Is Sharia creeping into US law? PA Judge dismisses atheist assault case.
Case against Muslim man who attacked atheist thrown out.
A judge is coming under increasing scrutiny for dismissing an assault case against a Muslim who attacked a man dressed up "Zombie Mohammed." The Pennsylvania judge who dismissed the case is purported to be a Muslim, provoking accusations of a conflict of interest. However, that allegation may now be in dispute.
Ernie Perce prior to the assault (that the state couldn't prove occurred) in this amateur still frame from a YouTube video of the incident.
It should be noted that other atheists were also in costume including one dressed as a "Zombie pope."
The display was offensive enough that a Muslim man, Talaag Elbayomy, decided to act out against Perce telling him to take down the sign, then physically assaulting him. Perce said Elbayomy "grabbed me, choked me from the back, and spun me around to try and get my sign off that was wrapped around my neck." Elbayomy was subsequently charged with harassment.
However, on December 6th, District Judge Mark Martin, a Gulf War veteran, dismissed the case on the grounds that the Commonwealth had not provided sufficient evidence to show an assault had actually occurred. Some early reports indicated the udge was a convert to Islam. he has denied the allegation. A YouTube video circulating virally showed the assault take place. --The video, shot at night, was ruled "inconclusive."
The judge went further, and scolded the victim, pointing out that such displays would warrant the death penalty in some countries.
Perce made a recording of the hearing in which Martin can be heard saying, "You have that right, but you're way outside your bounds of First Amendment rights. I think our forefathers intended that we use the First Amendment so that we can speak our mind, not to piss off other people and other cultures, which is what you did."
However, others say that Judge Martin has set a flawed and dangerous precedent, by refusing to protect the rights of a victim. George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley said, "You can say things that are hurtful to others. We hope that you don't, but you most certainly can be protected. People like Thomas Paine spent his entire life ticking off people across the colonies."
Both sides continue to claim they were victims in the case, and that the other should be held liable for what has happened. Judge Martin continues to defend his decision saying, "With rights comes responsibilities. The more people abuse our rights, the more likely that we're going to lose them."
Still two facts remain unexamined.
First, when someone commits a crime or utters speech that isn't protected by the first amendment, (such as yelling fire in a crowded theater) there is an apparatus in place to ensure justice - in the form of local law enforcement, which removes the need for an individual to take the law into their own hands.
Second, the zombie pope protestor was never attacked by the doubtless numerous Catholics who were likely offended by the display.
And those two unexamined facts say some very profound things about this matter indeed.
© 2012, Catholic Online. Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Sharia, Muslim, law, judge, atheist, assault, Halloween, Zombie, Mohammed, Ernie Perce, Mark Martin
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