Oct 5, 2012 No Comments ›› Pat Dollard
Excerpted from THE BLAZE: Every once-in-a-while a story emerges that distinguishes itself as too-good-to-be-true, but somehow — the facts seem to check out. Last October, TheBlaze reported on one of these uniquely bizarre stories when we brought you the details surrounding “Zombie Muhammad,” an atheist activist who was purportedly attacked by a Muslim during a Halloween parade in Pennsylvania.
While the assault was surprising enough in itself, the court battle that followed was equally unusual (it ended up being dismissed under curious circumstances). The crime was carried out by Talaag Elbayomy, a Muslim immigrant. According to numerous media accounts, the defendant didn‘t know that it’s perfectly legal to insult the prophet in America, so when he saw Ernest Perce V dressed in his Zombie Muhammad costume, he allegedly attempted to physically stop the presentation of anti-Islamic sentiment.
After Perce notified a police officer about what unfolded, the situation intensified. Charges were brought before Cumberland County Magisterial District Judge Mark Martin but, despite an admission at the scene of the crime by Elbayomy that he had grabbed Perce’s sign and pulled his beard, the judge inevitably dismissed the charges for lack of admissible evidence. The dismissal, itself, angered some onlookers, but the bigger issue seemed to be Martin’s courtroom rebuke of Perce. In handling the case, the judge spoke out against the atheist, telling him that he was wrong for insulting Muslims and, at one point, likening him to a “doofus.”
“What you have done is you have completely trashed their essence, their being. They find it very very very offensive,” Martin told Perce. “If I were a Muslim, I’d find it offensive. But you have that right, but you’re way outside your bounds or first amendment rights.”