Christian missionary group brings pig head to Arab International Festival
Tensions flared Friday evening at the annual Arab International Festival in Dearborn as members of a Christian missionary group taunted Arab-Americans with a pig’s head and signs that promoted hatred of Islam.
‘You’re gonna burn in hell,’ one Christian 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 group of missionaries with the hateful signs and pig’s head 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.
A group of about a dozen missionaries stood facing the festival on Friday with signs that made bigoted remarks about Islam and its prophet, Mohammed. One of the missionaries had a pig’s head mounted on a pole that he displayed in front of his group. Muslims don’t eat pigs because their faith teaches that the animal is unclean.
Some of the signs the missionaries held read: “Islam is a religion of blood and murder” and “Muhammad (Islam’s prophet) is a…liar, false prophet, murderer, child molesting pervert.”