Mechanicsburg, PA – How I missed this story when it first broke is entirely beyond me. It’s got everything: Offensive Atheists, a zombie Muhammad, zombie Pope, a hyper-aggressive Muslim family man and a judge who doesn’t appear to understand the First Amendment.
It began at the Oct. 11 Halloween parade in Mechanicsburg, PA, where the Parading Atheists of Central Pennsylvania were doing their thing. Mr. Ernest Perce, PA State Director of American Atheists, Inc., dressed up as zombie Muhammad among other inflammatory characters that included a zombie Pope (equal opportunity haters, us atheists).
Before he knew it, Mr. Perce was being attacked by a man obviously offended by the spirited costume. The man choked him from behind as he attempted to rip his “Muhammad of Islam” sign from him, the audio of which was at least partially caught on video. The attack was brief and Perce continued to walk until he bumped into Police Sgt. Brian Curtis, who took the report.
Open and closed, right? No, see… Here’s where things go from bizarre to ridiculous. The prosecutor settled on a harassment charge and the case found its way to Cumberland County Magisterial District Judge Mark Martin. As luck would have it, dude’s also a Muslim. But, that shouldn’t matter, right?
The video was ruled inadmissible (an issue I’m not going to expound upon at this time) and the judge decided it was one man’s word against another’s, as the Sergeant’s didn’t witness the assault himself. The attacker, Talaag Elbayomy, admitted that his 9-year-old son was present, so he took the opportunity to show him how to whoop up in defense of his prophet. Elbayomy, an immigrant, also stated that he was not aware that his behavior was illegal.
While ruling in the defendant’s favor, Judge Martin decided to go all Sharia on the victim’s ass. “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,” the Judge stated before pointing out that the victim’s costume would have earned him a death sentence in some Middle Eastern countries, as if that’s supposed to matter.
If this weren’t bad enough, Judge Martin illustrates his non-existent grasp on the First Amendment when he says, “…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.” Huh? Never mind. Just check out the video.
On a side note, Mr. Elbayomy is the luckiest damn Muslim in America, am I right?
Edit: I should point out that, as more clear information comes out, Mr. Elbayomy claimed that the skirmish was merely a verbal altercation and he did not place his hands on the plaintiff, Mr. Perce. That could be why he didn’t understand that his behavior was illegal.Tags: Atheist, Crime, Ernest Perce, Muslim, Pennsylvania, religion, Talaag Elbayomy