Terry Jones appeals conviction, ban from mosque

Oct. 7, 2011 at 1:41 PM

DEARBORN, Mich., Oct. 7 (UPI) -- A Florida pastor has appealed his conviction related to burning a Koran that led to him being banned from a Dearborn, Mich., mosque.

Wayne County Circuit Judge Robert Ziolkowski said Thursday he would decide next month whether it was acceptable for authorities to order pastor Terry Jones to stay away from the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn for three years, the Detroit Free Press reported.

Jones, from Gainesville, Fla., was convicted in April of being likely to breach peace because of his plans to protest outside the mosque and was ordered to stay away from the center.

Jones' attorneys argued the ruling violated the pastor's right to free speech.

Wayne County prosecutors said the day Jones planned to protest, Good Friday, and the location of the mosque would have made it impossible for authorities to keep crowds under control, which would have endangered the safety of citizens and impeded mosque-goers' right to worship.

Ziolkowski said the three-year mosque ban was excessive but acknowledged local authorities had valid concerns about logistics and security.

The Islamic Center is located near four churches and has no sidewalks in front of the building.

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