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Judge rules against atheist attacked in costume [Video at link]
ABC News ^ | February 22, 2012 | Dennis Owens

Posted on 02/27/2012 10:00:42 AM PST by James C. Bennett

MECHANICSBURG, Pa. (WHTM) - It almost sounds like the makings of a joke: an atheist, a Muslim and the Mechanicsburg Halloween parade. But non-believers aren't laughing about an attack and insist what's really frightening is the way a district judge ruled on it.

The Atheists of Central Pennsylvania decided to walk in the Mechanicsburg Halloween parade. There was a zombie Pope and a zombie Muhammed. On YouTube, you can catch a scary moment. It's dark and distorted, but a Muslim man comes off the curb extremely offended at Muhammed being depicted in this way.

"He grabbed me, choked me from the back, and spun me around to try to get my sign off that was wrapped around my neck," said Ernie Perce, who donned the costume.

The Muslim man and Perce both called police to report a crime. Both kept walking, and a few blocks down found Sgt. Brian Curtis. He talked to both and came to this conclusion.

"Mr. Perce has the right to do what he did that evening, and the defendant in this case was wrong in confronting him," he said.

Talaag Elbayomy was charged with harassment, but District Judge Mark Martin threw it out after criticizing Perce, the victim, and even calling him a "doofus." The audio is also on YouTube.

Martin, who has done several tours of duty in the Middle East, said Perce would be put to death in those societies for his crime, but Perce wonders why that's relevant in this country.

"He let a man who is Muslim, because of his preference of his culture and his way of life, walk free from an attack," Perce said.

R. Mark Thomas represented Elbayomy and applauds the judge.

"I think this was a good dressing down by the judge," he said. "The so-called victim was the antagonist and we introduced evidence that clearly showed his attitude toward Muslims. The judge didn't do anything I wouldn't have done if I was in that position."

Although Elbayomy denied touching Perce at trial, Curtis said he admitted grabbing Perce's sign and beard the night of the incident.

Talaag Elbayomy said he was at the parade with his wife and two kids and felt he just had to do something. In fact, he too called police because he thought it was a crime for someone to depict Muhammed in such a way. He has since learned otherwise.


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: firstamendment; freespeech; islam; muhammad
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To: James C. Bennett

The principle of the guy being able to insult me to my face and he gets immunity? Fact is that the marshall of the parade should not allow such stuff. Once upon a time, he would not, but now atheists and gays are thought to have the right to ridicule the religion of other peoples.


51 posted on 02/27/2012 12:25:38 PM PST by RobbyS (Christus rex.)
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To: James C. Bennett

The principle of the guy being able to insult me to my face and he gets immunity? Fact is that the marshall of the parade should not allow such stuff. Once upon a time, he would not, but now atheists and gays are thought to have the right to ridicule the religion of other peoples.


52 posted on 02/27/2012 12:25:58 PM PST by RobbyS (Christus rex.)
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To: ModelBreaker

“Bulls are dumb animals and are not expected to be able to conform themselves to difficult rules of conduct like, “don’t attack humans.” Muslims, OTOH”

You’re saying Muslims are different in their behavior than bulls?

Not from what I’ve seen and read they aren’t. Just replace the word “Bulls” in the first place in your comment and you’ll see it works and sounds correct.

Guess this should show the Atheists just which is the religion of peace.


53 posted on 02/27/2012 12:35:24 PM PST by Jack Burton007 (This is Jack Burton in the Pork Chop Express, and I'm talkin' to whoever's listenin' out there.)
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To: RobbyS
The principle of the guy being able to insult me to my face and he gets immunity?

The principle of not having your person violated by a stranger. Do you not see that the Muslim attempting a strangulation on the person in question was a violation of his rights?

That said, who ever guaranteed you immunity against insult? Anyone should be free to insult anyone else. Otherwise, the freedom of expression has no meaning.

54 posted on 02/27/2012 12:45:24 PM PST by James C. Bennett (An Australian.)
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To: rbmillerjr

For the last 15 years or so there has been a creeping concept in the US that we have the right to not be offended. What I call the missing section 11 of the bill of rights.

This is one of the results of this type of thinking. It’s the same logic that says if someone burns a Koran then those offended can kill, burn, and destroy property because of the offense.


55 posted on 02/27/2012 12:54:51 PM PST by morphing libertarian
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To: morphing libertarian

Look at #51. If that’s not a sign...


56 posted on 02/27/2012 1:00:50 PM PST by James C. Bennett (An Australian.)
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To: docbnj

Don’t worry about how long I would live if attacked,worry about the lives of those attacking me.


57 posted on 02/27/2012 1:23:51 PM PST by Farmer Dean (stop worrying about what they want to do to you,start thinking about what you want to do to them)
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To: Iron Munro
If you carefully read the reference you gave to show that the judge is not a muslim you might note that he does not deny being a muslim and does not claim to be a member of any other faith. He obfuscates.

Wrong. He specifically says he is Lutheran.

58 posted on 02/27/2012 2:31:41 PM PST by willamedwardwallace
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To: willamedwardwallace

I understand.

I’d do it anyway - I mean - look - if his ruling makes any sense - why should anything make any sense? Why not just - disbar non-lawyers?

He shouldn’t be the only one to have fun. Everyone else should just act crazy around him. As a form of ridicule.

I mean - symbolically disbar him as ridicule/satire.


59 posted on 02/27/2012 2:48:36 PM PST by Eldon Tyrell (question,.)
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To: James C. Bennett

Indeed


60 posted on 02/27/2012 4:10:32 PM PST by morphing libertarian
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To: willamedwardwallace
That was one of the reasons I tried to spend 6 whole minutes trying to explain and de-mystify Islam through my own knowledge, and in an attempt to prevent an incident like this recurring in my community.

Since when is this the proper role of a judge?

61 posted on 02/27/2012 5:06:06 PM PST by rogue yam
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