DEARBORN (WWJ/AP) – A Florida minister whose rhetoric against Muslims has inflamed anti-Western sentiment in Afghanistan has sued the Detroit suburb of Dearborn, saying it is violating his free speech rights by asking him to sign an agreement before a planned protest outside a mosque.
A burning of the Quran in 2011 at Rev. Terry Jones‘ church in Gainesville, Fla., led to violent protests in Afghanistan that killed more than a dozen people.
The Thomas More Law Center filed suit Monday on Jones’ behalf in Detroit federal court. Jones wants to protest outside the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn, home of one of the nation’s largest Muslim communities.
Dearborn spokeswoman Mary Laundroche said Tuesday that the city only wants to be held harmless in case of trouble. She said the location is not pedestrian-friendly.
Jones ignited heated controversy during several stops in Dearborn last year, protesting what he described as “radical Islam.” His speech outside Dearborn City Hall drew hundreds of supporters and counter-protesters. Jones was jailed for a short time last Spring after refusing to pay a peace bond.
TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.