Dearborn Arab Festival Being Moved After Attendees Antagonized

04/29/2013 09:25 am ET
  • The Detroit Free Press

After four years of increasing tensions between some Christian missionaries and local Muslims, the annual Arab International Festival in Dearborn is being moved from a street that has open access to a public park that could restrict admission to paid attendees.

Dearborn Mayor Jack O’Reilly said Friday that the city plans to shift the festival — the biggest annual outdoor gathering of Arab Americans in the U.S. — from Warren Avenue to Ford Woods Park, near the corner of Ford and Greenfield roads. One of the reasons for the move is liability concerns; the city has been hit with lawsuits from some Christian missionaries alleging their free speech rights were curtailed at the festival.

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