They doth protest

So much for saying you’re sorry. Imam Husham Al-Husainy was in court last week to ask the city of Dearborn to drop charges against him. Seems Al-Husainy, who leads a congregation at Karbala Islamic Center, participated in a pro-Palestinian rally on April 14 that attracted about 4,000 people. After Al-Husainy addressed the crowd, a mayoral aide approached him, informed him that the protest was illegal and suggested he apologize to the police, Al-Husainy’s lawyer, Majed Moughni, tells News Hits. Al-Husainy was not an organizer of the event, says Moughni, but he willingly complied to show that protesters weren’t intentionally breaking the law.

Al-Husainy later got a summons to appear in court on charges of protesting without a permit. Two other men were also charged. They each face a $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail. In addition, the city is seeking $3,700 from the three to pay for police overtime. Mary Laundroche, Dearborn spokeswoman, says the event was the third in a month that lacked a proper permit. Police had to be pulled from other assignments to keep order along busy Schaefer Road. The rally was allowed to take place without incident or arrest. An investigation led police to charge the three alleged perps with misdemeanors.

Asked whether Al-Husainy would have been ticketed had he not voluntarily appeared at police headquarters, Laundroche says she didn’t know.

Dearborn requires a 30-day notice for protest permits, but will make special exceptions, she says.

Al-Husainy will not plead guilty to a crime he did not commit, says Moughni. “We believe it is unconstitutional for the city to have an ordinance that is so vague. He is charged with protesting without a permit. He did not organize this event. He did not know it was illegal. Does that mean everyone at the protest should have had a permit? Should there have been 4,000 permits?”

Lisa M. Collins is a Metro Times staff writer. E-mail [email protected]
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