Judge tosses charge against Muslim who allegedly attacked atheist for mocking Mohammed

posted at 4:30 pm on February 24, 2012 by Allahpundit

Someone e-mailed us about this last night but I didn’t have time to look into it and figured the facts couldn’t be as bad as he suggested. Wrong: They are that bad. An atheist was parading down the street as “Zombie Mohammed” last year when a Muslim bystander allegedly flew into a rage and started to choke him. Watch the first clip below; it’s hard to tell what’s going on but something happened, resulting in both the victim and the attacker supposedly tracking down a cop to complain. Why would the suspect want to talk to a cop? Because, silly: He thought it was a criminal offense to insult Islam. And as it turns out, it almost is.

The cop testified at the trial but despite his testimony and the video, the judge — a Muslim convert — dismissed the charge for lack of evidence. As Eugene Volokh notes, that’s arguably defensible: If he thought the cop wasn’t credible for whatever reason then he wouldn’t have much left to get him to “beyond a reasonable doubt.” Don’t get hung up on the dismissal, though. The true outrage here is in the lecture that this halfwit delivered from the bench to the victim, not the attacker. Andy McCarthy at the Corner has the full transcript but this will suffice:

Before you start mocking someone else’s religion you may want to find out a little bit more about it. That makes you look like a doofus

Here in our society, we have a constitution that gives us many rights, specifically, First Amendment rights. It’s unfortunate that some people use the First Amendment to deliberately provoke others. I don’t think that’s what our forefathers really intended. I think our forefathers intended that we use the First Amendment so that we can speak our mind, not to piss off other people and other cultures, which is what you did.

I don’t think you’re aware, sir, there’s a big difference between how Americans practice Christianity – uh, I understand you’re an atheist. But, see, Islam is not just a religion, it’s their culture, their culture. It’s their very essence, their very being. They pray five times a day towards Mecca. To be a good Muslim, before you die, you have to make a pilgrimage to Mecca unless you are otherwise told you cannot because you are too ill, too elderly, whatever. But you must make the attempt…

Then what you have 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. [Unintelligble] aside was very offensive.

But you have that right, but you’re way outside your bounds on First Amendment rights.

Listen for yourself here. He never quite gets to the point of saying that the atheist had it coming — remember, the charges were dismissed supposedly, supposedly, because there wasn’t enough evidence to prove that any harassment occurred — but that’s the upshot of this gratuitous little sensitivity lecture in open court. I can’t imagine what this means either: “[Y]ou have that right, but you’re way outside your bounds on First Amendment rights.” It’s incoherent, but to the extent that he means mocking Mohammed might not qualify as protected speech, I think he’s suggesting that it might fall under the “fighting words” exception to the First Amendment. That’s one of the dumbest, most pernicious lines of Supreme Court free-speech jurisprudence precisely because it gives prosecutors an avenue to suppress especially “insensitive” speech if they’re so inclined. I wonder what would have happened here had Pennsylvania charged the atheist with harassment on grounds that insulting Mohammed constitutes “fighting words” to Muslims and therefore his speech isn’t protected. Would this stupid judge have convicted him? Read McCarthy’s transcript and decide for yourself.

The worst part of this? The state can’t appeal. At first blush I thought prosecutors might be allowed to appeal an acquittal in a bench trial as opposed to a jury trial, but a little googling tells me no. The alleged assailant evidently is off scot free. The only avenue left may be to try to sanction the judge for ranting at the victim about how thoughtless it was of him to exercise his First Amendment rights. At a minimum, calling the guy a “doofus” violates Canon 3(A)(3) of the Pennsylvania Code of Judicial Conduct, which says judges should “be patient, dignified, and courteous to litigants, jurors, witnesses, lawyers, and others with whom they deal in their official capacity.” We all know the left won’t move a muscle to discipline this guy so it’s up to Pennsylvania Republicans. Hop to it.


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dentarthurdent on February 24, 2012 at 8:27 PM

Sounds like you are to an evangelical/Fundamental Atheist as a person who uses Apple some products is to a Mac Nerd. Both atheist and mac users can get scary culty some times.

Your post sums my view up pretty much too. Just change the Catholic to Baptist

Ampersand on February 24, 2012 at 8:46 PM

Ah, but remember atheists – its the Christians you really have to worry about, right?

It depends where you live. In Alabama, yeah.

Random on February 24, 2012 at 8:49 PM

It depends where you live. In Alabama, yeah.

Random on February 24, 2012 at 8:49 PM

Oh please.

CW on February 24, 2012 at 9:07 PM

“Lumping all atheists together as the same is equivalent to lumping all Christians together as the same (Catholic, Baptist, Lutheran, Methodist, Mormon, etc).

dentarthurdent on February 24, 2012 at 8:27 PM”

I know some perfectly decent atheists, they do not chase God and we enjoy each others company without trying to convert each other. We do not mock each other and they have no other goal than to enjoy our lives. They aren’t prone to go nuts if they see the word God on the dollar bill, they are, you know, normal people!

The God Chasers file law suits at the drop of a hat, mock mock mock bitterly and are worst than any cultist trying to convert you to their religion. Well now you have the Muslims to deal with and the Koran doesn’t recognize or tolerate freedom of speech with reference to mocking Allah. I am not saying it’s right, it’s just reality.

Africanus on February 24, 2012 at 9:12 PM

Islam, “Liberalism”, political correctness and “multi-culturalism” will be the death of free society.

And we’ve got them all here.

KMC1 on February 24, 2012 at 9:20 PM

How many Constitutionalist conservative Christians here are on the side of the Muslim in this case? Show of hands please…

Dan_Yul on February 24, 2012 at 9:45 PM

Are Muslims so weak in their faith that hearing a derogatory remark would weaken their resolve? So much so that they must attack the source? Can their faith not withstand criticism?

My faith is under constant attack but that hasn’t shaken my beliefs, nor has such attacks inspired me to strike out. Call me crazy, but I simply pray for the blasphemer’s salvation.

Woody

woodcdi on February 24, 2012 at 9:48 PM

Mock Christianity and the Christian goes home and prays for you.

Mock islam (I refuse to capitalize it) and the muslim follows YOU home.

South Park was BRUTAL toward Christ and Christianity yet Comedy Central had no problem airing those episode.

Trey and Matt wanted to SHOW allah’s face………..NO FLIPPING WAY!! Even then some muslims threatened the two with death.

Yeah,,,Rick Santorum is more dangerous than OBL ever was.

Piss Christ?? Who got killed over that?

FWIW, When I see or hear someone mocking Jesus and Christians I remember Christ’s words on the cross…..”Father forgive them, they know not what they do”…….

Muslims don’t though………..they remember the words of their false prophet…….Kill the infidel.

Talon on February 24, 2012 at 10:09 PM

Seems to me, the judge is the real problem here. It is apparent the law of the land means nothing to him. But then according to the Supreme Court it could be this Muslin was only exercising his right of freedom of expression under the 1st Amendment.

savage24 on February 24, 2012 at 10:10 PM

- The judge, Mark Martin, is NOT a Muslim. Repeat, he is NOT. He is a Christian.

J_Crater on February 24, 2012 at 4:47 PM

Then, why would he say that he is?

And how do you know what religion he is?

Solaratov on February 24, 2012 at 11:05 PM

How the hell do we have JUDGES who don’t understand the First Amendment???

Murf76 on February 25, 2012 at 12:26 AM

— “… the judge — a Muslim convert — dismissed the charge for lack of evidence.”

Of course he did. And if Obama is re-elected, the ass would make a perfect prospect for the next opening on the U.S. Supreme Court.

minnesoter on February 25, 2012 at 12:34 AM

Hmmm. A Muslim vs. an atheist. Hard to find someone to root for in that one.

Huckabye-Romney on February 25, 2012 at 5:13 AM

The larger the Muslim presence in this country, the more we can expect incidents like these. Where Muslims go, Islam follows.
Unless we bring to a halt the advance of muslims into our society, we’re just going to have to get used to this, acknowledge their sensibilities and adjust our behaviour accordingly.
sartana on February 24, 2012 at 4:43 PM

Europe! We are catching up to you

Throwing away ourselves by the inch

I hate effing muzzos and they should be e pelled or eradicated

Once there are enough they will morph into a plaque

You effing commie/ lib scum are responsible

Sonosam on February 25, 2012 at 8:07 AM

Random on February 24, 2012 at 8:49 PM

Oh please.

CW on February 24, 2012 at 9:07 PM

I wish some of these folks would actually visit the South. Best freaking people in the world. Warmest, most hospitable souls I know.

hawkdriver on February 25, 2012 at 8:17 AM

A smart and determined guy would have told the Judge, at the risk of spending the night in jail for contempt:

“Excuse me, Your Honor, but I, as the victim, did not come here to be lectured by you on your religious beliefs. I exercised my God-given Constitutional rights that even you can’t deny me. I brought my toothbrush.”

Then, be prepared to “assume the position” of course and get ready for a rancid supper.
Can you imagine the airplay that would get! The LSM would be forced to acknowledge it.

Just a Thawt

~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on February 25, 2012 at 9:21 AM

I wish some of these folks would actually visit the South. Best freaking people in the world. Warmest, most hospitable souls I know.

hawkdriver on February 25, 2012 at 8:17 AM

Amen, brother. Have two potential jobs in the south I am hoping to get offered so I can get away from all these “smart” people up here in the northeast.

Huckabye-Romney on February 25, 2012 at 9:39 AM

It depends where you live. In Alabama, yeah.

Random

So, in your opinion Pennsylvania is lost to Radical Islam? Doofus

E9RET on February 25, 2012 at 9:44 AM

I posted this on my Facebook site last night and several earnest liberal friends of mine spent hours trying to debunk it. Their conclusion? Since it isn’t being reported except for conservative sites, it must be a story that is being exaggerated by the right wingers.

One of them actually said the judge dismissed the case because it was a he-said, he-said sort of incident and therefore there is nothing to see here, there’s no Muslim bias.

Seriously.

bonnie_ on February 25, 2012 at 9:46 AM

The judge musta been using O’s Teleprompter.

Gordy on February 25, 2012 at 10:28 AM

Hmmm. A Muslim totalitarian theocrat vs. an atheist the U.S. Constitution and First Amendment. Hard to find someone to root for in that one.

Huckabye-Romney on February 25, 2012 at 5:13 AM

Still hard?

profitsbeard on February 25, 2012 at 10:41 AM

More of the same please.

I do not believe in any God, but I’m not an Atheist. Atheism is a religion closely related to Communism which main purpose seems to be the destruction of Cristianity.

So – to all those who are militant against Christians, enjoy the muslim culture. The judge was right in his stupidity – that murderous cult is not a religion, is a way of life – a culture of death. I hope he will meet that culture soon.

Rookie on February 25, 2012 at 10:58 AM

Maybe the plaintiff could sue the attacker for pain/suffering. To make it worse, his only request would be that the defendant would have to apologize publicly and give him a dollar.

MoreLiberty on February 24, 2012 at 4:37 PM

Or pay a year’s worth of bacon.

Nutstuyu on February 25, 2012 at 11:20 AM

I do not believe in any God, but I’m not an Atheist. Atheism is a religion closely related to Communism which main purpose seems to be the destruction of Cristianity.

Rookie on February 25, 2012 at 10:58 AM

Have to disagree with you on that. Atheism, by definition is just non-belief in a supernatural deity – that’s all. There are no ahteist “churches” where people go to what? – do nothing for an hour? I will grant you that some people have tried to create an anti-religion cause of some sort, but I see those people as nothing but loudmouth attention/money seekers – atheist versions of con-artist control-freaks like Jimmy Swaggert, Jerry Falwell, and Jim Bakker. I just don’t believe there is an all powerful god who fiddles with everyone’s lives – but I really don’t care if you do believe in it in some form. To me it’s just something that can never be proven one way or the other – so you choose your own direction and beliefs. And I’m not offended by religious displays, or the “In God We Trust” on money, or anything else. I AM offended by Muslims’ attitude and actions of “all infidels must die”. My view is Constitutional – as long as the government doesn’t force something on all of us it’s fine. But I also see the 1st amendment as it’s written – “freedom OF religion” not “freedom FROM religion” – so I don’t see a need to remove it from public view.

dentarthurdent on February 25, 2012 at 11:25 AM

I just don’t believe there is an all powerful god who fiddles with everyone’s lives – but I really don’t care if you do believe in it in some form. To me it’s just something that can never be proven one way or the other – so you choose your own direction and beliefs. And I’m not offended by religious displays, or the “In God We Trust” on money, or anything else. I AM offended by Muslims’ attitude and actions of “all infidels must die”

dentarthurdent on February 25, 2012 at 11:25 AM

Then you feel exactly like me. I said it’s a religion for some, their church can be an A.N.S.W.E.R. cell for example. I just want to get apart from that bunch, so I do not consider myself an Atheist because the term is used now by them. I defined myself that as being a religion, of course I’m aware of the dictionary definition.

Rookie on February 25, 2012 at 12:11 PM

“Hmmm. A Muslim vs. an atheist. Hard to find someone to root for in that one.”

Not if you value your freedom and Constitutional rights. That atheist’s freedom to mock someone’s religion is directly related to that someone’s right to practice his or her religion in this country. Both rights are part and parcel of what it means to be a free American. Once we start parsing out which rights we think it’s okay to abrogate in favor of others, they ALL will eventually be lost.

blackgriffin on February 25, 2012 at 1:38 PM

It’s those anti-dentites you’ve got to watch out for.

WeekendAtBernankes on February 25, 2012 at 1:56 PM

Rookie on February 25, 2012 at 12:11 PM

Ok – I get what you’re saying now. No disagreement there.

dentarthurdent on February 25, 2012 at 2:21 PM

Btw, the fact that people (including judges) don’t understand the difference between incitement and fight words (provoking) really frightens me.

blink on February 25, 2012 at 2:42 PM

I think that judge knows exactly what he’s doing – and he intentionally doesn’t want to punish the Muslim.

dentarthurdent on February 25, 2012 at 4:47 PM

Have you noticed that Allah himself can’t do his own dirty work, but has to “inspire” his followers to do it for him? Pretty puny god, if you ask me. But then, Jesus defeated him at the Cross, and then verified it by His Resurrection. So all Allah can do is bluster and threaten, but can actually do nothing himself.

Gordy on February 25, 2012 at 6:52 PM

Have you noticed that Allah himself can’t do his own dirty work, but has to “inspire” his followers to do it for him? Pretty puny god, if you ask me. But then, Jesus defeated him at the Cross, and then verified it by His Resurrection. So all Allah can do is bluster and threaten, but can actually do nothing himself.

Gordy on February 25, 2012 at 6:52 PM

I think it is more telling that no atheist group has stepped in to help this guy…no ACLU ..hummmm…no one has spoken up.

tinkerthinker on February 26, 2012 at 8:04 AM

The basic problem with the legal system is that, after they’ve been on the bench a while, all judges realize that they can do anything they want and nothing will happen to them. Their decisions can be overturned, sometimes, but that doesn’t do anything to the judge. A judge can make obviously bad decisions that cost people millions of dollars, cost people their freedom, cost people their rights, and there’s no sanction to the judge for it. He just goes on his way and does it again. I don’t have the answer to it, but it’s a serious problem.

Jeff A on February 26, 2012 at 8:48 AM

There is more to this story:

http://evilbloggerlady.blogspot.com/2012/02/judge-martin-responds-on-zombie.html

I have been reporting (to be fair) that Judge Martin responds on the Zombie Mohammed case (pointing out the Volokh Conspiracy link in the link above). Judge Martin, a Iraq and Afghanistan combat reservist, claims he is not a Muslim convert, that he was only trying to explain to the victim why he was offensive, and that the evidence did not support assault under the circumstances. This still does not make sense. Even if the comments on the victim’s tapes of the hearing were taken out of context, do they square with what Judge Martin is saying now? It is unusual and not at all proper for a judge to act the way Judge Martin did. And free speech (in this context) does absolutely trump any offense the Muslim immigrant had to the depiction of Mohammed. It does not look like the protester was hurt, but if this was reversed and some offended citizen assaulted a flag burner…do you think that offended citizen would be given the same deference by Judge Martin’s as this Muslim defendant was?

Still looks like the judge was an idiot and wrong.

Mr. Joe on February 26, 2012 at 11:30 AM

The judgement of this judge supported the homocidal position of Islamists, which is: it is a holy obligation to attack and kill unclean infidels who they believe are blasphemous. “It is very offensive” is nothing more than the speech of terrorists. I, for one, after decades of bending over backwards for these people have decided that we need to embrace their “philosophy of murder” and retaliate in kind a thousand fold. There are evil religions and philosophies in this world: Islam and the Koran are at the top of the list. And our apologists, Obama and Clinton, need to be tarred and feathered and run out of the country on a rail.

Oracleforhire on February 26, 2012 at 1:33 PM

Judge was the doofus. The Hon. Judge Martin should have directed his lecture to the Muslim “victim” that many good young American men have died supporting and protecting the concept of free speech. (A concept unheard of in the Middle Eastern world.)

See: Voltaire. French guy. Good quote.

BigAlSouth on February 26, 2012 at 4:21 PM

Are Muslims so weak in their faith that hearing a derogatory remark would weaken their resolve? So much so that they must attack the source? Can their faith not withstand criticism?

Woody

woodcdi on February 24, 2012 at 9:48 PM

Islam is not a religion of faith. In fact faith is a sin.
ISLAM – Function: noun
Etymology: Arabic islAm – submission/surrender (to the will of ALLAH)
And there you have it; it’s just that simple.
You have got to understand that the BEDROCK of Islam is SLAVERY TO THE WILL OF ALLAH!
As the judge himself knowingly points out “it’s not just his religion it’s his culture”.
You see, you cannot make any distinction in Islam between the religion, the culture, the law, the politics, the ideology or the government: in theory or in practice for one simple reason, Islam itself forbids it. So any distinctions we might wish upon Islam are in fact MOOT, and actually quite silly on our part. It is beyond me why nobody gets this. Islam is totalitarian to the nth degree. Nothing ever has been or ever will be totalitarian the way Islam is.

And NO, their faith religion cannot withstand criticism, that’s the thing about slavery, you must accept it or die!

Pole-Cat on February 26, 2012 at 5:06 PM

You have got to understand that the BEDROCK of Islam is SLAVERY TO THE WILL OF ALLAH!
Islam between the religion, the culture, the law, the politics, the ideology or the government: in theory or in practice for one simple reason, Islam itself forbids it. Islam is totalitarian to the nth degree. Nothing ever has been or ever will be totalitarian the way Islam is.

And NO, their faith religion cannot withstand criticism, that’s the thing about slavery, you must accept it or die!

Pole-Cat on February 26, 2012 at 5:06 PM

That’s the fundamental problem with Islam – total slavery to Allah, and therefore anyone claiming “allah told me to do it” can get away with murder – literally. It’s not my fault, Allah told me to do it. Easy excuse for killing anyone any time.

dentarthurdent on February 27, 2012 at 11:09 AM

This puke mooooslim can take his mooohamed and stick it.

rjulio on February 27, 2012 at 11:47 AM

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