Dearborn Mayor Jack O’Reilly Jr. said Friday night that he respects the decision, but the missionaries were anti-Muslim bigots pulling a publicity stunt to gain attention on YouTube in order to raise money.
A video the group posted last year about their encounters at the festival has had almost 2 million views. The group solicits money on its Web site when it travels to Dearborn, claiming the city is a hotbed of Islamic radicalism.
“It’s really about a hatred of Muslims,” O’Reilly said. “That is what the whole heart of this is. … Their idea is that there is no place for Muslims in America. They fail to understand the Constitution.”