Hundreds of threats for assault victim in case dismissed by Quran-minded judge -- Pamela Geller, TheDC
According to Pence, "The judge is furious. Police called me warning of a Muslim brotherhood death threat. I told the chief, 'I've receives hundreds of death threats.'"
Here's what we know about the sharia judgement in Pennsylvania. Back in October, a non-Muslim, Ernest Perce, was accosted at a Halloween Parade by a Muslim, Talaag Elbayomy, because he was wearing a Zombie Muhammad costume with a sign. Police were called to the scene. The Muslim admitted to the police officer on the scene that he had gotten physical with Ernest Perce. Elbayomy attempted to rip Perce’s beard off, pull off his “Muhammed of Islam” sign and choke him.
“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,” Perce told ABC 27.
At the trial, Talaag Elbayomy said that he never got physical with Perce. So either he perjured himself or he lied to the policeman the night of the attack.The Judge called it a he said/she said. Not so. The policeman Curtis testified, and the Judge completely ignored that testimony. Further, the Judge refused to allow the video taken that night of the attack.
Eugene Volokh over at the legal blog, The Volokh Conspiracy, has posted a long explanation from the Judge here, wherein the Judge explains himself and says he is not a Muslim. It doesn't matter. What matters is American law in American courts.
JUDGE: Well, having had the benefit of having spent over two 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 would challenge you, sir, to show me where it says in the Koran that, that Mohammed is, Mohammed arose and walked among the dead. Uh, 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 bit more about it. Kind of makes you look like a doofus.
And Mr. Thomas is correct. In many other Muslim speaking country – excuse me, many Arabic-speaking countries, predominantly Muslim, um, something like this is definitely against the law there, in their society. In fact, it could be punished by death; frequently is, in their society. Here in our society, we have a Constitution that gives us many rights – specifically First Amendment rights. It’s unfortunate that some people use the first Amendment to deliberately provoke others. I don’t think that’s what our forefathers really intended. I think our forefathers intended that we use the First Amendment so that we can speak what’s on our mind; not to piss off other people and cultures, which is what you did. I don’t think you’re aware, sir… There’s a big difference between how Americans practice Christianity – and I understand you’re an atheist – but, see, Islam is not just a religion, it’s their culture, their culture. It’s their very essence, their very being. They pray five times a day towards Mecca. To be a good Muslim, before you die you have to make a pilgrimage to Mecca unless you’re otherwise told you cannot because you’re too ill, too elderly, whatever. But you must make the attempt. (Their greetings) – salaam aleichem (sp), (alekema) salaam – uh, may God be with you… Whenever – it is very common in their language, when they’re speaking to each other, it’s very common for them to say, uh, Allah willing, this will happen. It is – they are so immersed in it. And what you’ve done is, you 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 very offensive. But you have that right. But you’re way outside your bounds, First Amendment rights. This is what – and I’ve spent about seven and a half of my years all together living in other countries – um, when we go to other countries, it’s not uncommon for people to refer to us as “Ugly Americans.” This is why we are 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 what the other people say. All that aside, I’ve got here basically – I don’t want to say he said, she said – but I’ve got two sides of the story that are in conflict with each other. I understand. I’ve been at the Halloween Parade and I understand how noise can be, how difficult it is to get a pulpit. And I can’t believe that if there was this kind of conflict going on in the middle of the street that somebody didn’t step forward sooner to try and intervene, that the police officer on the bicycle didn’t stop and say, hey, let’s break this up. You put your hand down, sir. You’re not a witness.
JUDGE: The preponderance – excuse me – the burden of proof is that the defendant, it must be proven that the defendant did with the intent to harass, annoy or alarm the other person. The Commonwealth – whether there’s conflict or not – and yes, he shouldn’t be putting his hands on you. I don’t know. I have your story that he did, and his story that he did not. But another part of the element as Mr. Thomas said was, was the defendant’s attempt to harass, annoy or alarm, or was it his intent to try and have the offensive situation negated? If his intent was to harass, annoy or alarm, I think there would have been a little bit more of an altercation, something more substantial as far as testimony going on that there was a conflict. Because there is not, it is not proven to me beyond a reasonable doubt that this defendant is guilty of harassment. Therefore, I’m going to dismiss the charge. (Inaudible phrase), (please).
Here is how the Judge explains himself:
This story certainly has legs. As you might imagine, the public is only getting the version of the story put out by the “victim” (the atheist). Many, many gross misrepresentations. Among them: I’m a Muslim, and that’s why I dismissed the harassment charge (Fact: if anyone cares, I’m actually Lutheran, and have been for at least 41 years).
I also supposedly called him and threatened to throw him in jail if he released the tapes he had made in the courtroom without my knowledge/permission (Fact: HE called ME and told me that he was ready to “go public” with the tapes and was wondering what the consequences would be; I advised him again to not disseminate the recording, and that I would consider contempt charges; he then replied that he was “willing to go to jail for (his) 1st amendment rights”- I never even uttered the word “jail” in that conversation).
He said that I kept a copy of the Quran on the bench (fact: I keep a Bible on the bench, but out of respect to people with faiths other than Christianity, I DO have a Quran on the bookcase BESIDE my bench, and am trying to acquire a Torah, Book of Mormon, Book of Confucius and any other artifacts which those with a faith might respect).
He claims that I’m biased towards Islam, apparently because he thinks I’m Muslim. In fact, those of you who know me, know that I’m an Army reservist with 27 years of service towards our country (and still serving). I’ve done one tour in Afghanistan, and two tours in Iraq, and am scheduled to return to Afghanistan for a year this summer. During my first tour in Iraq, I was ambushed once, attacked by a mob once, sniped at once, and rocketed, bombed, and mortared so many times that I honestly don’t know how many time I’ve been attacked. Presumably by Muslim insurgents. My point: if anyone SHOULD be biased towards Muslims, one would think it would be me. I’m not, however, because I personally know or have met many good, decent people who follow Islam, and I shouldn’t characterize the actions of those who tried to kill me as characterizations of all Muslims.
When I asked him why he dressed up as “Muhammad zombie,” he told me that it was because he was reflecting the Muslim belief that Muhammad rose from the dead, walked as a zombie, and then went to heaven. That was one of the reasons I tried to spend 6 whole minutes trying to explain and de-mystify Islam through my own knowledge, and in an attempt to prevent an incident like this recurring in my community. Unfortunately, the message was obviously not received in the vein that I had intended. And, in the interest of full disclosure, I did use the word “doofus,” but didn’t call him that directly; I said something akin to “ if you’re going to mock another religion or culture, you should check your facts, first- otherwise, you’ll look like a doofus.”;
In short, 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.
A lesson learned here: there’s a very good reason for Rule 112 of Rules of Criminal Procedure- if someone makes an unauthorized recording in a Court not of Record, there’s no way to control how it might be manipulated later, and then passed off as the truth. We’ve received dozens upon dozens of phone calls, faxes, and e-mails. There are literally hundreds of not-so-nice posts all over the internet on at least 4 sites that have carried this story, mainly because I’ve been painted as a Muslim judge who didn’t recuse himself, and who’s trying to introduce Sharia law into Mechanicsburg.
Ernest Perce responds:
LMAO, he can't find a Torah? he ordered me to destroy the recording. He's in fact right about section 112 rules of court. He verbally said he would hold me in contempt for this. I forwarded you the emails from his assistant Bonnie Snyder saying, the judge ordered you to destroy the audio. He grossly misinterpreting section 112 section D. Doing this with the section 42 contempt he told me about, I asked him what is the penalty? That's jail or fines.
Fact is, I called originally to ask him about releasing audio, he was gone in training. That is why I commutated with Bonnie. Then on Friday when we talked he was aggressive with section 42 contempt. That's when I said, Judge your threatening me and misinterpreting 112. I'm releasing this and you can't do a damned thing about. you gave us permission to record. conversation Furthered and I hung up.
He wrote to Bonnie Snyder, administrative secretary of the Cumberland County District Court: “I was in a recent proceeding and Judge Martin gave both parties the right/permission to record the proceeding on our cellular devices. I would like to know if it is allowed to put the recording online for listening purposes. If the answer is no, I'd like to know the case law which is being cited and the punishment for violating the case law.”
Snyder responded: “Judge Martin only gave permission for the attorney or officer to record the proceedings. He did not give anyone else permission to record anything in the courtroom at the hearing held on December 6, 2011 at 2:45 pm.”
Perce then asked her: “Are you instructing me via Judge Martin to destroy or delete and not use my audio recording?”
Answered Snyder: “Yes, since you were not authorized to make any recordings.”