A Muslim judge in Pennsylvania – who scolded a local atheist for offending Islam, called him a doofus and accused him of “using the First Amendment” to madden Muslims – dismissed harassment charges against the Muslim defendant who purportedly choked the atheist during a Halloween parade.
District Judge Mark Martin brought a Quran to court and told the alleged victim, American Atheists’ Pennsylvania State Director Ernest Perce V, “I think you misinterpreted a couple of things. So before you start mocking somebody else’s religion, you might want to find out a little more about it. It kind of makes you look like a doofus.”
The judge added, “I think our forefathers intended to use the First Amendment so we can speak with our mind, not to p— off other people and cultures – which is what you did.”
Perce had worn a “zombie Muhammad” costume and proclaimed that he was the Prophet Muhammad risen from the dead at the Oct, 11, 2011, event in Mechanicsburg, Pa. A “zombie pope” was also featured in the parade that night.
Now the Scranton Atheism Examiner reports that Perce could be arrested for posting audio of the judge scolding him for mocking Muhammad. According to report, the Muslim judge has threatened to hold him in contempt of court for releasing the recording. Perce has claimed he was given permission to post the audio.
The Examiner reports that Perce said he posted the audio because the judge treated him unfairly and showed preferential treatment for the Muslim defendant.
According to reports, the atheists were marching when Talaag Elbayomy, a Muslim, stormed out of the crowd and assaulted Perce, grabbing a sign around his neck and pulling until the strings choked him.
The men caught the attention of a nearby police officer.
Mechanicsburg Police Officer Bryan Curtis told Pennsylvania’s WHTM-TV, “Mr. Perce has the right to do what he did that evening, and the defendant in this case was wrong in what he did in confronting him.”
He added, “I believe that I brought a case that showed proof beyond a reasonable doubt, and the case was dismissed, and I was disappointed.”
Elbayomy – who said he believed it was illegal to mock Muhammad – was charged with harassment. He denied touching Perce at trial, but Officer Curtis said Elbayomy admitted grabbing Perce’s sign and beard the night of the incident.