Jul 29 2012
PENNSYLVANIA: A judge who dismissed charges against a fellow Muslim who was accused of attacking an atheist parading as a zombie Muhammad has been rebuked by state judicial officials.
WND (H/T Liz) he state Judicial Conduct Board action concerned Magisterial Judge Mark Martin, of Cumberland County, who was involved in the case that developed last winter when American Atheists’ Pennsylvania State Director Ernest Perce V was marching in a parade, and allegedly was attacked.
A Muslim man, Talaag Elbayomy, was accused of storming out of the crowd and assaulting Perce, grabbing a sign around his neck and pulling until the strings choked him. Perce had attired himself as a “zombie Muhammad” for the event, which enraged Elbayomy.
But then Martin, a Muslim judge, scolded Perce for offending Islam at an Oct. 11, 2011, parade in Mechanicsburg, Pa., called him a “doofus” and accused him of “using the First Amendment” to enrage Muslims. The judge then dismissed charges filed by police against the Muslim defendant.
The judge said, “In many other Muslim countries, something like this is definitely against the law there, in their society. In fact, it could be punished by death, and frequently is, in their society.”
He also said, “What you’ve done is, you’ve completely trashed their essence, their being. They find it very, very, very offensive. I’m a Muslim. I find it offensive. I find what’s on the other side of this [sign] very offensive. (Editor’s note: Reverse of sign said, “Only Muhammad can rape America!)But you have that right, but you are way outside your bounds of First Amendment rights.”
It was Martin who brought a Quran to court and told the alleged victim, “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 piss off other people and cultures – which is what you did.”
Elbayomy – who said he believed it was illegal to mock Muhammad – was charged with harassment. He denied touching Perce at trial, but police officers said Elbayomy admitted grabbing Perce’s sign and beard the night of the incident.
A complaint was filed with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Judicial Conduct Board by John P. McTernan, a pro-life activist and founder of Defend and Proclaim the Faith Ministry. He told WND he got a response from Joseph A. Massa Jr., the chief counsel for the state board.
The letter said, “The board recently concluded its investigation regarding the complaint you filed against Magisterial District Judge Mark Martin, Cumberland County. The board voted to issue a letter of caution to Judge Martin as a private rebuke of his behavior and, thereafter, to close the case.
“Judge Martin was mailed this letter, and the case is now closed,” the letter said. There had been numerous calls for the judge’s removal when the situation developed.