religious freedom en Arab American festival in Dearborn canceled once again <p>The festival has been canceled for the second year in a row due to higher liability insurance costs for festival organizers.</p><p>The three-day festival in Dearborn celebrated Arab culture and was one the largest gatherings of Arab Americans in the U.S., but it also attracted anti-Islamic protestors and Christian missionaries from around the country.</p><p>Niraj Warikoo reports for the&nbsp;<a href="">Detroit Free Press</a>:</p><blockquote><p>Tensions at the festival broke out in 2010 when a group of Christian missionaries arrived with video cameras to record their attempts to debate Muslims. Some were arrested for disturbing the peace, though later acquitted of most charges. Their arrests drew outrage from conservatives across the U.S.</p><p>Another Christian group filed a lawsuit against the city, saying the missionaries were restricted in where they could distribute their literature. In 2012, a separate&nbsp;<a alt="" href="" target="_blank" title="">group of Christians brought a pig’s head mounted on a pole&nbsp;</a>with anti-Islam signs, resulting in some youth hurling bottles at them.</p></blockquote><p>Warikoo reports that Dearborn was forced to pay $300,000 to the Christian missionaries arrested in 2010.</p><p>The Arab-American Chamber of Commerce says they’re still looking for ways to move forward with the festival.</p><p> Wed, 30 Apr 2014 15:52:10 +0000 Mark Brush 17417 at Arab American festival in Dearborn canceled once again Companies can't use religion as grounds to avoid contraception coverage <div align="left"><p>A federal appeals court ruled against a southeastern Michigan natural foods company that claims it should be exempt from the contraception provision in the federal health care law.&nbsp;The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals&nbsp;<a href="">issued its opinion today.</a></p><p></p><p>The Affordable Care Act requires employers to provide workers with insurance that covers contraception.</p><p></p> Thu, 24 Oct 2013 20:51:31 +0000 Lindsey Smith 14981 at Companies can't use religion as grounds to avoid contraception coverage Bill protecting Michigan worship services from disruption nears approval <p>Those who disrupt religious services in Michigan could soon face much harsher penalties.</p><p><a href="">A bill</a> sponsored by state Rep. Deb <span>Shaughnessy, R-Charlotte, intended to prevent disruptions during worship events, cleared the state Senate last week. </span></p><p><span>From the Associated Press</span>:</p><blockquote><p>The fine for disorderly conduct at a religious service could go as high as $1,000, which is more than the maximum fine for many misdemeanors. A second offense could cost as much as $5,000. A judge could also order at least 100 days of community service.</p></blockquote><p>According to <a href=";District=71">a press release from Shaughnessy&#39;s office</a>, the legislation was inspired by a 2008 protest at the Mount Hope Church in Delta Township. As part of the protest, members of a gay-rights anarchist group interrupted a service at the megachurch by throwing flyers, pulling fire alarms and shouting slogans.</p><p>The press release quotes Rep. Shaughnessy:</p><blockquote><p><span>&quot;The right of Michigan residents to gather and worship is not only guaranteed by the Bill of Rights, it is a right that must be respected by those with other beliefs...Nobody should fear disruption of their worship services by political opponents, and this legislation should shield them from such chaos.&quot;</span></p></blockquote><p><span>The bill is now on Gov. Rick Snyder&#39;s desk awaiting approval</span>.</p><p><em>-John Klein Wilson, Michigan Radio Newsroom</em> Fri, 22 Jun 2012 16:15:00 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 7981 at Bill protecting Michigan worship services from disruption nears approval Religious freedom vs Academic accreditation <p>&nbsp;State lawmakers heard testimony today&nbsp;on legislation that would protect college students whose religious beliefs conflict with their university&rsquo;s curriculum. &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;There are concerns the bill might cause problems for university&nbsp;accreditation.</p> Wed, 07 Mar 2012 17:27:13 +0000 Steve Carmody 6538 at Religious freedom vs Academic accreditation