The Pennsylvania State Director of American Atheists, Inc., Mr. Ernest Perce V., was assaulted by a Muslim while participating in a Halloween parade. Along with a Zombie Pope, Ernest was costumed as Zombie Muhammad. The assault was caught on video, the Muslim man admitted to his crime and charges were filed in what should have been an open-and-shut case. That’s not what happened, though.
The defendant is an immigrant and claims he did not know his actions were illegal, or that it was legal in this country to represent Muhammad in any form. To add insult to injury, he also testified that his 9 year old son was present, and the man said he felt he needed to show his young son that he was willing to fight for his Prophet.
The case went to trial, and as circumstances would dictate, Judge Mark Martin is also a Muslim. What transpired next was surreal. The Judge not only ruled in favor of the defendant, but called Mr. Perce a name and told him that if he were in a Muslim country, he’d be put to death.
Uploaded by SDAMatt2a on Feb 23, 2012
It must be tough for my fellow atheists – so many of them stupidly think Christians are the boogeyman in the room. And what is it with alleged grown-ups parading around as zombies anyway?
It almost sounds like the makings of a joke: an atheist, a Muslim and the Mechanicsburg Halloween parade. But non-believers aren’t laughing about an attack and insist what’s really frightening is the way a district judge ruled on it.
The Atheists of Central Pennsylvania decided to walk in the Mechanicsburg Halloween parade. There was a zombie Pope and a zombie Muhammed. On YouTube, you can catch a scary moment. It’s dark and distorted, but a Muslim man comes off the curb extremely offended at Muhammed being depicted in this way.
“He grabbed me, choked me from the back, and spun me around to try to get my sign off that was wrapped around my neck,” said Ernie Perce, who donned the costume.
The Muslim man and Perce both called police to report a crime. Both kept walking, and a few blocks down found Sgt. Brian Curtis. He talked to both and came to this conclusion.
“Mr. Perce has the right to do what he did that evening, and the defendant in this case was wrong in confronting him,” he said.
Talaag Elbayomy was charged with harassment, but District Judge Mark Martin threw it out after criticizing Perce, the victim, and even calling him a “doofus.” The audio is also on YouTube.
Martin, who has done several tours of duty in the Middle East, said Perce would be put to death in those societies for his crime, but Perce wonders why that’s relevant in this country.
“He let a man who is Muslim, because of his preference of his culture and his way of life, walk free from an attack,” Perce said.
R. Mark Thomas represented Elbayomy and applauds the judge.
“I think this was a good dressing down by the judge,” he said. “The so-called victim was the antagonist and we introduced evidence that clearly showed his attitude toward Muslims. The judge didn’t do anything I wouldn’t have done if I was in that position.”
Although Elbayomy denied touching Perce at trial, Curtis said he admitted grabbing Perce’s sign and beard the night of the incident.
Talaag Elbayomy said he was at the parade with his wife and two kids and felt he just had to do something. In fact, he too called police because he thought it was a crime for someone to depict Muhammed in such a way. He has since learned otherwise.