During a Halloween parade in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, atheist Ernie Perce dressed up as a zombie Muhammad. He did nothing to provoke the physical assault he incurred when Muslim Talaag Elbayomy became offended by his depiction of the Halloween zombie.
According to Catholic Org
. Perce said Elbayomy, who was subsequently charged with harassment "grabbed me, choked me from the back, and spun me around to try and get my sign off that was wrapped around my neck." The judge not only dismissed the harassment charge but lectured Mr. Perce about Islam.
The judge held a copy of the Quran and challenged Mr. Perce "to show me where it says in the Quran that Muhammad arose and walked among the dead. 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. …" (Addicting Info
The judge then went on to say "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."
After lecturing Mr. Perce on Islam being a culture rather than just a religion he said "When we go to other countries, it’s not uncommon for people to refer to us as ‘ugly Americans.’ This is why we hear it referred to as ‘ugly Americans,’ because we’re so concerned about our own rights, we don’t care about other people’s rights. As long as we get our say, but we don’t care about the other people’s say.”
The judge's ruling has been the subject of some heated debates. CNN
write "Critics say Martin's lecture shows he used Muslim cultural grounds to excuse a deplorable assault, and failed to defend an atheist's First Amendment rights" with some arguing that Martin favored Sharia law as a defense for an unprovoked attack.