Pace U’s Koran-flusher: Examining the (presumptive) charges; Update: Unconstitutional?

posted at 1:47 pm on July 29, 2007 by Allahpundit

The word from LGF is that he’s being charged with two felonies, criminal mischief and aggravated harassment. Fair or not? Let’s look at the statutes.

Criminal mischief is section 145 of the NYS Penal Code. There are four separate counts: fourth degree is a misdemeanor and first degree requires the use of explosives so the charge here has to be second or third degree.

S 145.05 Criminal mischief in the third degree.

A person is guilty of criminal mischief in the third degree when, with intent to damage property of another person, and having no right to do so nor any reasonable ground to believe that he has such right, he damages property of another person in an amount exceeding two hundred fifty dollars.

Criminal mischief in the third degree is a class E felony.

S 145.10 Criminal mischief in the second degree.

A person is guilty of criminal mischief in the second degree when with intent to damage property of another person, and having no right to do so nor any reasonable ground to believe that he has such right, he damages property of another person in an amount exceeding one thousand five hundred dollars.

Criminal mischief in the second degree is a class D felony.

Assuming the Korans Shmulevich flushed were school property, that would presumably make him guilty of fourth-degree mischief, which stipulates no dollar amount. But how on earth did he cause $250 (or $1,500!) worth of damage sufficient to warrant a felony charge? Did he flush some rare and valuable Koran, a la Charles Merrill? Or was the damage caused by the book being sucked into the bathroom pipes and wreaking havoc in the walls? Sounds like neither:

On Oct. 13, a teacher discovered a paperback Koran in a toilet in a second-floor bathroom. On Nov. 21, a student found a submerged Koran in the same bathroom, cops said.

Maybe the November Koran was rare and valuable? Or maybe they’re deliberately overcharging him to pressure him into copping a plea to fourth degree? Either way, the lesson is clear: if you’re going to flush a Koran, make sure it’s yours.

So much for the property crime. The “hate crime” is covered by the aggravated harassment charge, a.k.a. section 240.3 of the Penal Code. Two possible counts here: second degree and first degree, but second degree is a misdemeanor so they must be looking at the big one.

S 240.31 Aggravated harassment in the first degree.

A person is guilty of aggravated harassment in the first degree when with intent to harass, annoy, threaten or alarm another person, because of a belief or perception regarding such person’s race, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, religion, religious practice, age, disability or sexual orientation, regardless of whether the belief or perception is correct, he or she:

1. Damages premises primarily used for religious purposes, or acquired pursuant to section six of the religious corporation law and maintained for purposes of religious instruction, and the damage to the premises exceeds fifty dollars; or

2. Commits the crime of aggravated harassment in the second degree in the manner proscribed by the provisions of subdivision three of section 240.30 of this article and has been previously convicted of the crime of aggravated harassment in the second degree for the commission of conduct proscribed by the provisions of subdivision three of section 240.30 or he has been previously convicted of the crime of aggravated harassment in the first degree within the preceding ten years.

Aggravated harassment in the first degree is a class E felony.

Emphases mine. Subsection 2 (which refers to section 240.30) deals with physical assault so the charge here must be based on subsection 1, i.e., damaging premises “primarily used for religious purposes” in excess of $50. The Daily News article linked above says Shmulevich took the Korans from the Pace meditation room; one of the lesser questions for the court presumably will be whether the meditation room is used primarily for “religious” purposes or whether its overarching purpose for “meditation” means it’s “primarily” used for something more secular. The money question will be whether the statute is unconstitutionally vague and overbroad. A federal district judge found the second-degree aggravated harassment statute unconstitutional on those grounds back in 1997:

The statute “is over broad as well as vague. It is unclear what type of communication would be considered to be initiated ‘in a manner likely to cause annotance or alarm’ to another person… The statute in this case is utterly repugnant to the First Amendment of the United States Constitution and also unconstitutional for vagueness.”

I don’t have Lexis-Nexis so I don’t know what happened on appeal, but the statute still reads today just as it did then. (Update: Actually, no it doesn’t. See below.) If that one’s unconstitutional, the first degree statute is likely unconstitutional too. In fact, a clever defense attorney would argue that there’s an Establishment Clause violation in subsection 1. Presumably someone who stole the flag from a VFW and burned it in front of a bunch of vets to piss them off would skate on an aggravated harassment charge because the VFW isn’t “primarily used for religious purposes.” Why the special treatment for churches, temples, mosques, and Pace University meditation rooms?

Update: My bad. There is a difference between the 1997 and the 2007 version of the aggravated harassment statute: the earlier version evidently turned on whether the act itself was done “in a manner likely to cause anno[y]ance or alarm”; the current version depends on whether the defendant acted “with intent to … annoy … or alarm.” That’s a little better insofar as it makes it a bit harder for the prosecutor to prove his case, but my guess is that the court’s real problem was with the annoy/alarm language, which is common to both. Let me see if I can find the opinion.

Update: I can’t find the district court opinion on Google — maybe Patterico will work his Lexis fu to dig it up and analyze it — but it turns out the case was reversed on appeal, albeit on procedural grounds. The Second Circuit ruled that the district judge should have abstained from the case and let the state courts handle it unless it could be shown that the statute was clearly unconstitutional. Was the statute clearly unconstitutional? Nope:

Here, in concluding that section 240.30(1) is unconstitutional, and hence that this prosecution was brought in bad faith, the district court relied extensively on People v. DuPont, 107 A.D.2d 247, 486 N.Y.S.2d 169 (1st Dep’t 1985), a case which, in the district court’s language, had found the statute “utterly repugnant to the First Amendment . . . and also unconstitutional for vagueness.” Schlagler, 985 F.Supp. at 421…

As an initial matter, in Dupont the court found the acts complained of did not fall within section 240.30(1) but nevertheless that the statute was unconstitutional on its face. While it may have purported to declare the statute facially invalid, it is not entirely clear that it did so and in any event does not render invalid all prosecutions under the statute. To the contrary, Dupont itself acknowledged that other courts have found the statute constitutional. Dupont, 107 A.D.2d at 252, 486 N.Y.S.2d at 173 (citing People v. Smith, 89 Misc.2d 789, 791-92, 392 N.Y.S.2d 968, 971 (N.Y. App. Term 1977)). Moreover, there have been a number of successful prosecutions under the law since Dupont . E.g., People v. Diraimondo, 174 Misc.2d 937, 940, 667 N.Y.S.2d 205, 207-08 (N.Y. Dist. Ct., Nassau Cty. 1997); People v. Miguez , 153 Misc.2d 442, 590 N.Y.S.2d 156 (N.Y. App. Term, 1st Dep’t 1992), aff’g 147 Misc.2d 482, 556 N.Y.S.2d 231 (N.Y. Crim. Ct. 1990); People v. Katz, 135 Misc.2d 857, 518 N.Y.S.2d 721 (N.Y. App. Term, 1st Dep’t 1987).

In other words, New York courts were split over whether the initial version of the aggravated harassment statute was constitutional or not. I’d love to be able to tell you what the courts have said about the new version but I think I’ve reached the limits of where Google will take me. Any legal eagles with Westlaw want to shepardize this puppy and let me know what you find? There’s a link in it for you.

Update: I guess the VFW example doesn’t work because the harassment there isn’t based on a protected category of race, religion, orientation, etc. Try it instead with the NAACP. Some nut breaks into their NYC headquarters, walks out with some property, and torches it outside the building while employees look on. No religious premises = no first-degree aggravated harassment charge. Why not?

Update: A tipster with Lexis access forwards along an interesting slip opinion from the NYS trial court level from January. The case is State v. Bender. The court was dealing with the second-degree aggravated harassment statute, not the first-degree, but the relevant language is the same in both. Money quote:

In order for a defendant’s communication to be of the type intended to be criminalized by the legislature in enacting Penal Law § 240.30 [1] the communication must, be obscene, a specific and unequivocal threat, or by its very utterance tend to incite an immediate breach of peace. (see People v. Smith, 89 Misc. 2d 789, 392 N.Y.S.2d 968 [App Term 2d Dept. 1977]; People v T.V., 2003 NY Slip Op 51050U, 2003 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 809 [Crim Ct, New York County June 24, 2003]). Furthermore, Penal Law § 240.30 [1] criminalizes communications directed at an unwilling recipient under circumstances wherein ” substantial privacy interests were violated in an essentially intolerable manner.’” (see People v. Smith , supra, at 791, quoting Cohen v. California, 403 U.S. 15, 21, 91 S. Ct. 1780, 29 L. Ed. 2d 284 [1971]). However, without threats of violence or harm, even “rude or angry words are not enough to constitute aggravated harassment.” (see People v. Webers, 9 Misc. 3d 135(A), 808 N.Y.S.2d 920, 2005 NY Slip Op 51673(U) App Term 1st Dept. [2005]; quoting People v. Livio, 187 Misc. 2d 302, 307, 725 N.Y.S.2d 785 [2000]).

In other words, the court seems to be equating the dicey, dubiously constitutional language in the statute about intending to “harass, annoy, threaten or alarm another person” with intent to threaten or to provoke a fight. Why do that? Because threats and “fighting words” are both exceptions to the First Amendment. If the court read the statute any more broadly, it would be arguably unconstitutional. That’s good news for Shmulevich, although the fact that this is a trial court opinion means it doesn’t have much precedential value. Essentially, he’d argue that at best flushing a Koran is tantamount to “rude and angry words,” which, per the court’s opinion, cannot themselves constitute aggravated harassment in the second degree, let alone in the first. If the ACLU wasn’t such a bunch of rods this would be a money case for them.


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In fact, a clever defense attorney would argue that there’s an Establishment Clause violation in subsection 1, too. Presumably someone who stole the flag from a VFW and burned it in front of a bunch of vets to piss them off would skate on an aggravated harassment charge because the VFW isn’t “primarily used for religious purposes.” Why the special treatment for churches, temples, mosques, and Pace University meditation rooms?

That is sexy.

Have I mentioned how much I like your posts lately?

Theworldisnotenough on July 29, 2007 at 1:56 PM

I just flushed a Koran down the toilet just now.

Egfrow on July 29, 2007 at 2:00 PM

This is overblown beyond absurdity. Anything beyond requiring Shmulevich to make restitution by paying for the Korans he trashed is pure pandering dhimmitude.

infidel4life on July 29, 2007 at 2:00 PM

Have I mentioned how much I like your posts lately?

Thanks. You know that Bryan posted everything on the site yesterday, though, right?

Allahpundit on July 29, 2007 at 2:01 PM

Allah, you don’t have Lexis? I’m amazed by that. I woulda guessed that Malkin Inc would have an account for all of you guys to use. Slublog has access to Lexis I think, you should email him.

Bad Candy on July 29, 2007 at 2:02 PM

Somehow, I may be wrong but I doubt the liberals insupport of CAIR will be less concerned with stare decicis in this case then they are about SCOTUS. It would be nice to get Charles Schumer on a Sunday talkshow coming out in favor of stare decicis then giving him this little nugget to chew on.

Theworldisnotenough on July 29, 2007 at 2:02 PM

You can get a free Koran, suitable for any purpose, at:
http://www.freekoran.com/form.php

Jonas Parker on July 29, 2007 at 2:04 PM

Allahpundit on July 29, 2007 at 2:01 PM

Yes, and I was getting worried…seriously.

amerpundit on July 29, 2007 at 2:07 PM

Thanks. You know that Bryan posted everything on the site yesterday, though, right?

Allahpundit on July 29, 2007 at 2:01 PM

Yes, I read it but this post has more meat. This is the ammmunition needed in the debate over hates crimes legislation. Revealing its true intent: To punish whites and promote non-whites. A very clear illustration is the “Halloween Hate Crime” case in Long Beach. Not to mention Kalvin Porter, Black man murdered by Muslims in Detroit.

Theworldisnotenough on July 29, 2007 at 2:08 PM

While I don’t think it’s a good idea to flush someone else’s Koran, the PC police are going WAY overboard here. Hate crimes legislation is taking us down a very dangerous road. It’s probably the beginning of throwing Pastors in jail for preaching against homosexuality in churches, for example. (note: God hates the sin, not the sinner) Maybe the ADF can get involved in this case.

Ordinary1 on July 29, 2007 at 2:14 PM

amerpundit on July 29, 2007 at 2:07 PM

Even AP deserves a day off once in awhile! Bryan is great too. HotAir has a great team! Thanx for your hard work.

Ordinary1 on July 29, 2007 at 2:17 PM

I am curious. What if a person flushed a bible down the toilet? What would be the punishment in that case?

uskorea on July 29, 2007 at 2:21 PM

No paperback Korans for university use are worth more than about $15-20, tops.

If they were donated by CAIR, they were free.

Case closed on part one.

“Hate crimes” are a violation of the First Amendment. And need to be expunged by the Supreme Court.

If this case can do this, which is vital to our future freedom, I’ll buy two new Korans for the morons at Pace to replace those baptised in the John.

(Studying the Koran is a useful act of self-defense for any infidel dog.)

profitsbeard on July 29, 2007 at 2:23 PM

I am curious. What if a person flushed a bible down the toilet? What would be the punishment in that case?

Hopefully the same, but I doubt it would happen. Certainly most Christian groups wouldn’t pressure authorities to persecute prosecute.

Ordinary1 on July 29, 2007 at 2:24 PM

I assume the ACLU has chimed in in defense of this defendant’s civil liberties?

In case you’re a little dense, that was sarcasm. Frankly frightened sarcasm. The irony is amusing but the reality is scary.

Anybody who doesn’t recognize the fact that the only true threat of American fascism is found squarely on the left side of the political spectrum … is not paying attention.

At this point, liberalism shouldn’t just annoy you or frustrate you. It should be scaring you. It’s now becoming fashionably Orwellian and the people who claim to be dedicated to opposing fascism are, in fact, those behind it.

I’m scared. And I’m thanking God for the Second Amendment.

Al-Queda and Iran and North Korea cannot defeat us.

This can.

Professor Blather on July 29, 2007 at 2:40 PM

Thanks. You know that Bryan posted everything on the site yesterday, though, right?

Allahpundit on July 29, 2007 at 2:01 PM

It was rather obvious

Wade on July 29, 2007 at 2:45 PM

It was rather obvious

Yeah? From the byline, you mean?

Allahpundit on July 29, 2007 at 2:49 PM

Allahpundit on July 29, 2007 at 2:49 PM

Yep Yep

Wade on July 29, 2007 at 2:51 PM

I guess the VFW example doesn’t work because the harassment there isn’t based on a protected category of race, religion, orientation, etc.

“national origin” is a protected class. Why should America be excluded from that protection?

eeyore on July 29, 2007 at 2:52 PM

Pace University officials first classified the Quran-toilet incident as vandalism but later referred the case to the NYPD’s hate crimes unit after complaints by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

I don’t think I’ve seen an NYPD charge quote yet. No doubt CAIR is pushing for it but no official has been named saying what is really going on.

Timber Wolf on July 29, 2007 at 2:52 PM

A koran is also property and subject to depreciation when calculating its value for vandalism and theft charges. How much is a used paperback koran going to set one back? A couple of bucks?

Blake on July 29, 2007 at 2:53 PM

Blake-

Available paperback Koran prices online are: $2.97 and $2.99 for two NEW volumes.

Two Korans: $6.00 + $3.99 Postage = $9.99 for Pace U.

Felony, my ass.

profitsbeard on July 29, 2007 at 3:00 PM

Felony, my ass. Koran

Wade on July 29, 2007 at 3:03 PM

Thanks. You know that Bryan posted everything on the site yesterday, though, right?

Allahpundit on July 29, 2007 at 2:01 PM

Last night Allahpundit, with cigarette dangling from lips: ‘Was it as good for you?’ Heh Heh

sonnyspats1 on July 29, 2007 at 3:03 PM

Yeah? From the byline, you mean?

I can usually tell without looking at the byline, just by the style of writing.

aengus on July 29, 2007 at 3:06 PM

Geez, what an absurd case of dhimmitude. From reading comments at LGF and Jihad Watch, one wonders is CAIR overplaying their hand and risking major blowback? At some point, the proverbial you know what has to hit the fan.

synycalwon on July 29, 2007 at 3:09 PM

Foundationless suggestion: Perhaps the Criminal Mischief charge was bumped up to a felony since “hate” frequently creates an aggravating factor, thus automatically shifting it from 4th to 3rd degree, and the monetary value is rendered irrelevant.

eeyore on July 29, 2007 at 3:12 PM

I got a second-hand Koran in pristine condition in paperback for $1. They’re throwing the book at him (pun intended) for a buck.

aengus on July 29, 2007 at 3:15 PM

I’m no lawyer, though I play one convincingly in a classroom, but the second statute reads, to me, to deal with a crime against an individual. How can one assert that a crime against an individual occurred here? How can one offend a religion that has no identity or personage? What am I missing?

TinMan13 on July 29, 2007 at 3:23 PM

Either way, the lesson is clear: if you’re going to flush a Koran, make sure it’s yours.

It’s my dream that a Sesame Street episode ends with Big Bird saying that.

RightWinged on July 29, 2007 at 3:23 PM

The person charged here is named Stanislav Shmulevich, a 23 yo male student at Pace. He is originally from the Ukrain and is Jewish. The charges stem from a surveilance photo taken of Stanislav leaving a muslim meditation room on the Pace campus. He to alleged to have made incrimminating statements to police. Given the time lapse between crime and arrest date and the evidence it seems like a weak case bordering on a witch hunt.

sonnyspats1 on July 29, 2007 at 3:31 PM

Desecrating a Koran is now a Crime…it’s time fold, spindle and mutilate Koran’s in protest!

The only response to this is for all of us to go and buy Koran’s and “desecrate” them. We must force the authorities to confront us all. This is important folks. We can argue about the idea that Islam is not compatible with Democracy until the cows come home but we can NOT compromise on the idea that it is OK to desecrate even the flag. It may be despicable but it is not against the law.

By allowing this to pass without massive civil disobedience we allow this absurdity to become codified. Let the government try and enforce this absurdity against us all. Today go and buy a Koran or 3 and lets agree that on Monday we dump them into the trash.

We mean no insult to those Muslims inside of this country. We mean to hold up perhaps the most important law of them all. A law that is so important that any Muslim who loves our country will understand our reasons and will join us. In this country our freedom to speak our minds is not bound by any religion.

Stanislav Shmulevich threw those Koran’s into the toilet was making a political statement to show his outrage at the Universities preferential treatment of Muslims.

PierreLegrand on July 29, 2007 at 3:55 PM

I’m no lawyer, though I play one convincingly in a classroom, but the second statute reads, to me, to deal with a crime against an individual. How can one assert that a crime against an individual occurred here? How can one offend a religion that has no identity or personage? What am I missing?

TinMan13 on July 29, 2007 at 3:23 PM

That’s what I’m thinking too. There doesn’t seem to be a specific target here – unless he flushed it in a “muslim only” toilet – the existence of which wouldn’t surprise me on an American campus.

forest on July 29, 2007 at 3:57 PM

My country has gone crazy. It is perfectly alright to burn a flag or create “art” at public expense that depicts Christian religious figures covered in feces but to place a Koran in the toilet is a felony?

Our legal system has gone insane.

crosspatch on July 29, 2007 at 4:01 PM

Maybe if the defendant called it “art” he can get the charges dropped.

crosspatch on July 29, 2007 at 4:01 PM

What about the “equal protection clause” of the 14th amendment? Or does that only apply to states? Does the Federal Government have the right to deny me equal protection under the law because I’m white and secular? Not that I want protection from being annoyed or having my feelings hurt – I’m just wondering how any of these laws can hold up.

forest on July 29, 2007 at 4:09 PM

Theworldisnotenough on July 29, 2007 at 2:02 PM

It doesn’t surprise me that a SF newspaper would jump to paint a more balanced Supreme Court in a negative light.

Two Korans: $6.00 + $3.99 Postage = $9.99 for Pace U.

Possible that their number cruncher can’t add worth crap and put another two ’0′ ‘s into the mix? No church I have ever been to (including my current one) sells 250 dollar Bibles.

Ryan Gandy on July 29, 2007 at 4:09 PM

Can someone explain to me how placing a Koran in a toilet is a “hate crime” and placing a Catholic crucifix in a jar of urine is “art?”

Liberalism and sharia law both lack all logic.

I’m with PierreleGrand.

januarius on July 29, 2007 at 4:11 PM

I always buy the Koranic toilet paper at Walmart. (make sure you buy the single-ply rolls for easier flushing)

When you flush, yell “Allahu Flubar!” (Allah flushed beyond all recognition) so you can claim your freedom to practice your “religion” to the feds, should they show up.

I’m thinking of starting a new islamic sect. Maybe call it Sunni shiite shiiti!

Keith_Z on July 29, 2007 at 4:11 PM

Under this statute, it seems then that READING from the Koran could be a HATE CRIME! It openly supports violence in the name of religion.

Its full of antisemitic and anti west rhetoric which demeans Judiahism and Christianity…. and I AM OFFENDED… therefore, bring THEM up on charges.

Romeo13 on July 29, 2007 at 4:17 PM

I’m scared. And I’m thanking God for the Second Amendment.

Al-Queda and Iran and North Korea cannot defeat us.

This can.

Professor Blather on July 29, 2007 at 2:40 PM

I’m with you Professor. I don’t like where this is going at all. An internal armed struggle for our freedom is looking more and more inevitable IMHO.

infidel4life on July 29, 2007 at 4:18 PM

Romeo13,

I agree. Reading the Koran aloud in the presence of targeted groups would qualify as “hate speeech” under the law. The polytheists get it the worst, but there’s plenty of wrath and incitement to violence against evil doers and idolators like Christians and Jews. Muslims who are not devout (read: reactionary) enough are targeted as hypocrites too.

forest on July 29, 2007 at 4:28 PM

As much as this is a law issue, it is more an act of cultural terrorism! As such, the left would argue that it be treated via law enforcement. Push come to shove, it is just another act of war (albeit cultural). As per my previous post, at what point do we start treating such things like war?

synycalwon on July 29, 2007 at 4:35 PM

I’m scared. And I’m thanking God for the Second Amendment.

Professor Blather on July 29, 2007 at 2:40 PM

Amen Prof.

Herikutsu on July 29, 2007 at 4:36 PM

“national origin” is a protected class. Why should America be excluded from that protection?

eeyore on July 29, 2007 at 2:52 PM

To the pc crowd, there are no american, we are all immigrants. That is the tired line i always get talking to them about illegal immigration

kathleen on July 29, 2007 at 4:48 PM

I’m scared. And I’m thanking God for the Second Amendment.

Al-Queda and Iran and North Korea cannot defeat us.

This can.

Professor Blather on July 29, 2007 at 2:40 PM

PB,

I fear the 2nd amendment is on its way out, unless gun owners all stand together. If not, we’ll hang separately. But there are expedient solutions to gun control, if necessary.

PRCalDude on July 29, 2007 at 4:52 PM

Thanks for the citation of the statutes involved.

The well known adage is that prosecutors can get a ham sandwich indicted, if they so chose. The issue is whether or not they can get a conviction.

On the face of it, the dollar amount of the damage to repair the plumbing could satisfy the statute’s requirement as to amount. As you note, the case might hinge on whether or not the toilet involved is part of a place set aside for religious observance, because it does not appear clear that this act was aimed at a specific individual.

I think that he is being overcharged for what is minor vandalism linked to a political protest.

I hope he does sue the school, the muslim student association, and CAIR.

georgej on July 29, 2007 at 5:02 PM

By allowing this to pass without massive civil disobedience we allow this absurdity to become codified. Let the government try and enforce this absurdity against us all. Today go and buy a Koran or 3 and lets agree that on Monday we dump them into the trash.

To have any significant effect, you’ll need to document the desecration (pics or video) and post it in an accessible location. Set up an account with an image and/or video hosting site and have someone collect and upload the files. Send the URL throughout the blogosphere and see what happens. In other words, start a movement.

RedWinged Blackbird on July 29, 2007 at 5:04 PM

To me this is truly chilling. It’s all a matter of degree.
If it can be construed as HATE then your up against the wall. If it’s a crime to annoy someone intentionaly then where are they going to put all the teenagers?

ronsfi on July 29, 2007 at 5:05 PM

“The only response to this is for all of us to go and buy Koran’s and “desecrate” them. We must force the authorities to confront us all.”

PierreLegrand has it exactly right. Every time the islamists get away with this b.s. we lose more of our freedom. Before the islamonazis and their liberal comrades turn the Koran into a “sacred book” protected by U.S. law we have to show people that it is just a frigging book – and we do that by burying them, flushing them, burning them, dipping them in red paint, tearing them into confetti, dipping them in vases of piss (then the NYT will call it ART). We have to point out that it’s NOT holy except to the weak minded who believe it’s mumbo-jumbo. The rest of us should be allowed to treat it the way we would any work of fiction. If enough of us do it we can call it a public work of performance art. Anyway, if we don’t do this now and don’t show our support for Shmulevich then one day in the not too distant future it will be too late.

London Boy on July 29, 2007 at 5:06 PM

London Boy on July 29, 2007 at 5:06 PM

Better yet. Put on a stage play and read the Quran ouloud while acting it out. Cut off heads and all (just make it look real) Tour nationally. It would get ALOT of attention!

sonnyspats1 on July 29, 2007 at 5:18 PM

I wonder if it would be possible to rig a trap or skeet machine to sling paperback Korans into the air. That would make for some pretty cool video. BLAM!

RedWinged Blackbird on July 29, 2007 at 5:32 PM

Hopefully the same, but I doubt it would happen. Certainly most Christian groups wouldn’t pressure authorities to persecute prosecute.

Ordinary1 on July 29, 2007 at 2:24 PM

What is hopeful about that? I want less government police powers not more.

unseen on July 29, 2007 at 5:32 PM

When there is no sense left in the law, there is no law left.

IMO, this case does not call for anything less than charges being filed against those who have conspired to have these pressed. It looks like racketeering to me, on the part of CAIR and Pace and whomever else worked to use our justice system to harrass someone and threaten his freedom.

That is just a naive, lay view of the situation, but it feels right to me. I would say that they should have hate crime charges pressed against them, but I think that hate crime laws are some of the dumbest and worst on the books and would nevr want to encourage their use for any reason.

progressoverpeace on July 29, 2007 at 5:35 PM

What is hopeful about that? I want less government police powers not more.

unseen on July 29, 2007 at 5:32 PM

If the messed up law is applied equally, then it has more of a chance to be repealed. I can’t see Christians pressing prosecution like CAIR and other apparently have in this case, if we were talking about Bibles instead of Korans. Since the stupid law already exists, then hopefully it’s equally applied so there’s a better chance for it to go away.

A better way is for people to wake up to what’s going on and change the law before it gets more out of hand. My original response was to a specific question about what would happen if we were talking about Bibles instead of Korans.

Ordinary1 on July 29, 2007 at 5:53 PM

Racketeering doesn’t seem to be what I’m looking for. Conspiracy? Does anyone know what the relevant law is that applies to someone trying to coerce or somehow force a malicious prosecution, as this case clearly is?

progressoverpeace on July 29, 2007 at 6:02 PM

Does anyone know what the relevant law is that applies to someone trying to coerce or somehow force a malicious prosecution, as this case clearly is?

I don’t know but if it was enforced properfully Patrick Fiutzgerald would be disbarred for his malicious prosecutions of Scooter Libby and Conrad Black.

aengus on July 29, 2007 at 6:08 PM

sonnyspats1 on July 29, 2007 at 5:18 PM

AllahSpell…. the musical???

Moahmed da Prophet, Superstar?

My minds spinning… done in 60′s surreal hippy style????

I LIKE IT!!! Just gonna be real hard to get it a PG rating with all the beheadings, and underage Sex…

Romeo13 on July 29, 2007 at 6:10 PM

Two can play CAIR’s game.
CAIR and the muslim students are NOT IMMUNE from legal action directed against them for their behavior.

I said this very thing a few days ago, we should file suit against these people and their scare tactic organizations. If only I were a tort lawyer.
Line up thousands of folks that have been harassed and scared and intimidated by CAIR / Islam by muslims, and whamo… HUGE law suit.
This should get started. Who wants to be the clearinghouse?

shooter on July 29, 2007 at 6:12 PM

I don’t know but if it was enforced properfully Patrick Fiutzgerald would be disbarred for his malicious prosecutions of Scooter Libby and Conrad Black.

aengus on July 29, 2007 at 6:08 PM

Yes. And Johnny Sutton would also have some problems. But here, the percentage of America that recognizes this as beyond the pale probably makes it to 80%, I would think, which should make it possible to bring some credible legal action, or at least a credible threat of action.

I don’t know. But there must ::fingers crossed:: be some rational legal recourse that holds those pressing these absurd charges (or lobbying for them to the prosecutor) accountable for their actions. We know that there is malicious intent on the part of CAIR and we know that Pace is displaying a reckless disregard for the consequences of their actions (to give Pace the benefit of the doubt) …

progressoverpeace on July 29, 2007 at 6:18 PM

shooter on July 29, 2007 at 6:12 PM

I’m with you on the civil suit, shooter. I’d like to see criminal charges brought, if at all possible.

progressoverpeace on July 29, 2007 at 6:21 PM

Gee since when does Gays lashing out against oppression get trumped by religion in this PC society?

When does the number of minority status entities become so great as to wash out all PC missives or does the sheer number of PC court cases become so large that every person in this country have litigation ongoing?

I guess the person charged could say that Muslims are commanded to kill homosexuals and they then feared for their life.
Who then has the the most right to be damaged or offended?

If he’s charged with the destruction of an expensive Koran, I’d have a tendency to say, prove it.

Speakup on July 29, 2007 at 6:25 PM

To have any significant effect, you’ll need to document the desecration (pics or video) and post it in an accessible location. Set up an account with an image and/or video hosting site and have someone collect and upload the files. Send the URL throughout the blogosphere and see what happens. In other words, start a movement.

RedWinged Blackbird on July 29, 2007 at 5:04 PM

Good idea. A Qur’an desecration post is in order, I think.

PRCalDude on July 29, 2007 at 6:27 PM

Relating to all matters Islamic in my world today, every time I deposit a nice big steamy dump and flush, it’s the Koran.

sue me.

SilverStar830 on July 29, 2007 at 6:58 PM

I fear the 2nd amendment is on its way out, unless gun owners all stand together.

PRCalDude on July 29, 2007 at 4:52 PM

Join: http://www.nra.org/home.aspx

infidel4life on July 29, 2007 at 7:11 PM

Had this been two Bibles that belonged to the school, does anyone for one second believe that the same charges would have been leveled?

It would be an entertaining exercise in hypocrisy.

drjohn on July 29, 2007 at 7:57 PM

At some point, the proverbial you know what has to hit the fan.

synycalwon on July 29, 2007 at 3:09 PM

Syn,that’s just it. I’ve heard that over and over and over…But the fecal matter never DOES meet the rotary oscillator.

I’m scared. And I’m thanking God for the Second Amendment.

Al-Queda and Iran and North Korea cannot defeat us.

This can.

Professor Blather on July 29, 2007 at 2:40 PM

Yeah,me too…

Blitz on July 29, 2007 at 8:10 PM

As for the price of the Koran, if it is school property, then the library usually sets arbitrarily high punitive replacement prices. As a graduate student, I had once checked out over 40 books for a rather large paper. I lost one while moving, and my fine was in excess of $200. I offered to buy them a brand new copy for the cover price (the book was in print, not exceeding $20) and they replied that they could not accept it, but I could “donate” it. That may explain the higher $ figure. If the defendant could not “produce” the book or intentionally damaged it, then he could be fined.

Heck, in some libraries, they will fine you if you leave an index card or post-it note inside. I’m not kidding.

elpresidente on July 29, 2007 at 8:33 PM

I feel a YouTube video coming on…

WisCon on July 29, 2007 at 8:37 PM

I am curious. What if a person flushed a bible down the toilet? What would be the punishment in that case?

uskorea on July 29, 2007 at 2:21 PM

Yeah, I was wondering the same thing. There must be a legal precedent involving the Bible that they could cite as they threw this case out. If it goes far enough to reach a sane Judge, that is.

Dork B. on July 29, 2007 at 9:01 PM

elpresidente-

they replied they could not accept it…

Sounds like price fixing, price gouging, literary extortion, and biblio-intimidation by said university.

If Pace is doing this is this same kind of “exaggerated valuation” of the two dunked Korans, a threatened counter-suit against “rampant overpricing” might cool their hatecrime jets.

No schools would want their universally fraudulent practice of scandalously padding their textbook values examined.

If Pace wants to open one can of worms, let’s open ten more for them.

profitsbeard on July 29, 2007 at 9:06 PM

I could see this thing turning into a Boston Koran Party. That would be awesome.

Dork B. on July 29, 2007 at 9:07 PM

Heck, in some libraries, they will fine you if you leave an index card or post-it note inside. I’m not kidding.

In some Arab countries, if you leave a Post-it inside the Holy Koran…

Dork B. on July 29, 2007 at 9:11 PM

And if you don’t pay the fine, you don’t get a transcript. Nice bureaucratic bullying from–you’ll love this–CU-Boulder, former home of ex-professor Ward Churchill.

elpresidente on July 29, 2007 at 9:32 PM

elpresidente-

That’s academic racketeering.

I hope Stan S. is taking notes.

profitsbeard on July 29, 2007 at 9:34 PM

Does anyone know if this guy has a lawyer of some kind? They’ll have to provide one if he can’t afford it. It’s costly and stupid and a waste of time for all concerned—but—he should not have used library property and should have known that I think.I used to work in a junior college library and those kids weren’t allowed to graduate unless they had paid the exorbitant amount charged for lost or damaged materials. It was spelled out clearly in the handbook, but I guess some never read it. But—felony?

jeanie on July 29, 2007 at 9:49 PM

I could see this thing turning into a Boston Koran Party. That would be awesome.

Dork B. on July 29, 2007 at 9:07 PM

I see that too. And it would.

CrimsonFisted on July 29, 2007 at 10:00 PM

I am curious. What if a person flushed a bible down the toilet? What would be the punishment in that case?

uskorea on July 29, 2007 at 2:21 PM

Yeah, I was wondering the same thing. There must be a legal precedent involving the Bible that they could cite as they threw this case out. If it goes far enough to reach a sane Judge, that is. -Dork B.

If no precedent exists, then, perhaps it would be instructive if not instrumental to test it . . . at Pace. . . now.

heroyalwhyness on July 29, 2007 at 10:07 PM

I could see this thing turning into a Boston Koran Party. That would be awesome.

Dork B. on July 29, 2007 at 9:07 PM

Count me in.

infidel4life on July 29, 2007 at 10:08 PM

If the ACLU wasn’t such a bunch of rods this would be a money case for them.

True, defending America is not in their charter.

bbz123 on July 29, 2007 at 10:50 PM

Maybe he should have taped it to an American Flag and just burned it.

JellyToast on July 29, 2007 at 10:51 PM

Islam teaches that women have to cover their faces in public, that husbands can beat their wives, even kill them if they dishoner the family. I don’t know how many of these countries let their daughters learn to read. It also teaches that if you don’t respect a book, you will be put to death? I’d like Hillary to respond to that.

Dork B. on July 29, 2007 at 11:12 PM

Even AP deserves a day off once in awhile! Bryan is great too. HotAir has a great team! Thanx for your hard work.

Ordinary1 on July 29, 2007 at 2:17 PM

I agree. But if he can’t have a day off, at least give the Man an I-Phone.

ColtsFan on July 29, 2007 at 11:33 PM

“national origin” is a protected class. Why should America be excluded from that protection?

eeyore on July 29, 2007 at 2:52 PM

To the pc crowd, there are no american, we are all immigrants. That is the tired line i always get talking to them about illegal immigration

kathleen on July 29, 2007 at 4:48 PM

Well said. That is why we no longer need borders, or proof of citizenship at voting booths (and you thought secret ballot referred to who we voted for)

When did we become a nation of crawling bawling appeasers?

Suppose someone started a business selling flushable korans. Then, when the business is firebombed and fatwas issued against the owner, will we call that a hate crime or would the ACLU and Council of Church Chuckleheads trip over each other to appologize to the fatwa spewers?

Would any non-muslim American not expect the manufacturer of flushable Korans to be endangered, even in America? I give the guy credit for flushing out the hypocrisy.

As a conservative Christian I see insults against Christianity every day. This is no different from the insults of pagan Rome. I would not interfere if anyone decided to flush every page of the Bible. First, because I believe that some people doing this may inadvertantly see the words and be converted. Second, because I know they cannot hurt my Lord or my Faith. Last, because it simply does not matter. The paper is not the words.

I would think, why do they fears these words? Perhaps they are fighting God.

If you have to go after someone giving the flush to your rule book, you have a stinking set of rules that need to be flushed

entagor on July 29, 2007 at 11:35 PM

Better yet. Put on a stage play and read the Quran ou[t] loud while acting it out. Cut off heads and all (just make it look real) Tour nationally. It would get ALOT of attention!

sonnyspats1 on July 29, 2007 at 5:18 PM

Wow, the Q”ura’n’ is ripe for that kind of treatment. Depending on particular artists’ interests, I can also imagine videographic and animated treatments. Alternating over-the-top, satiric melodrama and rude comedy might work; righteous indignation would get boring and incidentally accord Islam more respect than it deserves.

Kralizec on July 29, 2007 at 11:37 PM

Let me get this straight now.

If I put a cross in a bottle of urine or presumably a Bible in a toilet I get an art award, but if I put a Koran in a toilet I get carted of to jail?

MB4 on July 29, 2007 at 11:41 PM

Let me get this straight now.

If I put a cross in a bottle of urine or presumably a Bible in a toilet I get an art award, but if I put a Koran in a toilet I get carted of to jail?

MB4 on July 29, 2007 at 11:41 PM

Yeah, that sums it up.

forest on July 29, 2007 at 11:46 PM

I always keep a Koran in my bathroom.

You know, in case the toilet paper runs out.

JayHaw Phrenzie on July 30, 2007 at 12:31 AM

This one is so easy I wonder why no-one else has mentioned it-all Shmulevich has to do is declare that his “Koran floating in it’s own essence” is ART. Boom!
“Game over! Protected speech! Nyah nyah you can’t touch me.”

Doug on July 30, 2007 at 12:40 AM

My husband had an idea. I think this would make a point. We’re going to take a trip to PACE and hit the john’s with books like, The Bible, The Constitution, Thomas Paine’s Rights of Man, 1984 (and anything else by George Orwell), Stranger in a Strange Land, The Magna Carta, etc. If you have any suggestions let me know.

ritemama on July 30, 2007 at 7:45 AM

Huh…I thought the ‘meditation room’ was where they found the dunked Korans. At least that’s where I do some of my best meditations (and sometimes prayers or other calls to higher powers).

James on July 30, 2007 at 7:53 AM

All hate crime laws need repealed or overturned. You cannot elevate certain groups without lowering others. These laws are tools used to attack Christians and conservatives. How many times do you read about a homosexual or a Muslim or any other group or individual being charged with a “hate crime” against a Christian?? Never! I am waiting and expect, if things do not change, people to be arrested for thoughts alone. No action will be needed except, perhaps, a word or an expression to indicate the thought of “hate” towards the wrong group or towards, eventually, the wrong government policy. We get the government we deserve.

JellyToast on July 30, 2007 at 8:02 AM

Burning a Flag? Okey-Dokey.
Putting Christ in a jar of piss? That’s art.
Creating a painting of Mary with elephant dung? Also art.
Putting a Koran in a toilet? HORROR! WE MUST ACT! WORST CRIME EVER!

Apparently, literally shitting all over religious works are fine, as long as you don’t pull a little metal handle.

BKennedy on July 30, 2007 at 8:13 AM

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