few hours later that he chose Detroit in a nod to black Americans’ sufferings, Engle carefully avoided the anti-Muslim rhetoric for which he is known and emphasized his affinity with minorities instead. Indeed, he described Detroit as the final stop on the underground railroad, the end of “black America’s trail of tears,” in explaining why he chose the city for the interfaith event that began Friday.
This was the same man who earlier had said that Muslims are “fueling the demonic realm” and in the thrall of “spiritual dark powers.” But after widespread criticism of the event — Engle seemed at pains to avoid any semblance of intolerance.
Instead, he asked his audience to ask God to bring Muslims particular dreams. “We’re actually calling people to stay all night long and worship in the night watch,” he said Friday. “We are going to pray in the night watch that the love of Jesus would break in on Muslims all across this area with dreams of Jesus.”