**Posted by Phineas
This is absolutely disgraceful:
A state judge in Pennsylvania has dismissed an assault and harrassment case against a Muslim defendant who admitted attacking the victim. Magistrate Judge Mark Martin, a veteran of the war in Iraq and a convert to Islam, ruled that Talag Elbayomy’s sharia defense — what he claimed was his obligation to strike out against any insult against the prophet Mohammed — trumped the First Amendment free speech rights of the victim.
Yes, you read that correctly.
Read the rest of McCarthy’s post,which includes a link to video of the judge’s stupid remarks. PJM’s Bryan Preston has quotes from the judge’s dressing down of the victim, which includes this beaut:
“Having had the benefit of having spent over 2 and a half years in predominantly Muslim countries I think I know a little bit about the faith of Islam. In fact I have a copy of the Koran here and I challenge you sir to show me where it says in the Koran that Mohammad arose and walked among the dead. I think you misinterpreted things. Before you start mocking someone else’s religion you may want to find out a little bit more about it it makes you look like a dufus and Mr. (Defendant) is correct. In many Arabic speaking countries something like this is definitely against the law there. In their society in fact it can be punishable by death and it frequently is in their society.
Wait, let me get this straight: Is Judge Martin saying that, since it was okay for the Muslim to assault the victim, which is clearly against our law, it would have been okay in the judge’s view for the Muslim to kill him? After all, the guy insulted Muhammad and hurt the Muslim defendant’s feelings. Sharia says kill the guy, so why not go all the way? (1)
Newsflash for Judge Martin: they’re called “unalienable rights” because they are inherent from birth in all men, “endowed by their Creator.” They are universal, even if Islamic countries are too benighted to realize it.
And then there’s this little thing called the First Amendment:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
…which has been incorporated into state law for centuries.
I don’t care if this guy dressed up as “Muhammad the transvestite” and shouted at the top of his lungs that Islam’s “prophet” committed lewd acts with the dead. (2) It is immaterial that the Muslim defendant’s feelings were hurt; the victim had the right to act like a jerk, and the defendant had no right to assault him.
The only way “free speech” matters is if we protect speech even when we or others find it offensive. Whether it offends religion, country, or your favorite TV program, it doesn’t matter. As long as it does not directly and deliberately incite violence, it is protected speech.
And it is appalling that an American judge, one who both as a judge and as a soldier swore oaths to protect and defend the Constitution and those very same unalienable rights, should trample on the right to free speech in a fit of cultural relativism.
I’m not sure what the law is in Pennsylvania is for removing a judge, but somebody needs to start working on this jackass’ case right now.
(Crossposted at Public Secrets)