Terry Jones returns to Michigan to denounce Islam

Terry Jones returns to Michigan to denounce Islam

by Marisa Schultz/ The Detroit News

Lansing — Terry Jones, the controversial Florida pastor, returned to Michigan on a rainy Wednesday night for a 30-minute speech on the steps of the Capitol where he railed about radical Islam.

The pastor’s speech was greeted by more police, media and protesters than supporters or curious onlookers.

About a dozen protesters started chanting “Say No to Hate” during Jones’ speech before police quieted them down.

“Terry Jones is not welcome here,” said protester David Mitchell, 30, of Lansing, who held a banner with others saying: “They shall not pass.”

Jones, wearing jeans and a Harley Davidson black bomber jacket, decried Islam as a not a peaceful religion and oppressive to women. The Islamic law, Sharia, should not be tolerated, he said.

“Islam is a religion that hates freedom of speech,” Jones said.

He was in Lansing to support a new organization, Operation Freedom’s Tree, founded by James Terpening. The political group denounces Islam as evil.

Jones supporter Eugene Connors, 40, of Lansing agrees. One sign he held said: “Stop Burning Christians.”

“People don’t realize the threat Islam poses to everyone,” he said.

Afterward, Jones said he doesn’t have a problem with Muslims, just the radical element and Sharia. Jones lamented the low turnout, including the no-show of state Rep. Dave Agema, R-Grandville, who authored legislation to ban foreign law.

“He chickened out,” Jones said.

Asked if he has plans to burn the Quran again, Jones said no.

Jones, who caused a hubbub for burning the Quran in March, also caused a stir with a visit to Dearborn during the Arab International Festival this summer.

mschultz@detnews.com

(313) 222-2310

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