Why this is happening, I have no idea. Muslims have been in this country for decades, and they've lived in peace with the rest of the country and played by our rules and haven't had a problem with it yet and have been good, decent, caring people and haven't plotted the violent overthrow of the government. But for some reason, there has been a movement to allow Sharia Law to take precedence. This was almost successfully allowed in Canada until some people realized the can of worms this would open and shot it down.
The Oklahoma state constitution was recently amended to ban the use of Sharia Law in the state courts. In January of this year, an appeals court issued an injunction blocking it from taking affect because there is no documented case of Sharia Law being used in the ruling process.
Well, we have one now.
Last year, there was a Halloween parade in Mechanicsburg, PA. Among the attendees was Ernie Perce, an Atheist activist. He marched in the parade next to another Atheist, and they were both wearing modified zombie costumes. The other guy was dressed as a zombie pope (IB4 "How could they tell the difference?"), while Perce was dressed as zombie Muhammad.
Here's the next participant in our story -- Talaag Elbayomy, a Muslim watching the parade who saw Perce's get-up and attacked him. Elbayomy was grabbed by the police and hauled downtown for assault.
The case was heard last week by Judge Mark Martin, a former Iraq veteran and a recent convert to Islam. Elbayomy's defense rested on how Sharia Law required him to attack anyone insulting the Prophet Muhammad.
Martin agreed with him and threw out the case.
Not only did Martin state that the 1st Amendment does not protect people provoking and insulting others, but he also called Perce a "doofus" during the trial. Basically, he said Perce got what he deserved and that Sharia Law trumps the Constitution.
(For those of you thinking, just calm down, wait until this gets through the appeals process, there is no appeals process for acquittals. Elbayomy got away scott free. Oh, and in case you're wondering, no one bitched about or attacked the zombie pope guy.)
There has been a disturbing trend of late to paint Muslims as brainwashed cult members (I don't remember where I saw it, but I recently saw an opinion piece that, instead of Muslims, used the word "Musloids"). Real Muslim is a peaceful religion and most of its adherents would never hurt anyone for expressing their beliefs. You know, sort of like Christians -- most of them are decent live and let live folks, and it's only a few rotten apples getting the press and ruining our reputations.
I mention that because most of the outrage is coming from Christians saying a holy war is on its way, completely overlooking that they are just as guilty of the offensive behavior they are deriding. And cases like this will be seized on as further proof that we must take up arms and punish people who have NOTHING TO DO WITH WHAT THEY ARE CRUSADING AGAINST.
The correct course of action is to remove Martin from the bench for Not Getting It. The correct course of action is to hold Elbayomy accountable for what he did, that Atheists have just as much right to express themselves as he does, and notice this Atheist didn't try to beat him up, he just dressed in a dopey costume. The correct course of action is not to turn this into a flag to rally a bunch of mouthbreathers afraid of a boogeyman defiling a people, a culture, and a religion by using it as a shield.
Please. Don't let this fuel hatred we really don't need.