Dearborn, a city of 97,000 surrounded on three sides by Detroit, is a must-visit location on 21st-century America’s newly established anti-Muslim protest circuit. The entire city, right-wing critics erroneously claim, is subject to Sharia law. And they warn that the rest of America might soon be, too.
In June, Christian protesters made yet another appearance at the Arab International Festival. Signs threatened Muslims with a “LAKE OF FIRE.” The street fair, which includes standard items like a booth where someone guesses your weight in exchange for a dollar, soon descended into chaos. It was all documented for YouTube: angry young people surrounded the crowd of evangelists, who promptly announced that they were being “stoned” as an avalanche of profanity rained down alongside water bottles and a variety of objects that weren’t nailed down. Aside from one brief chant of “Allahu Akbar” (God is great), the incident elicited largely secular profanities, including blunt and colloquial entreaties for oral sex. Other cries were more plaintive: “What are you doing here? What is the point of all this?” Amid the chaos, someone, perhaps accidentally, turned the debate over foreignness and belonging on its head, yelling: “Go home! Do you understand English?”
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