By: Mark Hyman
Mark Martin is unfit to serve as a judge. Pennsylvania authorities should remove him from the bench.
Last October, a couple of atheists marched in the Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania Halloween parade. One dressed as a zombie Pope. The other a zombie Mohammed.
Silly? Goofy? In bad taste? Perhaps. It was Halloween. This is free speech.
An immigrant Muslim onlooker became angry. According to reports, he had a physical altercation with zombie Mohammed. A police officer apprehended the assailant who confessed to the assault. He was charged.
In court, the assailant testified it’s against Sharia law to insult Mohammed. The judge agreed. He disregarded the testimony of the arresting officer and dismissed the charges. But he first lectured the victim calling him a “doofus.”
Christianity, he told the victim, is just a religion. But Islam is a culture. There are no First Amendment protections when offending Muslims, the judge claimed. In other words, Sharia Law has priority.
The judge never said a word to the assailant about free speech or peacefully resolving differences. We are “ugly Americans” because we’re intolerant he told the victim.
Absolutely not. Intolerant is jailing rape victims, stoning homosexuals, beheading Muslims who convert to Christianity and flying jetliners into skyscrapers killing thousands.
Anyone who contacts the judge’s office should be polite and respectful:
Mark W. Martin Magisterial District Judge 507 N. York Street Mechanicsburg, PA 17055 Phone: 717.766.4575 Fax 717.766.2238
Remarks of Judge Mark Martin in lecturing the victim:
Well, having had the benefit of having spent over two-and-a-half years in a predominantly Muslim country, I think I know a little bit about the faith of Islam. In fact, I have a copy of the Koran here, and I would challenge you, sir, to show me where it says in the Koran that Mohammed arose and walked among the dead.
[Unintelligible.] You misinterpreted things. 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.
And Mr. Thomas [the defense lawyer] is correct. In many other Muslim speaking countries – excuse me, in many Arabic speaking countries – call it “Muslim” – something like this is definitely against the law there. In their society, in fact, it could be punishable by death, and it frequently is, in their society.
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.
Their greetings, “Salaam alaikum,” “Alaikum wa-salaam,” “May God be with you.” Whenever — it is very common — their language, when they’re speaking to each other, it’s very common for them to say, uh, “Allah willing, this will happen.” It is — they are so immersed in it.
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. F’Im a Muslim [Note: there is not agreement on whether he says he is a Muslim or if he mumbles a hypothetical that if he were a Muslim], I’d find it offensive. [Unintelligble] aside was very offensive.
But you have that right, but you’re way outside your bounds on First Amendment rights.
This is what — as I said, I spent half my years altogether 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’re 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.
All that aside I’ve got here basically — I don’t want to say, “He said, she said.” But I’ve got two sides of the story that are in conflict with each other. I understand — I’ve been at a Halloween parade, I understand how noisy it can be, how difficult it can be to get a pulpit. I can’t believe that, if there was this kind of conflict going on in the middle of the street, that somebody didn’t step forward sooner to try and intervene — that the police officer on a bicycle didn’t stop and say, “Hey, let’s break this up.”
[Addressing an individual in the courtroom] You can put your hand down, sir. You’re not a witness.
The preponderance of, excuse me, the burden of proof is that the defendant — it must be proven that the defendant did with the intent to harass, annoy or alarm another person — The Commonwealth, whether there was conflict or not — and, yes, he shouldn’t be putting his hands on you. I don’t know — I have your story he did and his story that he did not.
But another part of the element [of the offense charged] is, as Mr. Thomas [the defense lawyer] said, was — “Was the defendant’s intent to harass, annoy or alarm — or was it his intent to try to have the offensive situation negated?”
If his intent was to harass, annoy or alarm, I think there would have been a little bit more of an altercation. Something more substantial as far as testimony going on that there was a conflict. Because there is not, it is not proven to me beyond a reasonable doubt that this defendant is guilty of harassment. Therefore I am going to dismiss the charge.
Mark Hyman hosts "Behind the Headlines," a commentary program for Sinclair Broadcast Group.