DETROIT, April 21 (UPI) -- A controversial Florida pastor refused Thursday to pay a bond demanded by Dearborn, Mich., before he can hold a rally at a mosque there.
Terry Jones opted for a jury trial on the issue, the Detroit Free Press reported. At a hearing in Wayne County, Judge Mark Somers quickly selected six jurors and an alternate and scheduled the case for Friday morning.
Jones, who made international headlines last year when he threatened to hold a Koran-burning at his small church in Gainesville, Fla., was represented in court by a Muslim lawyer who burned him in effigy last year. Majed Moughni said trying to silence Jones is counterproductive.
"Instead of him being the bad guy, now he's the hero," Moughni said. "They've turned him into a hero of the First Amendment. The prosecutors should withdraw their demands and let him speak as he wishes, which is his right under the Constitution."
Jones plans to appear outside the Islamic Center of America, the largest mosque in the United States, at 5 p.m. on Good Friday.
Another pastor burned Korans under Jones' supervision recently. Both local and national news media ignored the event, calling it a publicity stunt, but when news of the Koran burning reached Afghanistan it was blamed for setting off deadly riots.