A Pennsylvania judge reportedly dismissed charges against a Muslim man accused of attacking an atheist dressed as "Zombie Muhammad" during a Halloween parade last year.It just gets worse:
The Harrisburg Patriot-News reports that Cumberland County Magisterial District Judge Mark Martin said there wasn't enough evidence to convict Talaag Elbayomy of harrassment. Although there was grainy video of the incident, it was ruled inadmissible, leaving the case one man's word against another's, the judge said.
Elbayomy, 46, allegedly attacked Ernest Perce V, of the Parading Atheists of Central Pennsylvania, during the Oct. 11 parade in Mechanicsburg. Perce claimed Elbayomy tried to take his "Muhammad of Islam" sign and choked him, the newspaper reports. ...
... What transpired next was surreal. The Judge not only ruled in favor of the defendant, but called Mr. Perce a name and told him that if he were in a Muslim country, he’d be put to death. Judge Martin’s comments included,Go to the link for the rest of the judge's appalling comments. Andrew McCarthy has a transcript, and adds:
“Having had the benefit of having spent over 2 and a half years in predominantly Muslim countries I think I know a little bit about the faith of Islam. In fact I have a copy of the Koran here and I challenge you sir to show me where it says in the Koran that Mohammad arose and walked among the dead. I think you misinterpreted things. Before you start mocking someone else’s religion you may want to find out a little bit more about it it makes you look like a dufus and Mr. (Defendant) is correct. In many Arabic speaking countries something like this is definitely against the law there. In their society in fact it can be punishable by death and it frequently is in their society.
But one’s “attitude toward Muslims” is irrelevant to one’s right in America to walk the streets and express opinions people may find offensive without being physically attacked and intimidated. And the fact that sharia governments kill people over such expressions of opinion means that they are barbaric, not that we should tolerate additional constraints on our (diminishing) liberties. ...Harry's Place has more.
Volokh has an analysis.
More at Hot Air.
Think I'm making this up? I wish I were. Faith Freedom links to the news story at ABC 27.
UPDATE: Some sources incorrectly reported that Martin was a Muslim, based on a statement of Martin's which was misheard. It's not really relevant what his religion is; it's his distorted beliefs about religion and freedom of expression that are the problem.