A state judge in Pennsylvania has dismissed an assault and harrassment case against a Muslim defendant who admitted attacking the victim. Magistrate Judge Mark Martin, a veteran of the war in Iraq
and a convert to Islam, ruled that Talag Elbayomy’s sharia defense — what he claimed was his obligation to strike out against any insult against the prophet Mohammed — trumped the First Amendment free speech rights of the victim.
Yes, you read that correctly.
There will be much more to say about this. For now, you can find details, here, including the YouTube recording of Judge Martin hectoring the assault victim, Ernie Perce, an activist atheist who paraded last October in a “Zombi Mohammed” costume. Before dismissing the case, Martin lectured Perce about the principles of Islam and the tender sensibilities of Muslims, calling him a “doofus” for failing to appreciate same.
In 27 years of trying and analyzing legal cases, this performance is as shocking and disgraceful as anything I’ve ever seen from an American trial judge.
UPDATE: This post has been corrected because, after further review, it appears Judge Martin’s reported statement on the audio of the court proceeding, “I’m a Muslim, I find it offensive”, is actually, “F’Im a Muslim, I’d find it offensive.” For further details, see this post.
Andrew C. McCarthy
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