ACLU supports free-speech rights of anti-Islam group

A civil rights organization is defending the free-speech rights of a Christian group that hates Islam, saying its members were unfairly removed from the Arab International Festival in Dearborn in 2012.

In a legal brief filed this month, attorneys with the Michigan branch of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said that Wayne County sheriff’s deputies violated the First Amendment by ordering a group of Christian evangelists from California called the Bible Believers to leave or face citations for disorderly conduct.

At the annual festival in June 2012, the Bible Believers brought a pig’s head mounted on a pole and signs with anti-Islam messages that denigrated Islam’s prophet. Observant Muslims consider pigs to be unclean.