A judge in Pennsylvania who dismissed charges against a fellow Muslim who was accused of attacking an atheist parading as a zombie Muhammad has been rebuked by state judicial officials.
The state Judicial Conduct Board action concerned Magisterial Judge Mark Martin, of Cumberland County, who was involved in the case that developed last winter when American Atheists’ Pennsylvania State Director Ernest Perce V was marching in a parade, and allegedly was attacked.
A Muslim man, Talaag Elbayomy, was accused of storming out of the crowd and assaulting Perce, grabbing a sign around his neck and pulling until the strings choked him.
Perce had attired himself as a “zombie Muhammad” for the event, which enraged Elbayomy.
But then Martin, a Muslim judge, scolded Perce for offending Islam at an Oct. 11, 2011, parade in Mechanicsburg, Pa., called him a “doofus” and accused him of “using the First Amendment” to enrage Muslims. The judge then dismissed charges filed by police against the Muslim defendant.
It was Martin who brought a Quran to court and told the alleged victim, “I think you misinterpreted a couple of things. So before you start mocking somebody else’s religion, you might want to find out a little more about it. It kind of makes you look like a doofus.”
The judge added, “I think our forefathers intended to use the First Amendment so we can speak with our mind, not to p— off other people and cultures – which is what you did.”
Elbayomy – who said he believed it was illegal to mock Muhammad – was charged with harassment. He denied touching Perce at trial, but police officers said Elbayomy admitted grabbing Perce’s sign and beard the night of the incident.
A complaint was filed with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Judicial Conduct Board by John P. McTernan, a pro-life activist and founder of Defend and Proclaim the Faith Ministry.
He told WND he got a response from Joseph A. Massa Jr., the chief counsel for the state board.
The letter said, “The board recently concluded its investigation regarding the complaint you filed against Magisterial District Judge Mark Martin, Cumberland County. The board voted to issue a letter of caution to Judge Martin as a private rebuke of his behavior and, thereafter, to close the case.
“Judge Martin was mailed this letter, and the case is now closed,” the letter said.
There had been numerous calls for the judge’s removal when the situation developed.
The following is a dark and distorted video posted of the alleged attack:
However, Judge Martin dismissed the charges and purportedly belittled the atheist victim.
The audio of the judge lecturing Curtis for insulting Muhammad (starting at 28:30) is available here:
The judge said, “In many other Muslim-speaking countries, err, excuse me, many Arabic-speaking countries, predominantly Muslim, something like this is definitely against the law there, in their society. In fact, it could be punished by death, and frequently is, in their society.”
He also said, “What you’ve 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. I find what’s on the other side of this [sign] very offensive. (Editor’s note: Reverse of sign said, “Only Muhammad can rape America!) But you have that right, but you are way outside your bounds of First Amendment rights.”
Freedom activist Pamela Geller posted a report saying that she had interviewed Perce and discovered that hundreds of threats flooded in.
“Since his ordeal began, the infidel victim, Ernest Perce, has received 471 verifiable threats. Perce never released any personal information on Judge Martin or Elbayomy, but they released his, and now he has gotten threats at his home,” she reported shortly after the case developed.
According to the interview, also posted at American Thinker, Geller wrote the case proves the need for anti-Shariah legislation, or laws that would protect America from Muslims who want to impose their religious law on the rest of society.
She noted that the judge later apparently was denying that he is Muslim.
“Ultimately, it is irrelevant if the judge is or isn’t a Muslim. What is germane is his Shariah ruling, which is worse if he’s not a Muslim. In Islam, Shariah supersedes all man-made laws. It is the law of Allah, so one might understand (though not condone) a Muslim judge defaulting to Shariah. But an American judge admonishing an infidel victim while holding up the Quran is shocking. You hear the Quran slam down in the audio of the court proceeding. ”
She also reported on a dispute between the victim and the judge over a recording of the court incident.
The court had instructed Perce to destroy his copy because the judge is saying he never gave permission for the recording, the report said.
Perce also told Geller he talked to the judge about the video, and the judge threatened to hold him in contempt for revealing what the judge said.
Perce also said it’s not a surprise that the judge would argue about what he said.
“Remember, a Muslim can lie to a nonbeliever, a kaffir. He spoke Arabic to the defendant and his friend. They answered back,” he said. “If he claims he isn’t a Muslim, then why does he have a Quran? Why did he challenge me to a debate on the interpretation of the Quran? Why get mad at me and insult me? Why then go on a six-minute rant against me? Why value Islam above Christianity?”
Blogger Eugene Volokh posted a commentary that purported to be from the judge.
He accused Perce of “many, many gross misrepresentations.”
“I’m actually Lutheran and have been for at least 41 years,” he said.
The judge also explained, “I based my decision on the fact that the Commonwealth failed to prove to me beyond a reasonable doubt that the charge was just; I didn’t doubt that an incident occurred, but I was basically presented only with the victim’s version, the defendant’s version, and a very intact Styrofoam sign that the victim was wearing and claimed that the defendant had used to choke him. There so many inconsistencies, that there was no way that I was going to find the defendant guilty.”