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Florida pastors refuse to post bond, go to jail

A judge late Friday sent two Florida pastors, both linked to last month's Quran burning in Florida that led to riots throughout the Arab world, to jail for refusing to post a $1 bond.

The stunning development came after a Dearborn jury sided with prosecutors, ruling that Terry Jones and Wayne Sapp would breach the peace if they rallied at the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn.

Prosecutors asked Judge Mark Somers for $45,000 bond. Somers then set bond at $1 each for the two pastors.

They refused to pay. And Somers ordered them remanded to jail.

Jones was facing a jury trial Friday on whether he should be allowed to protest outside the Islamic center.

Earlier, in closing arguments, Wayne County assistant prosecutor Robert Moran said the pastors would disturb the peace if they were allowed to protest at the center.

Jones and Sapp argued their right is protected under the First Amendment. "That's what made America great," said Sapp. "We're entitled to our opinion."

Earlier, after an intense debate in court Friday morning over free speech and religion, Jones said that he was not backing down from his plans to protest at the center.

Dearborn Police Chief Ronald Haddad testified that there have been at least four serious threats made against Jones from Detroit area residents, arguing that his protest could lead to violence if allowed.

Jones was in court along with Sapp, who burned a copy of the Quran on Jones' orders.

In his opening statement, Jones repeated negative comments about Islam that he made when he oversaw the burning of the Quran in Florida. He said in court Friday that the Quran "promotes terrorist activities around the world."

He also strongly defended the U.S. Constitution.

"The one thing that makes the Constitution great is the First Amendment," Jones said.

Except for the Bible, the Constitution is the greatest document in history, Jones said.

"The First Amendment does us no good if it confines us to saying what is popular," he added.

Moran said in his opening statement this was an issue of security and breaching the peace.

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