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Monday, February 20, 2012

Zombie Mohammed case

Here's the basics: an atheist wore a costume of Mohammed as a zombie in a Halloween parade, and a Muslim spectator grabbed him.  A policeman arrested the grabber and charged him with harassment (pretty much the most minor charge possible - he could have easily charged him with assault).  The judge dismissed the charges and lectured the VICTIM on his offensive behavior, calling him a "doofus."  (The judge also claims there were no witnesses to illuminate what happened, which seems odd, considering this happened a large public event.)

I heard the judge in the case speaking on CNN  and I was really shocked when he said the 1st Amendment does not apply here.  He said the Founding Fathers did not intend the 1st Amendment to protect provocative speech (that's not a quote, just the gist).  He even gave an example: even though you're allowed to parade around in a white sheet, it doesn't mean you should.  Of course, I agree that it doesn't mean you should, but I'm appalled that a judge, a judge, would suggest that the law will not protect you if you do, especially since the Supreme Court has said that it must.  This is in Mechanicsburg PA, just west of Philly, very near where I used to live.



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