The U. S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today that Sudanese Christian Pastor George Saieg has a free speech right to distribute religious literature on public sidewalks and evangelize Muslims during the Annual Arab International Festival held each year in Dearborn, Michigan.
For five years Saieg, who specifically ministers to Muslims, had been discussing his Christian faith and passing out literature on Dearborn’s sidewalks during the Festival without encountering any problems. Nevertheless, in 2009 police officials informed him he had to remain in a booth, prohibiting him from distributing his literature on the nearby sidewalks and public streets.
Dearborn is one of the most densely populated Muslim communities in the United States. It has the largest Mosque in North America. In the past few years Dearborn has gained national attention for taking a pro-Muslim stance and for the arrest and intimidation of Christian evangelists for engaging in protected speech activity.