Muslim judge in Pennsylvania limits 1st Amendment

From Charles Platt

A judge in Pennsylvania who just happens to be of muslim faith informed a plaintiff that the 1st Amendment doesn’t necessarily give you the right to “p people off.” The plaintiff had worn a “Zombie Mohammed” costume in a public parade in Mechanicsburg, thus enraging a muslim observer who ran forward and tried to choke the man until police intervened. Charges of harassment, filed against the muslim for trying to choke the demonstrator, were dismissed by the muslim judge. Details here.

15 Responses to Muslim judge in Pennsylvania limits 1st Amendment

  1. Todd says:

    I’d read about this case, but none of the sources I read mentioned the judge was Muslim. That makes a load more sense. I figured a Christian judge would go for the death penalty and an atheist would give some sort of legally sensible penalty. Of course a Muslim would throw it out and call the victim names. Christians and Muslims – two sides of the same coin.

  2. banawho says:

    world net daily? really?
    time to remove this blog from my bookmarks.

  3. Roy Warden says:

    A couple of thing are going on here:

    First of all, Perce wasn’t arrested, charged or convicted for his conduct; therefore the judge did not abridge Perce’s rights. He let the alleged “choker” off on the assault beef because, say what, it was within his jurisdiction to do so.

    However; the judge was way off base for his comments in court and later, to threaten legal action for use of the official transcript, if in fact the recording posted was made from the offiicial transcript. If somebody in the audience recorded it in violation of a posted order not to record, then HE may have an issue to resolve (though this is highly unlikely.)

    Here’s what Perce should do: file an action with the appropriate authority within his state for the judge’s violation of the Canons of Ethics. Then, while the complaint remains unresolved, Perce should stand across the street from the courthouse with a loudspeaker, and then (after checking the code for decible level violations) he should blister the Judges’ ass REAL HARD for using his religeous beliefs as a substitute for law.

    Oooops, I forgot to add: I’ve already done this, to a Tucson Municipal Court Judge (Eugene Hays) and the Chief Justice of the Arizona Supreme Court (Ruth McGregor)

    What happened?

    They both resigned!

    I’m Warden, the Notorious Mexican Flag Burner!

  4. Roy Warden says:

    I might have added this: Perce has an action for civil assault and battery against the “Choker.” If I were Perce I would enjoy taking the Towel-Headed DUDE to court!

    Not a racist comment. The judge himself needs to remove the “Towel” from HIS head before ascending the bench. He can put it back on again when he steps down.

  5. Will says:

    OK, I’m not saying this didn’t happen … but there seems to be a lack of reliable information available online about this case after an admittedly brief google search. I turned up one “news” source covering it, Fox News. Sorry, but I just don’t consider WND a reliable news source.

    Does anyone have any other news outlet (not blog) that actually covers the details in this case?

  6. Charles Platt says:

    Fair comment re WorldNet Daily. Not the most unbiased source. So, here’s an ABC News summary of the alleged event at but it doesn’t say the judge is muslim. There’s a report that does say the judge is muslim, at, but it is sourced to American Atheists, who staged the parade, and they do NOT say it’s a muslim judge. Another source is which contains a transcript of the ABC news segment and seems to infer that the judge is muslim simply because he shows detailed familiarity with the Koran. So, it looks to me as if muslim-sympathizer-judge gradually metamorphosed into muslim-judge. Thanks for the skeptical heads-up.

    • Will says:

      While the judge’s rants about not offending people may have been wrong (I do feel that you DO have a right to offend people. Doesn’t mean that you SHOULD, just that you can), I’m not sure I disagree with the ruling from what I’ve read. On the WND site itself is the video. Which … doesn’t really show much. And the police officer didn’t actually see any of the event. So, it would basically boil down to the zombie’s statements that Elbayomy attacked him and the police officer’s statement that the Elbayomy “confessed” to grabbing at his beard and sign. Are those two things enough evidence to be beyond a reasonable doubt?

      If Elbayomy actually did attack Perce and not just verbally harras him (which is really all that’s shown in the video), then sure, he should be punished for it. But we are still (supposedly) a nation of innocent until proven guilty.

  7. James says:

    Its a damn Jeff Dunham puppet character. Jesus.

    Reference Photo with Jeff Dunham.

  8. DHMCarver says:

    Here is a better discussion — from a source far more reputable than Fox, WND, or any blog called “atlasshrugs”:

    Seems said judge is not a Muslim after all — but a Lutheran (presuming the communication is from the judge himself — there seems to be some doubt on that issue for some reason).

    Given what Christian lower court judges do and say all of the time in this country (Alabama, I am looking at you), let us temper our comments and realize this is precisely why proselytizing from the bench by any faith is so inimical to our society.

  9. Charles Platt says:

    My update on Feb 25 (above) already tracked down the transition between stating that the judge was sympathetic to muslims, and subsequent statements that he actually was a muslim. Perhaps you could read that, Mr. Carver, before critiquing? Also I note that Volokh made the same mistake as everyone else and had to correct it (see his strike-through). Perhaps reliability is in the eye of the beholder.

    • DHMCarver says:

      Charles, get stuffed. I was not critiquing, just 1) giving another source for folks since there was a concern expressed about the sources being quoted; and 2) making the point that we have Christian judges in the lower courts in many parts of the country preaching from the bench, so if we are going to get our knickers in a twist about this, we should do so consistently. But if you want to feel superior, go ahead, look into the mirror, and tell yourself how much smarter than everyone you are. You will surely believe it.

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