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A judge in Michigan has dismissed charges against several Muslim football players who left an opposing team’s quarterback with a concussion in an on-field skirmish after Muslim and Arab-American leaders complained about the prosecution.
The Detroit Free Press reported today that following complaints “from Arab-American and Muslim leaders,” the judge dismissed assault and battery counts against four high school football players “of Arab descent.”
They had been charged in December with criminal misdemeanors for an Oct. 21 game when their team, International Star Academy, was being pummeled on the scoreboard by Lutheran High. The charges this week were dismissed by Judge Mark Plawecki.
The newspaper reported, “Four players rushed at the quarterback late in the game and tackled him after both teams and the referee mutually agreed that the quarterback would kneel with the ball to run out the clock.”
The counts had been criticized, according to the newspaper, by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Arab American Civil Rights League and others.
A spokeswoman for the prosecuting attorney’s office said race or ethnicity played no role in the decision to file charges.
According to David Wood, at the Answering Muslims website, the message to Muslims from the judge was clear: “If you’re getting humiliated by a Christian football team (e.g., losing 47-6), feel free to punish the infidels.”
Wood noted, “Of course, if four Christian players had attacked a Muslim quarterback, we’d have seen an entirely different reaction from CAIR, the media, and Judge Plawecki.”
Robert Spencer at Jihad Watch, wrote, “No, no assault there. At least not when the perpetrators are Muslims in Michigan.”
He cited reports that Plawecki said the person who charged the boys must never have seen a football game.
“Yes, the opposing team commonly charges the quarterback and starts kicking him. That happens every day,” Spencer wrote.
WND reported earlier that referees reportedly had instructed players not to have contact after the last snap, but while quarterback P.J. Kruse was kneeling down to end the play and the game, Star players surprised the unprepared offensive line, broke through and threw him to the ground.
Following a three-month investigation, the Wayne County prosecutor filed aggravated assault charges against Star Academy seniors Mohamed Ahmed, Fanar Al-Alsady, Hadee Attia and Ali Bajjey.
But the attorney for the players, Nabih Ayad, said the charges were based solely on the players’ race. CAIR-Michigan, the Arab Civil Rights League and the NAACP had sent the prosecutors a letter asking for all of the charges to be dismissed.