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Pennsylvania “Sharia Court”: Loons Jump the Gun AGAIN on Ginned up “Legal Jihad”

Zombie Atheists

Zombie Pope and Zombie Muhammad Marching in a Halloween Parade

by Ilisha

(H/T: CriticalDragon1177)

All across the looniverse, there is an uproar over an alleged triumph of Sharia in a Pennsylvania court case presided over by a “Muslim” judge.  It’s not the first time anti-Muslim bigots pounced on a story of so-called “legal jihad” before they got their facts straight.

This time, Pennsylvania State Director of American Atheists, Ernest Perce V, was parading down the street as “Zombie Muhammad,” when an outraged Muslim bystander allegedly grabbed him, choked him from behind, and attempted to remove a “Muhammad of Islam” sign from around his neck. Both men complained to  police, Perce for assault and Elbayomy because he apparently thought insulting Islam was a criminal offense.

Perce filed charges, but a judge dismissed the case after he allegedly said, “I’m a Muslim,” and chastised the atheist in question for his misinterpretation and lack of understanding concerning Islam. Judge Martin is not a Muslim, and later said himself he is Lutheran.

Parts of the court video are garbled, and it seems he either misspoke or part of his statement was inaudible.  In any case, his statements and decision to dismiss the case have sparked a fresh controversy over  the limits of free speech.

The judge said in part:

Before you start mocking someone else’s religion you may want to find out a little bit more about it. That makes you look like a doofus…

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 our mind, not to piss off other people and other cultures, which is what you did.

I don’t think you’re aware, sir, there’s a big difference between how Americans practice Christianity – uh, 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 are otherwise told you cannot because you are too ill, too elderly, whatever. But you must make the attempt…

Then what you have done is you’ve completely trashed their essence, their being. They find it very, very, very offensive. I’m a Muslim, I find it offensive. [Unintelligble] aside was very offensive.

But you have that right, but you’re way outside your bounds on First Amendment rights.

Pamela Geller’s hate site, Atlas Shrugs, blared the headline: “AMERICAN MUSLIM JUDGE WHO IMPOSED SHARIA IN PENNSYLVANIA COURT THREATENS TO JAIL INFIDEL VICTIM FOR BLASPHEMY — RELEASING RECORDED AUDIO OF THE CASE

The inflammatory headline was followed by, “Infidel victim, Ernest Perce, has received 471 verifiable threats.” No source was cited to substantiate the claim.

Robert Spencer’s Jihad Watch declared:

This is enforcement of Sharia in a Pennsylvania court. The attacker supposedly got off because he “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.”

Though part of the statement on Jihad Watch is in quotes, it’s unclear who Spencer is quoting. A full transcript of the judges statement is here, and the defendant’s immigrant status and lack of legal knowledge are not cited as reasons for dismissing the case.

Spencer also doesn’t explain how this is an example of Sharia. What Islamic Law did the judge cite in this case? Spencer doesn’t say, and apparently that’s fine with his no-evidence-required audience.

Although Eugene Volokh of  The Volokh Conspiracy strongly disagreed with the judge’s decision, he said:

…This is not a situation where the judge “applied Sharia law” in any normal sense of the phrase. The judge claimed that he simply didn’t find enough evidence against the defendant. Perhaps the judge was biased against the victim because of the victim’s anti-Muslim speech, but an anti-Sharia law wouldn’t have helped avoid that. More broadly, a law banning judges from “consider[ing] … Sharia Law” (in the words of the Oklahoma anti-Sharia amendment) wouldn’t keep judges from concluding that someone who insults members of other religious groups should be admonished, punished, or even stripped of the right to legal protection — they would just conclude this based on their own notions of refraining from offending other groups….

The case has nothing do with Sharia, and everything to do with the interpretation and application of American Law.

In the US, free speech is protected by the First Amendment to the US Constitution, and in most cases, speech that is distasteful, inflammatory, racist, sexist, or even outright hate speech, is usually permitted. However, there are exceptions, including ”fighting words” and “incitement to imminent lawless action.” Though the judge did tell the plaintiff it was his opinion he’d gone way outside the bounds of free speech, this was not the stated reason for dismissing the case.

In response to the controversy, Judge Martin gave a statement clarifying :  ((H/T: Just Stopping By)

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.

Attempts to link the case to Islamic Law are illogical and absurd, but will no doubt provide convincing “evidence” for those already inclined to believe “creeping sharia” is a genuine threat to America.

However, the case may very well spark a wider debate. The idea that a judge may have sacrificed free speech on the alter of religious and cultural sensitivity is bound to attract attention, especially as Western democracies increasingly grapple with issues of multiculturalism, provocation, and the boundaries of free speech.

**********

The judge’s controversial statements begin in minute 29:

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  • Garibaldi

    @BA,

    Ilisha is correct. The judge clearly stated the reason for dismissing the case; insufficient evidence.

  • khushboo

    Oh BOOHOO, atheist making fun of other religions and not expect a reaction?? it was DELIBERATELY PROVOCATIVE! Stop with the VICIM ACT! I guess this militant atheist got his 15-minutes of fame and alot of sheep behind him pointing the blame at the “bad Muslim”. I’m sure he’s happy now.

  • Ilisha

    @Believing Atheist

    What I said is correct.

    The judge’s stated reason for dismissing the case was insufficient evidence.

  • Believing Atheist

    @llisha

    You said:

    Finally, the judge quite clearly said he dismissed the case because of insufficient evidence. He disapproved of the atheists use of free speech, but he didn’t invoke a free speech exception, such as incitement, in his ruling.

    That’s not true as Turley highlighted in bold. These were the judges words:

    “It’s unfortunate that some people use the First Amendment to deliberately provoke others. I don’t think that’s what our forefathers intended. I think our forefathers intended to use the First Amendment so we can speak with our mind, not to piss off other people and cultures – which is what you did.”

    And also these were the Judges words highlighted in bold by Turley:

    “But you have that right, but you are way outside your bounds of First Amendment rights.”…

    Turley then says:

    “I fail to see the relevance of the victim’s attitude toward Muslims or religion generally. He had a protected right to walk in the parade and not be assaulted for his views. While the judge laments that “[i]t’s unfortunate that some people use the First Amendment to deliberately provoke others,” that is precisely what the Framers had in mind if Thomas Paine is any measure.”

    And he continues:

    Martin’s comments also heighten concerns over the growing trend toward criminalizing anti-religious speech in the use of such standards as the Brandenburg test, a position supported by the Obama Administration.

    As for this comment of yours: “Finally, the judge quite clearly said he dismissed the case because of insufficient evidence”

    Turley disagrees with that stating; “I can understand the judge’s claims of conflicting testimony on the crime –though it seems to be that the officer’s testimony and the tape would resolve those doubts.”

    I hope there is an appeal and I hope Judge Martin is reprimanded

  • Ilisha

    @Believing Atheist

    In what way did Turley disagree with me? I read it and I’m not seeing it.

    I made two assertions, and I don’t see where he contradicts either.

    He apparently doesn’t believe the judge dismissed this case because of insufficient evidence. I didn’t take a position on that. I merely repeated the judge’s stated rationale.

  • Believing Atheist

    @llisha,

    Law Professor Turley disagrees wtih you.

    http://jonathanturley.org/2012/02/24/pennsylvania-judge-throws-out-charge-for-harassing-atheist-while-calling-the-victim-a-doofus/

    Anyway here is some latest Islamphobic news you might wish to report (or not).

    The White House Helps Pay for Muslim Surveillance
    Millions of dollars in White House money has helped pay for New York Police Department programs that put entire American Muslim neighborhoods under surveillance.
    The money is part of a little-known grant intended to help law enforcement fight drug crimes. Since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the Bush and Obama administrations have provided $135 million to the New York and New Jersey region through the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area program, known as HIDTA.
    Some of that money — it’s unclear exactly how much because the program has little oversight — has paid for the cars that plainclothes NYPD officers used to conduct surveillance on Muslim neighborhoods. It also paid for computers that store even innocuous information about Muslim college students, mosque sermons and social events.
    When NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly was filled in on these efforts, his briefings were prepared on HIDTA computers.
    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5goI6Wnl2FLVcP5_K-5TtDk17Fgwg?docId=7563f134de75404395f87390312401e4

  • Just Stopping By

    @Ilisha: Thank you for this: “I really wonder sometimes if people actually read an article before they make comments. Sometimes it seems the reaction is more emotional and based on assumptions than logical and based on facts.”

    I was thinking of saying what you did about the comments generally. A lot of them just did not follow from the article. And this is not the only article where that is true.

    And personally, I find that people are divided into 10 groups: those that understand binary and those that don’t.

  • Ilisha

    @Jack Cope

    “I think you have been an author long enough to understand that people who send you emails are split into two groups; the ones who read and the ones who didn’t.”

    You’re right, of course. But for some reason, it continues to amaze me.

  • http://www.bandofstrangers.org Jack Cope

    “I really wonder sometimes if people actually read an article before they make comments. Sometimes it seems the reaction is more emotional and based on assumptions than logical and based on facts.”

    I think you have been an author long enough to understand that people who send you emails are split into two groups; the ones who read and the ones who didn’t.

    Sadly the ones who didn’t are by far in the majority and send the most mail. I get bored of telling people to read what I wrote and get back to me.

    Jack

  • Ilisha

    Just for clarification, there were two major points I wanted to make in publishing this article:

    (1) The judge is not a Muslim.

    (2) The decision was not based on Sharia.

    People who plainly don’t have the first clue about Islamic Law immediately made the unsubstantiated claim the judge based his decision on Sharia.

    Sharia is derived primarily from the Qur’an and the Sunnah. Did the judge cite some primary or secondary source of Islamic Law? Did he mention Islamic jurisprudence or Islamic case law of any kind? If he did, please show me the evidence.

    The judge is not a Muslim and he didn’t employ Sharia. If someone wants to say otherwise, produce the evidence.

    As for the judge, the atheist, and the Muslim involved in the case, I tried to be neutral and not take sides. Please cite the portion of the article where I clearly stated one of these parties was right or wrong.

    Also, I am a huge advocate of free speech. I admire and cherish the American legal system, the Constitution, and the broad interpretation of the First Amendment that usually characterizes our court rulings.

    Where did I endorse curtailing anyone’s free speech?

    Finally, the judge quite clearly said he dismissed the case because of insufficient evidence. He disapproved of the atheists use of free speech, but he didn’t invoke a free speech exception, such as incitement, in his ruling.

    Was there enough evidence to convict the defendant? That’s a matter for debate, but the article doesn’t take a stand either way.

    I really wonder sometimes if people actually read an article before they make comments. Sometimes it seems the reaction is more emotional and based on assumptions than logical and based on facts.

  • Rajesh

    The judge sounds like a fair minded man to me. This incident proves that atheists are just as prone to radicalism and degenerate behavior as religious fanatics. Denigrating entire communities is not free speech. Imagine the outrage if American soldiers aka war criminals were treated in such a way, the outrage and no one would be saying free speech then.

  • TheBig-T

    @ Rocky Load

  • Rocky Lore

    No surprise that LoonWatch is yet blaming the victim of a savage attack by a “peaceful” Muslim…again. This IS Sharia Law because the Muslim got away with it. Just like what happened to Rhea Page.

    By the way, LoonWatch, why didn’t Christians attack the real victim (no, it’s not the Muslim) when he had ZOmbie Jesus and Zombie Pope. LoonWatch believes in one set of laws for Muslims and one set for everyone else.

  • Just Stopping By

    @Ilisha and @Jeff: Here is a video of the parade, with the sign in question: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yP-X3hpCfR8. The sign matches the image used by Loonwatch.

  • Ilisha

    @Jeff

    We didn’t Photoshop at all. Where’s an original for comparison?

    How do the words on the sign serve our agenda, and what is that agenda according to you?

    [NOTE: Based on his email/IP address, is a new "Jeff" and not the one who just convinced us on another thread that he was sincere and here to do research in good faith.]

  • Jeff

    Interesting the way you Photoshop the words on the atheists sign in your photos and videos. What else have you altered to prove your case? Now you claim there are words garbled by the judge. In this country we cherish free speech whether you like it or not. What about the atheist’s beliefs? He may very well find Muslim traditional clothing offensive. He does not physically assault you. Your reasoning and justification is fundamentally flawed. You have offered martyrdom to the Atheist and his cause.

  • JD

    Santorum: Separation Of Church And State ‘Makes Me Want To Throw Up’
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/26/santorum-church-and-state_n_1302246.html

    Rick Santorum on Sunday took on separation of church and state.

    “I don’t believe in an America where the separation of church and state are absolute,” he told ‘This Week’ host George Stephanopoulos. “The idea that the church can have no influence or no involvement in the operation of the state is absolutely antithetical to the objectives and vision of our country…to say that people of faith have no role in the public square? You bet that makes me want to throw up.”

    The GOP candidate was responding to comments he made last October. He had said that he “almost threw up” after reading JFK’s 1960 speech in which he declared his commitment to the separation of church and state.

    Santorum also on Sunday told Meet The Press host David Gregory that separation of church and state was “not the founders’ vision.”

    The GOP candidate has been doubling down on religious rhetoric in an effort to court evangelical voters ahead of Super Tuesday. Last week, he questioned Obama’s spiritual beliefs.

    “[Obama believes in] some phony ideal, some phony theology … not a theology based on the Bible, a different theology,” he said.
    =================
    More proof of Christian Sharia take over of America <–insert racist bigot comment and call to deport them all

  • JD

    NYPD wrongly uses White House anti-drug grant to spy on Muslim neighborhoods.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/27/nypd-muslim-surveillance_n_1303400.html

    WASHINGTON — Millions of dollars in White House money has helped pay for New York Police Department programs that put entire American Muslim neighborhoods under surveillance.

    The money is part of a little-known grant intended to help law enforcement fight drug crimes. Since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the Bush and Obama administrations have provided $135 million to the New York and New Jersey region through the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area program, known as HIDTA.

    Some of that money – it’s unclear exactly how much because the program has little oversight – has paid for the cars that plainclothes NYPD officers used to conduct surveillance on Muslim neighborhoods. It also paid for computers that store even innocuous information about Muslim college students, mosque sermons and social events.

    When NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly was filled in on these efforts, his briefings were prepared on HIDTA computers.

    The AP confirmed the use of White House money through secret police documents and interviews with current and former city and federal officials. The AP also obtained electronic documents with digital signatures indicating they were created and saved on HIDTA computers. The HIDTA grant program is overseen by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.

    The disclosure that the White House is at least partially paying for the NYPD’s wholesale surveillance of places where Muslims eat, shop, work and pray complicates efforts by the Obama administration to stay out of the fray over New York’s controversial counterterrorism programs. The administration has championed outreach to American Muslims and has said law enforcement should not put entire communities under suspicion.

    The Obama administration, however, has pointedly refused to endorse or repudiate the NYPD programs it helps pay for. The White House last week declined to comment on its grant payments.

    John Brennan, Obama’s top counterterrorism adviser, last year called the NYPD’s efforts “heroic” but would not elaborate. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, whose department also gives grant money to the NYPD and is one of the lead federal agencies helping police build relationships with Muslims, has refused in recent months to discuss the police tactics. Tom Perez, the Justice Department’s top civil rights lawyer, has repeatedly refused to answer questions about the NYPD.

    Outside Washington, the NYPD’s efforts drew increased criticism last week. College administrators at Yale, Columbia and elsewhere issued harsh rebukes for NYPD’s infiltration of Muslim student groups and its monitoring of school websites. New Jersey’s governor and the mayor of its largest city have complained about the NYPD’s widespread surveillance there, outside New York’s police jurisdiction.

    The White House HIDTA grant program was established at the height of the drug war to help police fight drug gangs and unravel supply routes. It has provided about $2.3 billion to local authorities in the past decade.

    After the terror attacks, law enforcement was allowed to use some of that money to fight terrorism. It’s unclear how much HIDTA money has been used to pay for the intelligence division, in part because NYPD intelligence operations receive scant oversight in New York.

    Congress, which approves the money for the program, is not provided with a detailed breakdown of activities. None of the NYPD’s clandestine programs is cited in the New York-New Jersey region’s annual reports to Congress between 2006 and 2010.

    NYPD spokesman Paul Browne did not respond to questions the AP sent to him in two emails about the White House money and the department’s intelligence division.

    Most of the money from the White House grants in New York and New Jersey has been spent fighting drugs, said Chauncey Parker, director of the program there. He said less than $1.3 million was spent on vehicles used by the NYPD intelligence unit.

    “Those cars are used to collect and analyze counterterrorism information with the goal of preventing a terrorist attack in New York City or anywhere else,” Parker said. “If it’s been used for specific counterterrorism effort, then it’s been used to pay for those cars.”

    Former police officials told the AP those vehicles have been used to photograph mosques and record the license plates of worshippers.

    In addition to paying for the cars, the White House money pays for part of the office space the intelligence division shares with other agencies in Manhattan.

    When police compiled lists of Muslims who took new, Americanized names, they kept those records on HIDTA computer servers. That was ongoing as recently as October, city officials said.

    Many NYPD intelligence officers, including those that conducted surveillance of Muslim neighborhoods, had HIDTA email addresses. Briefing documents for Kelly, the police commissioner, were compiled on HIDTA computers. Those documents described what police informants were hearing inside mosques and which academic conferences Muslim scholars attended.

    When police wanted to pay a confidential informant, they were told to sign onto the HIDTA website to file the paperwork, according to a 2007 internal document obtained by the AP.

    Parker said the White House grant money was never used to pay any of the NYPD intelligence division’s confidential informants. The HIDTA computer systems, he said, are platforms that allow different law enforcement agencies to share information and work.

    “I am shocked to hear that federal dollars may have helped finance the NYPD’s misguided efforts to spy on Muslims in America,” said Rep. Judy Chu, D-Calif., one of 34 members of Congress who have asked the Justice Department and House Judiciary Committee to investigate the NYPD.

    The connection between NYPD and the White House anti-drug grant program surfaced years ago, during a long-running civil rights lawsuit against police. Civil rights attorneys asked in court about a “demonstration debriefing form” that police used whenever they arrested people for civil disobedience. The form carried the seal of both the NYPD Intelligence Division and HIDTA.

    A city lawyer downplayed any connection. She said the NYPD and HIDTA not only shared office space, they also shared office supplies like paper. The NYPD form with the seal of a White House anti-drug program was “a recycled piece of paper that got picked up and modified,” attorney Gail Donoghue told a federal judge in 2003.

    The issue died in court and was never pursued further.

    Last week, the controversy over NYPD’s programs drew one former Obama administration official into the discussion.

    After the AP revealed an extensive program to monitor Muslims in Newark, N.J., police there denied knowing anything about it. The Newark police director at the time, Garry McCarthy, has since moved on to lead Chicago’s police department where President Barack Obama’s first chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, is now the mayor.

    “We don’t do that in Chicago and we’re not going to do that,” Emanuel said last week.

    New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said the NYPD surveillance in his state was “disturbing” and has asked the attorney general to investigate. Christie was New Jersey’s top federal prosecutor and sat on the HIDTA executive board during 2006 and 2007 when the NYPD was conducting surveillance in New Jersey cities. Christie said he didn’t know that, in 2007, the NYPD catalogued every mosque and Muslim business in Newark, the state’s largest city.

    “I kind of think I would have remembered that,” he said on Fox Business News last week.

  • HGG

    “The Zombie Mohammed (or Zombie ) probably crossed the line to needless Provo.”

    No, he didn’t.

    And the Law Professor BA quoted is exactly right. The judge should be disbarred.

  • H. Torrance Griffin

    The Zombie Mohammed (or Zombie ) probably crossed the line to needless Provo. Jumping the fellow did the cause of Muslims no good. The judge should have fined both of them for being fools. The RightBlogophere demonstrated their usual respect for reality and facts. NEXT!

  • HGG

    “Funny they didn’t do a Zombie Jesus did they?”

    According to this, yes, they did Zombie Jesus, too.

    http://skepchick.org/2012/02/zombie-muhammad-vs-zealot/

  • Believing Atheist

    @QA,

    Law Professor Jonathon Turley of George Washington University has stated that from a legal perspective what the Judge did was unconstitutional.

    “The reference to the cultural motivations for assaulting Perce seems to raise a type of cultural defense. I have spent years discussing this issue with state and federal judges on the proper role of culture in criminal and civil cases. This is not a case where I would view that defense as properly raised. There are certainly constitutional (and yes cultural) norms that must be accepted when joining this Republic. One is a commitment to free speech. If culture could trump free speech, the country would become the amalgamation of all extrinsic cultures — protecting no one by protecting everyone’s impulses. Those countries referenced by the court took a different path — a path away from civil liberties and toward religious orthodoxy. It is a poor example to raise except as an example of what we are not. The fact that this man may have formed his views in such an oppressive environment does not excuse his forcing others to adhere to his religious sentiments.”
    http://jonathanturley.org/2012/02/24/pennsylvania-judge-throws-out-charge-for-harassing-atheist-while-calling-the-victim-a-doofus/

    The atheist should file an appeal and see if the Judge can be disbarred.

  • Nadir

    @solid snake: I get what you’re saying. Not sure I agree, but that’s a fair point.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/GargamelGold?feature=mhee CriticalDragon1177

    @Ilisha

    You wrote,
    ————————————————————————–
    It would be interesting to go through some of the sites and see if they’ve made updates, in this case and others. In my experience, they aren’t very concerned with being truthful or accurate.

    But in the case of the Catholic University story we posted previously, where Muslims weren’t behind the legal complaint in question, it was The Blaze, a right wing site founded by Glenn Beck, that helped set the record straight. I was surprised by that.

    Islamophobes Jump the Gun on Ginned up “Jihad” Against Catholic University
    http://www.loonwatch.com/2011/11/islamophobes-jump-the-gun-on-ginned-up-jihad-against-catholic-university/
    ————————————————————————–

    I know, if they were really concerned about accuracy and they did their research, few if any of them would still believe in these anti Muslim conspiracies, as well as the idea that Islam is the cause most of the world’s terrorism. There’s just too much that contradicts all that. It is kind of surprising through that Glenn Beck would be the one to site the record straight. You wouldn’t think that, especially since he’s still part of the Islamophobic machine, is he not?

  • JD

    Militia leader told informant he would kill police

    http://news.yahoo.com/militia-leader-told-informant-kill-police-004212659.html

    DETROIT (Reuters) – The leader of a Midwestern militia group bragged to an FBI informant in secretly recorded conversations played this week at his federal trial that he would kill police and their families to try to keep other officers from enforcing federal laws.

    David Brian Stone Sr., one of seven members of a group called the Hutaree facing trial on federal charges that they were plotting to kill police to spark a wider insurrection, did not say what would trigger the attack.

    “The guys with the little stars on their chest are enforcing all the new world order laws,” Stone could be heard saying on one recording made by the informant. “We’re going to pop ‘em.

    Defense attorneys have contended the Hutaree was a social group whose members were exercising their right of free speech. Prosecutors on Thursday and Friday sought to prove otherwise with the recordings and testimony by the informant.

    “Now am I going to be cruel and mean? Yeah, I’m going to take the ID’s of the first guys that we shoot, and we’ll go back to their houses and burn their houses down. And if I kill their wives and their children inside, well then so be it, because I’m sending a message to the rest of them,” Stone said at one point.

    That message, Stone says on the recording, is that, “Every time you respond to a call, your family is on the line … .”

    Stone and the informant, Dan Murray, 57, of Dearborn, Michigan, were heard agreeing that police officers are allowed by fellow officers to get away with drunk driving, speeding and even shootings in the name of the “brotherhood.”

    On Friday, defense attorney James Thomas sought to discredit Murray, a key prosecution witness who spied on the Hutaree from late 2008 to January 2010.

    Under questioning by Thomas, who represents defendant Joshua Stone, the son of David Brian Stone Sr., Murray said he did not pay taxes on about $25,000 the FBI gave him, usually by cash in an envelope, when he met with his FBI contact for lunch.

    Murray said he has a full-time job as an internet technology specialist that pays at least $100,000, and did not infiltrate the Hutaree for the money paid by the FBI.

    Murray also disclosed that he had been sentenced to probation for a 2010 incident in which during an argument with his wife he fired a gun into a door, but not in her direction.

    In another incident that year, Murray said he had stabbed himself in the abdomen during a heated argument with his wife and initially told police his wife had stabbed him.

    The cross-examination of Murray is to continue Monday. An FBI agent is expected to testify for prosecutors as the case unfolds.

    The trial is expected to take about eight weeks before U.S. District Court Judge Victoria Roberts. It began on February 13.

    The trial is the latest instance of the U.S. government prosecuting what it views as a growing threat of violence from home-grown anti-government extremists, the most dramatic case of which was the 1995 bombing of an Oklahoma City government building that killed 168 people.

    As of late 2011, there were about 250 active militia groups in the United States, according to the Anti-Defamation League. The Hutaree militia is classified as a militia with a religious twist because it has a militia ideology and activities, and maintains contacts with other groups, the ADL has said.

    Defense attorneys have argued the group did not demonstrate real intent to carry out acts of terrorism and no attacks were carried out.

    Prosecutors contend the group had met regularly since 2008 to conduct military style training and were preparing for an upcoming attack when authorities executed search warrants and swept them up in raids in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana.

    Federal agents seized machine guns, unregistered short-barrel guns, ammunition, explosive devices and materials that could be used to make explosives, according to court documents.

    The charges against all seven include sedition, the attempted use of weapons of mass destruction and firearms offenses. Nine members of the group were indicted, one pleaded guilty and trial has been delayed for another suspect.

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