By Tim Dunkin
In what should be one of the most disturbing decisions made in modern American jurisprudence, a judge in Pennsylvania recently dismissed an assault case against a Muslim immigrant who blatantly attacked another person at a parade for exercising his first amendment rights. On Halloween night of last year, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania held a parade, and the victim, Ernest Perce, who is the state director of American Atheists, Inc., decided to walk in the parade dressed as a "Zombie Mohammed." While doing so, he was physically attacked from behind by Talaag Elbayomy, a Muslim, who choked him with the cord holding a sign around Mr. Perce's neck, and otherwise roughed him up, in front of a street full of witnesses. After the altercation, both men approached a Mechanicsburg law enforcement officer who was policing the event, and lodged complaints. The police office – rightly – sided with Mr. Perce. Elbayomy was arrested and charged with assault and battery.
Now, this seems like an open-and-shut case, right? Witnesses attest that the victim was assaulted by the defendant. There is video of the defendant assaulting the victim. The defendant himself admits that he assaulted the victim. This case wouldn't seem to require an intricate knowledge of the complexities of criminal case law to decide. Nevertheless, the judge in this case, Mark Martin (a Muslim convert), threw the case out, releasing the defendant. Further, not only did he do this, but he actually reprimanded the victim Mr. Perce for "insulting Islam,"
"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…
"Then what you have done is you have completely trashed their essence, their being. They find it very very very offensive. I'm a Muslim, I find it offensive. But you have that right, but you're way outside your boundaries or first amendment rights. This is what, and I said I spent about 7 and a half years living in other countries. 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 are 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 about the other people's say…"
This was all before averring that the first amendment doesn't allow people "to p*** off other people and other cultures."
Obviously, "Judge" Martin deserves to be impeached and disbarred. In fact, I'd recommend that he should go back to whatever rathole Middle Eastern country it is that spent those two and a half years in and live there, since he's obviously much more suited to it than he is to the United States of America. The fact that he uses the term "dufus" to insult a defendant shows that he has neither the objectivity, nor even the intellect, to fill the position on the bench that he does. Likewise the fact that he refused to allow the videotaped and police officer testimony that demonstrated Mr. Elbayomy's guilt to even be entered as evidence.
The fact of the matter is that the first amendment DOES give you the right to "mock other peoples' religions." It DOES allow you to "p*** off" other people and their cultures. It does so for the simple fact of the matter that often times, you will have people who will be "p***ed off" that you even exercise your own religion freely, not even that you're being purposefully offensive or insensitive. Muslims get angry when Christians and Jews reject Islam and follow their own beliefs (as fourteen centuries of bloody history attest). Catholics, past and present, get "p***ed off" when Baptists and other "out-groups" reject "Mother Church" and hold to the scriptural truths about the local church and the priesthood of the believer. Many atheists are driven to irrational gibbering when Christianity appears openly in the public square. The simple fact that somebody else might be "offended" by your expression of your own beliefs – no matter how crudely or stupidly expressed, as the case with Mr. Perce would be – is irrelevant. If you're offended, then get a helmet.
And yes, Mr. Perce's expression was just the sort of childish, simple-minded antic that has made atheists, especially of the "fundamentalist" kind, one of the least liked, least trusted groups in the country. But, it's still not an excuse to physically assault him. The flip side of saying and believing what you want is having the maturity to let others say and believe what they like, as well. This is why I laughed out loud when I first read "Judge" Martin's argument about "ugly Americans." If people in other countries don't like our freedom of religion and freedom of expression, then they may certainly feel free to not come here. In fact, I would insist that they don't. Likewise, I tend to view it as a bit "ugly" to kill people in retaliation for burning a book, as is currently going on in Afghanistan, or to threaten people with death for drawing pictures of Mohammed, as happened all over the world a few years back. I'm not so much worried about being dubbed an "ugly American" as I am the violence perpetrated by a bunch of "ugly non-Americans" who think murder is an appropriate response to speech.
And it certainly is noteworthy that Mr. Perce's fellow atheist, who dressed up as "Zombie Pope," was not assaulted by anyone at the parade.
However, the dangerousness of "Judge" Martin's comments and ruling goes beyond the mere superficial stupidity of his "reasoning." It lies instead in the motivating spirit that drove his thinking in this case – which is the acceptance, and indeed the promotion, of an alien values system that is stridently opposed to the Judeo-Christian basis of our culture and Western civilization – Islamic shari'a law. What "Judge" Martin essentially did was decide the case not on the basis of American criminal code or common law, but on shari'a – since in our criminal code it is illegal to assault somebody else physically, but in Islamic law, it is perfectly fine to punish somebody for "blaspheming" Mohammed.
The attack on the fundamentals of American and Western civilization, while having taken place for several decades, seems to be reaching a fever pitch within just the last few years. Suddenly, things which just a few short years ago were inconceivable to the rational mind - such as legalizing gay "marriage," married teachers leaving their wives and running off to live with their 18 year old students, amassing more debt than we have economy – have become commonplace, and are in many cases being forced off onto unwilling sectors of the population. Take, for example, the recently-discovered mandate in ObamaCare, whereby religious institutions which oppose it as a matter of doctrine and conviction are nevertheless to be forced to provide abortiofacients to employees who want them. Even five years ago, who would have guessed that the federal government would overtly and willfully disregard the hallowed constitutional principle of the freedom of religion, and impose itself into decisions made by private religious organizations that directly pertain to their faith and practice, and in which they are not harming anyone else?
So it is with the issue of shari'a law, and the push in recent years to give it a place in the American legal system. The problem is serious enough that several states have already passed laws, or are trying to currently, to ban shari'a as a basis for legal decision-making . While some may be tempted to laugh at this as an overreaction, keep in mind that in many European countries where Muslim immigrants make up a large share of the population, Muslims have already managed to win for themselves shari'a courts that are not overseen by the native court system, and which operate off of strict Islamic law. This has the effect of inoculating Muslims from the assimilative effects of the legal and moral systems of their host countries, making Muslims into a segregated and often aggressively hostile subset. In some countries, Muslims are even attempting to enforce shari'a onto non-Muslims in the native majorities. It is reported, as an example, that in Norway and Sweden, some women dye their blonde hair black and cover their heads to help stave off attacks by Muslim immigrants.
So yes, it's a serious issue, and it's coming here to America.
The sad part is, it is doing so with the blessings of many on the Left, who view Islam and shari'a as tools for breaking down the integrity of our Judeo-Christian heritage and loosening its grip from the minds of our people.
This is taking place as the Left puts into practice the cultural Marxism advocated by Antonio Gramsci. Gramsci was an early leader of the Italian Communist Party, and he differed from "orthodox" Marxism in that he did not believe that the division of the working class from the "capitalist" classes, and the ultimate overthrow of these by the working class, were inevitable. Gramsci noted that often, the "socialist revolution" was thwarted by the fact that the working and upper classes shared the same basic social, civic, and religious convictions, and that this shared culture proved to be a glue that could not be overcome. Revolution and overthrow could only come when this "cultural hegemony" was subverted, and the glue of a common civic and social culture was dissolved. In pursuit of the goal of ending this hegemony, it has been the goal of Gramscians past and present to undermine the sense of universal values, including right and wrong, and to destroy the Judeo-Christian bases for Western civilization.
In a sense, Gramsci was right – much of the reason why socialism took so much longer to "catch on" in America was that America, even more so than Europe and other Western countries, held more tightly to the Judeo-Christian assumptions of its founding. Because America has always been somewhat of an artificial entity, explicitly founded on an ideological footing, rather than being the product of the slow evolution of social development over centuries like European countries, the common "glue" in American society has always had more of a legitimacy attached to it in the peoples' minds, a sense of a shared "this is what we are" that accompanies our psychological sense of being free men and women because we operate under a system that we, in a sense, consciously chose to have. This understanding and sense of shared purpose was held by the vast majority of Americans – rich or poor, immigrant or blue blood, rural or urban, it didn't matter.
The Gramscian method of attack on America has been to work to undermine these common assumptions about religion, morality, ethics, and even common sense. The sense of universal right and wrong must be destroyed, and cultural and moral relativism set up in its place. This was the functional basis for the sexual revolution and the rest of the accompanying social phenomena that happened in the 1960s and 1970s – replace the "uptight" morality of self-restraint based upon a sense of moral rectitude with an "if it feels good, do it" mentality where morality is defined individually based upon subjective feelings that people outside your class, race, age group, or other demographic group likely do not share. Hence, America was, and continues to be, tribalized as a result of the way of thinking introduced then.
In the academic world, "right or wrong answers" was replaced by "deconstructionism," where a text does not mean what the author intended it to mean, but whatever the reader subjectively chooses for it to mean. In education, "feeling" and "self-esteem" replaced objective standards of performance and evaluation. And so on, in every area of modern American life, the Gramscian attack on every objective standard and every cultural glue has proceeded apace.
Hence, the calls for shari'a as source for legal decision making. In this, we see the Red-Green Convergence, whereby the radical Left (the Red) and the radical Islamists (the Green) work together to subvert and undermine the Judeo-Christian underpinnings of American and Western civilization. It's not that the Left has a great love for Islamic law, in and of itself. It's merely that the Left finds Islamic law useful for serving as yet another "breaking point" in American and Western society. It's a way to prevent the assimilation of Muslim immigrants, instead turning them into divisive forces within our countries. Accepting shari'a as valid and "on par" with Western legal traditions, especially in our own countries, emphasizes further the "cultural relativity" that says that barbaric 7th century Arabian law codes that command you to kill unbelievers are just as good as Western legal traditions that call for religious tolerance and freedom. All cultures are "equal," so they believe. A culture that raised women to a place of spiritual, followed by political, equality is said to be on par with one who treat women as literal chattel property. A culture that looked to its religious roots to end the scourge of slavery is said to be no better than a culture that not only condones slavery, but practices it to this very day. By this, two seemingly antithetical worldviews – the radically materialistic socialist and the rigidly theocratic Islamist – come together in a sick Hegelian dialectic to form the synthesis of a dead United States of America, subverted and subjected to the slavery of those who hate our Christian foundations.
So what do we do? We oppose it at every step. It's time for conservatives to get radical ourselves – we must fight tooth and nail to gain back every inch of what the Gramscians have taken away. This doesn't just mean winning elections – it means winning the culture war. And those so-called conservatives who consider themselves to be "fiscal issues only" had better get with the program and figure out the cultural battle is just the other side of the coin from the fiscal one. If you don't fix the culture, if you don't roll back the welfare mentality, and the way of thinking that says that the nuclear family – history's greatest social stabilizing force – is an unneeded relic, and mindset that condones a lack of personal responsibility, then you will not ever be successful in fixing the problems with the economy, with spending, and so forth. You simply won't. All of this is interconnected. And the creeping entry of shari'a, the camel's nose under the tent door, is yet one more manifestation than must be stopped and rolled back at all costs.