Man Is Assaulted by a Muslim Offended by His Halloween Costume. Pennsylvania Judge Lectures the Victim About Religious Tolerance.Saturday, February 25th, 2012
The Pennsylvania State Director of American Atheists, Inc., Mr. Ernest Perce V., was assaulted by a Muslim while participating in a Halloween parade. Along with a Zombie Pope, Ernest was costumed as Zombie Muhammad. The assault was caught on video, the Muslim man admitted to his crime and charges were filed in what should have been an open-and-shut case. That’s not what happened, though.
The defendant is an immigrant and claims he did not know his actions were illegal, or that it was legal in this country to represent Muhammad in any form. To add insult to injury, he also testified that his 9 year old son was present, and the man said he felt he needed to show his young son that he was willing to fight for his Prophet.
The case went to trial, and as circumstances would dictate, Judge Mark Martin is also a Muslim. 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.
Even if Judge Martin was right on the law in dismissing the assault charges and refusing to allow the video to be admitted into evidence (and I’m not arguing he was), his admonishment to Perce was way out of line. It’s extremely difficult to discipline or remove a judge over a ruling, and perhaps there’s good reason for that. But it seems to me that Martin’s decision to use his courtroom to scold a man who had been assaulted over his Halloween costume—and to imply that the right not to be offended trumps the First Amendment—gets more into the realm of judicial conduct and temperament.
From Martin’s comments:
“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 . . .
“Islam is not just a religion, it’s their culture, their culture. It’s their very essence their very being. They pray five times a day towards Mecca to be a good Muslim, before you die you have to make a pilgrimage to Mecca unless you are otherwise told you can not because you are too ill too elderly, whatever but you must make the attempt. Their greetings wa-laikum as-Salâm (is answered by voice) may god be with you. Whenever, it’s very common when speaking to each other it’s very common for them to say uh this will happen it’s it they are so immersed in it . . .
“Then what you have done is you have completely trashed their essence, their being. They find it very very very offensive. I’m a Muslim, I find it offensive. But you have that right, but you’re way outside your boundaries or first amendment rights. This is what, and I said I spent about 7 and a half years living in other countries. when we go to other countries it’s not uncommon for people to refer to us as ugly Americans this is why we are referred to as ugly Americans, because we are so concerned about our own rights we don’t care about other people’s rights as long as we get our say but we don’t care about the other people’s say.”
This is a badly mistaken district court judge in Pennsylvania. And again, I think he should lose his job over this case.
But it is merely one badly mistaken district court judge in Pennsylvania. The worst part of this may be that in his asinine effort to protect Muslim sensibilities at the expense of the Constitution and Mr. Perce’s rights, Martin has served up a gift to the Sharia is coming! crowd. They’re already lapping this up. Don’t be surprised if we see fallout from this in the form of yet more anti-Muslim legislation in state legislatures across the country. Judge Martin probably just made life more difficult for American Muslims. (Who, despite what you may have read, have been doing pretty darned well.)