Churning through the blogosphere: the case of Zombie Mohammed, a Pennsylvania judge and a Muslim who took offense during the Mechanicsburg (Pa.) Halloween parade. On Tuesday, the judge ended up having to relocate himself and his staff because of threats and angry criticism over how he handled the case.
This story began when Ernie Perce, a self-declared atheist, decided to dress up as a ‘Zombie Mohammed’ during the parade. Another participant portrayed the Pope. Perce and his fellow marcher(s) represented the Parading Atheists of Central Pennsylvania.
Seeing his deity portrayed as a zombie was too much for 46-year-old Talaag Elbayomy of Mechanicsburg. Elbayomy allegedly ‘attacked’ Perce—the descriptions of Elbayomy’s actions suggest he basically manhandled the atheist.
The whole affair landed in court presided over by Cumberland County district judge Mark Martin. Martin ended up dismissing the case for lack of evidence, reportedly refusing to permit the faux pope to testify. Elbayomy had allegedly been charged with harassment.
Jonathan Turley has been following this case; he talked to Perce. Turley wrote, “If Perce is correct, the court had a contemporary witness and a videotape but decided not to hear that evidence.”
Had Judge Martin refrained from a cultural lecture, however, the whole affair might have ended there.
Martin who describes himself as a Lutheran, decided to coach the atheist on Muslim culture. Martin certainly has the creds for that because he has served in the Army Reserve, with tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The judge, among other things, said this:
“I think our forefathers intended that we use the First Amendment so that we can speak what’s on our mind, not to piss off other people and other cultures, which is what you did. You are way outside the bounds of your First Amendment rights.”
The judge’s comments and remarks from a constitutional law professor are part of a video feature CNN aired about the 'Zombie Mohammed' affair.
Obviously the judge does not understand the First Amendment. He isn’t alone. The majority of the Democrats in Congress (and in the general populace) don’t understand it either.
For starters, the amendment doesn’t place ‘bounds’ on our rights. It’s the opposite. The amendment places bounds on the power of the federal government regarding our natural, God-given rights to freedom of speech and other matters. It really is that simple.
The judge has no business being a judge—I have to say I do appreciate his service to our country. Judge Martin has gone so far overboard in his interpretation of the First Amendment that he is basically a danger to US liberties.
One takeaway, however, should give us small cause to say thanks. Muslims and Christians aren’t firing at anyone in Pennsylvania, and atheists haven’t been targeted by anyone else. As a matter of fact, The Patriot-News (Pa.) noted this:
“It’s upsetting when Muslims attack people,’ said Akram Khalid, president of the central Pennsylvania Ahmadiyya Muslim community. ‘They are hijacking Islam. The same thing happened on 9/11. They didn’t just hijack the airplanes. They hijacked our religion also.’
Instead, Muslims should live peacefully with their neighbors, Khalid said.”
Although some pundits are assigning a ‘Sharia Law’ component to this incident, in fact, this has nothing to do with Sharia Law. This incident has to do with a judge’s lack of understanding of the First Amendment. The judge’s ignorance on this tenet of freedom led him to a biased decision and to a self-imposed relocation.
I’ve often called that amendment one of the most sacred. Take that away and the central powers would know no limitations on key pillars in our freedom.
In a perfect world, people would respect each other’s faith. As we all know, a perfect world is not obtainable despite Leftists’ ongoing failures to create one.
Had the judge wanted to deliver wisdom, he could simply have told the alleged attacker/harasser to stay away from events that might upset him or incite him to violence.
~Related at The US Report: Koran burning apologies are ineffective and counterproductive
(Commentary by Kay B. Day/Feb. 29, 2012)