This is a cause for rejoicing. Rarely do the good guys have sufficient legal oomph to push and to keep on pushing until the petty powers that be have to give in. This time, they did. Kudos to lawyers Robert Muise and David Yerushalmi.
Long-time readers will remember my coverage (see here for one of my longest posts) of the shocking arrest of missionaries Nabeel Qureshi, David Wood, and Paul Rezkallah in Dearborn, Michigan, several years ago when they were merely standing on a public street discussing the deity of Jesus Christ with a group of Muslims.
Now, three years later, the City of Dearborn has settled a constitutional lawsuit out of court for an undisclosed sum of money and an apology posted on the city's web site. The city has also revoked comments that implied that the missionaries were doing something wrong.
From last year, I already had evidence that David Wood and his companions are now being allowed to speak peacefully with Arab Festival participants. My guess is that the city will have to continue that this year and not arrest Acts 17 missionaries.
The remaining clouds on the horizon are:
--Answering Muslims has reported that there have been proposals to move the Arab Festival indoors. This might make it easier to punish those who come to speak about Christ at the festival.
--The fourth person arrested at the time in 2010, Negeen Mayel, was in fact convicted of the bogus crime of "disobeying an officer." Her "crime" was public videotaping and not instantaneously putting down her video camera when ordered to do so by a policeman. Perhaps in part because of her conviction (the three men were acquitted in their breach of the peace trials) and perhaps in part because she did not wish to pursue the suit, Negeen does not appear to have been a party to the constitutional lawsuit that has just been settled out of court.
--The American Freedom Law Center representing the missionaries is continuing to press a suit against the Arab Festival, which refused to settle out of court. This doesn't bode well for the outcome if the festival is in fact moved indoors.