|Members of the Westboro Baptist hate group protested Islam near the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn on Thursday morning as counter-protestors reacted. PHOTO: Natasha Dado/TAAN|
WBC protestors held up signs that read: “Imams rape children,” “Muhammad is a pedophile,” “God hates Islam” and “Muhammad = lying. False prophet.”
Around 30 counter-protested the WBC including high school and college Arab American students and U.S. soldiers. The protest was organized by Fordson High School students Rami Faraj and Mohamad Idriss.
Faraj said they organized the protest because they’re tired of the WBC spreading hate messages across the nation. Idriss believes the WBC made a second appearance because they didn’t attract violence during their first visit. During the WBC’s first visit students counter-protested peacefully. “They’re back because they were intimidated by our counter protest, and didn’t get what they wanted — a bad reaction,” Idriss said.
WBC has conducted 44,452 pickets in 796 cities and originally planned to burn the Qur’an on the ninth anniversary of the Sep. 11 terrorist attacks on America.
The church has nationally been condemned as a hate group and is known for its stance against homosexuality, destroying the American flag and picketing at the funerals of soldiers. In accordance to WBC beliefs, U.S. causalities in Afghanistan and Iraq are God’s punishment for homosexuality and abortion, which the WBC says are immoral. The church also opposes Lutherans, Catholics and other religious denominations.
After their protest in Dearborn, the three WBC activists went to Wayne State University where they spread hate messages about the Jewish community.
The WBC is based out of Topeka, Kansas. Its members believe only certain people are pre-ordained to reach Heaven. The church is led by Pastor Fred Phelps, whose hate messages have him banned from entering the United Kingdom.