Muslim Man Assaults Atheist ‘Zombie Muhammad’, Judge Scolds Atheist

Caution: Undead - photo by postbear

Yesterday I wrote about the Pennsylvania House resolution that declared 2012 the Year of the Bible. Any rational person would agree that this is a clear violation of church-state separation. In case there was any doubt about whether this was a fluke or not, the right-wing zealots are at it again.

A Pennsylvania judge dismissed a case against a Muslim man, Talaag Elbayomy, who physically assaulted an atheist, Ernest Perce, marching as a “Zombie Muhammad” during a Halloween parade in October. Elbayomy, who was at the parade with his wife and child, attacked Perce for doing something he found offensive, and then he called the police believing his actions were justified. Elbayomy believed Perce was the guilty party for offending his Muslim faith.

What makes this incident even worse is the actions of Judge Mark Martin. He threw out the case, telling Perce, “what you have done is you have completely trashed their essence, their being. They find it very very very offensive.” By his words and actions, Judge Martin essentially ruled Elbayomy was right and that Perce was asking for it and deserved what he got. WHAT?! So if a woman walks down the street topless, would Judge Martin rule in favor of anyone who assaults her by saying “she had it coming because she should have known better?”

I went to college in central PA, and I can tell you that when you hear people refer to it as “Pennsyltucky” there’s a good reason for it. It’s like a southern state wedged between the halves of two northeast states. How is it possible for a Muslim man to live there and think the people of that area would support his Muslim beliefs? It’s clearly a very Christian area to anyone who bothers to read the billboards as they drive through, and even more evident if you talk to the locals. Anyone who beats up another person for being offended is a moron, but the fact that this guy missed all the indications that people in that area are not too into Muslims (to put it mildly), just crystallizes any doubt that remains.

The bottom line is, this ruling was clearly wrong, and any first-year law student should be able to see that. In America there is nothing that I can dress up as or say to you that gives you the right to beat me. Period. If you think your God condones assaulting me for offending Him, then maybe you should stop insulting His powers and let him take care of Himself. I’m sure He understands that in America people need to follow the laws, and in this country we don’t hurt others because we disagree with their message – a message I hope Elbayomy’s child manages to pick up in school or elsewhere since it’s clearly not being taught at home. I feel sorry for that poor child, and for all the residents of PA who have to be subjected daily to ignorant people in positions of power.

Steve

photo by postbear

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  • This is a great example of how atheists face even more discrimination than Muslims!

  • think again

    Your comment at the end of the first sentence paragraph doesn’t make sense – “In case there was any doubt about whether this was a fluke or not, the right-wing zealots are at it again.”  “Right wing zealots” would be for the maximum criminal penalty for Talaag Elbayomy.

    And there is no “separation of chruch and state” mandated by the Constitution.  The Supreme Court considered that position early in the 1900’s and went away from it.   The law with regards to religion and the state is that the state will be neutral not supporting any religion or religion in general.  We have freedom of religion not freedom from religion.

    You might consider being more objective and letting go of your irrational hatred and fear of Christians and conservatives.  They are people just like you but with a different view on issues.

    • Actually, it does make sense. You are right that if the judge was a Christian fundamentalist he probably would not have thrown out the case and instead might have been cheering for a swift and harsh sentence for Elbayomy. But the judge instead took the stance that he needed to protect the religious views of one person from being offended even if it meant ignoring a physical assault. The only way to interpret the judge’s remarks is to say he felt Perce had it coming. Perce was well within his First Amendment rights when he was physically assaulted. One person’s religious views should not shape a ruling (or in this case throwing out the case). The law cannot protect the religious from being offended. People will be offended by the actions of others and there is little the law can do about that. The law protects your right to practice your religion, NOT seek vengeance on someone who you say offended your religious beliefs. This is why it IS protection FROM religion and not OF religion. The law does not protect religion. Instead, it is neutral (as you said). This neutrality is what protects us from the dominant religion(s) and this protection FROM religion is what allows each religion to exist without persecution.

      As for the Supreme Court, there have been dozens of rulings that have upheld a church-state separation. You are simply wrong on this. Do some research.