Minnesota prosecutors have dismissed trespassing charges against Ramin Parsa, a Christian pastor who was arrested at the Mall of America last August for having a conversation with two Somali Muslim women.
“Praise the Lord! . . . Thank you so much for your prayers. We have resolved the criminal case and the city is not going to prosecute me further, so the city is out of it,” Pastor Parsa wrote on Facebook.
Parsa, a former Muslim from Iran, runs Redemptive Love Ministries in Los Angeles, but visited Minnesota in August. While in Minnesota, which now has a large Somali Muslim population, Parsa visited the Mall of America and ended up in conversation with two Somali women. “Our conversation was casual. At first, we were not talking about the gospel," Parsa recalled. "They asked me, 'Are you a Muslim?' I said, 'No, I used to be a Muslim and I'm a Christian now.' I was telling them the story of how I converted."
A third Muslim woman overheard the conversation and reported it to mall security. "Another lady told the guard, 'This guy is harassing us!'" Mall of America security came and told Parsa to stop soliciting. He replied that he was not soliciting, and was leaving the area.
Pastor Parsa and his friends went into a coffee shop, bought a latte, and thought that would be the end of the incident.
"When we came out of the coffee shop, three guards were waiting for us, and they arrested me right there," Parsa told PJ Media. "They came after me and arrested me, and said, 'You cannot talk religion here.'"
The guards took Parsa to the basement of the Mall of America, keeping him handcuffed to a metal chair for four hours without water. They charged him with trespassing and turned him over to local police.
Parsa returned to Minnesota Wednesday, March 6, ahead of his court hearing scheduled for the following day, and spoke at the Minnesota Capitol during a prayer rally hosted in support of him.
“I’ve been through this before in other countries,” he said during the rally. “The only thing that made me sad is that it happened in America, a nation I love with all my heart. This should not be happening in this country.”
Parsa is considering a civil suit for false imprisonment against the Mall of America: “The mall’s conduct still needs to be addressed. There are many options available that we are considering. Stay tuned, and please continue praying for more victories ahead,” he said.
I’ve noted elsewhere that believing Muslims are not good candidates to become citizens of the United States and other Western nations, because Muslim law conflicts with the Western values of freedom of speech and freedom of religion, as well as self-government through elected representatives.
The Adventist pastorate seems mostly to favor Muslim immigration; conservative Adventist pastors seem to view it as an opportunity for evangelism that isn’t possible in Muslim countries.
But this news item demonstrates that it will not work that way. You cannot proselytize in Muslim countries because it is forbidden by Muslim law and deeply offensive to believing Muslims. And it will still be against their law and deeply offensive to them if you try to discuss religion with them in a shopping mall in Minnesota.
In theory, freedom of speech and of religion should prevail within the boundaries of the United States, but in reality, it is the preacher who gets arrested, not the people who riot because they cannot abide his exercise of freedom of speech and religion. If you get Muslims riled up, the authorities will blame YOU for breaching the peace, and YOU will be arrested. That’s the way it was in Bible times (Acts 16:16-24; 17:1-9; 18:12-13; 19:23-41; 21:27-36), and that’s the way it will be in 21st Century America (which increasingly resembles the pagan Roman Empire).
They might later dismiss the charges, as they did in this case, or they might not. As the Muslim population grows, the pressure will increase to effectively enforce sharia law, and it will effectively be enforced. In America.