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Clergy United in Their Mission to Protest Rally by Florida Pastor

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TEHRAN, April 22 (ICANA) – Some members of the interfaith clergy -- Muslims, Christians and Jews -- stood hand in hand, others were linked arm in arm, silently surrounding the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn in solidarity Thursday afternoon.
Friday, April 22, 2011 11:22:20 PM
Clergy United in Their Mission to Protest Rally by Florida Pastor

With them stood about 700 people, members of the InterFaith Leadership Council of Metropolitan Detroit, members of the clergies' congregations and supporters.

Their mission was to protest Florida Pastor Terry Jones' plan to hold a rally today outside the Islamic Center mosque.

Jones, known for burning a copy of the Qur'an -- the Muslim holy book -- a month ago as a protest against Islam was nearby at a Dearborn courthouse as Wayne County prosecutors and Dearborn police argued to make Jones pay a bond to cover the cost of security for the Dearborn rally. Detroit Free Press

The vigil began at 5:15 p.m. and ended five minutes later. As it came to a close, Islamic Center Imam Hassan al-Qazwini said the Muslim community was "indebted to our Christian friends who have showed us absolute support." Detroit Free Press

"Terry Jones, he is not representative of the Christian community. ... Terry Jones is speaking for himself only," al-Qazwini said. "This is bigotry, and we condemn his bigotry." Detroit Free Press

Al-Qazwini and other Islamic Center officials also directed the Muslim community to attend a peaceful protest at 4 p.m. Thursday at the Dearborn Civic Center, away from the mosque "so as to avoid any confrontation." Detroit Free Press

A sign outside the large banquet hall read: "Pastor Terry Jones Does Not Speak on Behalf of Christians." Detroit Free Press

Archbishop Allen Vigneron of the Archdiocese of Detroit also attended the event. Detroit Free Press

"We have an opportunity to show the nation and the world that it is possible for peoples of many different faiths to respect one another and to foster mutual understanding," said Vigneron, who also spoke at the program. Detroit Free Press

The various speakers received frequent rounds of applause and standing ovations as they spoke in support of the Muslim community. Detroit Free Press

The Rev. Ron Griffin of the Rose of Sharon Church of God in Christ in Detroit attended the program and vigil, and said the event was important. Detroit Free Press

"We've got to stop allowing fringe individuals to come and divide us," he said. "We need to send a message that we're not going to allow that." Detroit Free Press

A jury will decide whether a Florida pastor must post a so-called "peace" bond ahead of his planned demonstration outside a Michigan mosque. AP

District Judge Mark Somers ruled Thursday that evidence shows Terry Jones and an associate plan to ignore Dearborn's denial of a permit to protest outside the Islamic Center of America on Friday. AP

Somers says the city of Dearborn didn't violate Jones' free speech rights by denying him a permit to protest outside the mosque. Somers says Jones rejected four alternative sites listed in a city ordinance. AP

Jones has said he won't post any bond and says he won't change the protest location. AP

Jurors are to start hearing testimony Friday morning. AP

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