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February 28th, 2012
09:46 AM ET

Judge’s dismissal of atheist's harassment claim against Muslim makes waves

By Dugald McConnell and Brian Todd, CNN

(CNN) - A protester who ridiculed the Muslim prophet Mohammed claims he was assaulted by a Muslim who was offended by the stunt, but a judge has sympathized with the alleged perpetrator, in a case that has drawn national attention.

Self-proclaimed atheist Ernie Perce marched in a Halloween parade in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania last October, dressed in a costume mocking Mohammed.

In a YouTube video he posted, Perce can be seen wearing a long fake beard, a white turban and green face paint, calling out provocative phrases like: "I am the prophet Mohammed! Zombie from the dead!" Perce and someone else in a zombie-themed pope costume are carrying a banner that reads "The Parading Atheists of Central Pennsylvania / Ghoulish – Godless – God-Awful."

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Then a man who is not seen on the video can be heard saying, "Take it down." Amid sounds of a scuffle, Perce can be heard saying "Hey, he's attacking me!"

Perce told CNN affiliate WHTM that the man “grabbed me, choked me from the back, and spun me around, to try to get my sign off that was wrapped around my neck."

Based on Perce's complaint, a Muslim named Talaag Elbayomy was charged with harassment. But on December 6, District Judge Mark Martin dismissed the case, saying it was one person's word against another's, and that there was no other evidence or eyewitness testimony to prove that Elbayomy had harassed or touched the alleged victim.

The judge also scolded Perce, saying he’d been needlessly provocative on an issue sensitive with Muslims.

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"You have that right, but you're way outside your bounds of First Amendment rights," Martin said, according to a recording Perce made of the court hearing. "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."

The judge went on to point out that in many Muslim countries, ridiculing Mohammed could warrant the death penalty under Islamic law.

Critics say Martin's lecture shows he used Muslim cultural grounds to excuse a deplorable assault, and failed to defend an atheist's First Amendment rights.

"That's greatly disturbing to people that believe in free speech," said George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley. "You can say things that are hurtful to others. We hope that you don't, but you most certainly can be protected. People like Thomas Paine spent his entire life ticking off people across the colonies."

Former terrorism prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy, writing on the blog of National Review, accused the judge of allowing the Muslim suspect to invoke a "Sharia defense – what he claimed was his obligation to strike out against any insult against the prophet Mohammed."

And Perce said of Judge Martin, "He let a man who is Muslim, because of his preference of his culture and his way of life, walk free, from an attack."

The judge, in a phone interview with CNN, defended his ruling.

"The commonwealth didn't present enough evidence to show me that this person is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt," Martin said. "That's why I dismissed the case. Nothing as nefarious as what everyone's thinking, that I'm a Muslim or I'm biased. I'm actually a Lutheran."

Martin added that he has served three tours of duty, totaling more than two years, in Iraq and Afghanistan, where he learned more about Muslim culture.

"It just amazes me that people think that I'm biased towards Islam," he added. "I got sniped at once, I got ambushed once, I got attacked by a mob once... I've served close to 27 years in the military - and have gone overseas - exactly to preserve that right [freedom of speech.]”

But Martin also repeated his criticism of the atheist protester. "With rights come responsibilities. The more people abuse our rights, the more likely that we're going to lose them," he said. " We need to start policing up our own actions, using common sense, in how we deal with others."

Attorney R. Mark Thomas, who represented the Muslim suspect, blamed Perce for the Halloween altercation. "The so-called victim was the antagonist," he told WHTM. "I think this was a good dressing down by the judge."

A blog post by the group American Atheists disagrees. "That a Muslim immigrant can assault a United States citizen,” it says, “in defense of his religious beliefs and walk away a free man, while the victim is chastised and insulted... is a horrible abrogation."

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- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Atheism • Halloween • Islam • TV-The Situation Room

soundoff (2,453 Responses)
  1. Chuck

    I am an atheist. I firmly believe that Perce was being antagonistic, but it doesn't give this Talaag fellow the right to attack. If the judge felt there wasn't enough evidence, then leave it at that. No lecture should have been spoken, it brings bias into his decision. As an atheist I feel antagonized by Christians and Muslims everyday. I have to read and hear that this is the RIGHT way to live. If you march your beliefs in a parade, you are antagonizing, whether you are religious, atheist, irish, african-american, gay, etc. There are people who are threatened by your behaviour, it doesn't mean you can or should be assaulted. However, if you do something like Perce did, you better look over your shoulder. He is lucky it wasn't worst. As an atheist, I would not have done that.

    February 28, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
    • Eric

      To bad the judge wasn't in the lunch room with the kids in Ohio who just got shot. We need a revolution in our country to rid us of the idiot's like him.

      February 28, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      I might agree with your revolution comment, if your analogy wasn't in such poor taste. Children died there you ass.

      February 28, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • Chuck

      I take particular offence to the part where the judge points out that ridiculing Mohammed could warrant the death penalty under Islamic law in other countries. Hey judge, that is why we like to point out that we are more civil, and we embrace (or at least tolerate) differences in human beings. You have now acknowledged the main difference between our society and a violent society and you sympathize with the behaviour of a violent, close-minded, religiously intolerant dependent society.

      February 28, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
  2. Dr. Peabody

    Speaking as an atheist, I think what he did was pretty mean. At a private costume party, it would have been a killer costume; some of my friends showed up as Jim Bakker and the Moral Majority at a Halloween party back in the day and got a lot of laughs. But they didn't march in the costume parade that way or go trick-or-treating churchy neighborhoods. I agree with the judge's feelings, and he should lose his job for letting his feelings overrule the law. Sorry.

    February 28, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
  3. marilynn

    "Self-proclaimed atheist Ernie Perce".. uh, what other kind of athiest is there?

    February 28, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      Those would be the ones that Rick Santorum has passed judgement upon.

      February 28, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
    • denver2

      "Implied atheists", "supposed atheists", "alleged atheists?"...

      February 28, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
    • Jay

      Many atheists don't even know they are atheists.

      February 28, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      It was revealed to me by God that I am an atheist, so it must be true.

      February 28, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      Ordained Athiest – I like it.

      February 28, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      what's going on here? my spelling has been consistently sucky today.

      February 28, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
  4. Squeezebox

    A lot of aetheists get off on deliberately harassing, mocking, insulting, and persecuting people of faith. If they were truly aetheists, the word god would mean nothing to them and they could simply ignore people of faith without trying to convert them. I think they must be posessed by the devil.

    February 28, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
    • marilynn

      Athiests commonly display tactics usually used by religious zealots. Im always confused by this. i would think if you were "free of religion" why would you then waste your time with so much religious activites like going to meeting, collecting money for publid displays of your "ideas", protesting, wasting time on these forums arguing about god.. its weird

      February 28, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      I think you would see a huge drop in negative comments from atheists if the right-wing religious folk would stop trying to legislate their beliefs onto us. Until then, keep your dukes up because you started the the assault.

      February 28, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      LET's Religiousity Law #1 – If you use words and phrases like: "I think they must be posessed by the devil." Then you are definately mentally retarded.

      February 28, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      correction:definitely mentally retarded

      February 28, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      I limit my activity in this regard to the silly blogs here. BTW, what is religious about the other activities you mentioned?

      February 28, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
    • GodPot

      "they could simply ignore people of faith without trying to convert them."

      Reverse racism!! Reverse racism!! Stop the blacks from discriminating against whites and taking all the high powered wallstreet and CEO jobs!!

      Reverse conversion!! Reverse conversion!! Stop the atheists from trying to tell anyone that being atheist is the best way to live, stop them from trying to convert my converted indoctinated kids!! Demons!! The ghost of Darwin is haunting us!! Aghhhh!!

      February 28, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
    • WhatWhatWhat?

      Except that those silly delusional beliefs end up as laws restricting those of us who are not delusional. Not only that, Christinsanity and Islame both have the "feature" that murders all the unbelievers in the "end times", which doesn't sit well with me, as an atheist.

      February 28, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
    • The Judge is a Muslim?!

      The problem is that people carry out wars, laws, murders, etc. in the name of "God" and when you (general) use God to create laws that affect me it's WRONG. You think Athiests are "posessed by the devil" and are going to hell. I think those that believe there IS a devil are morons who can't think for themselves. How are you any different than me? You've judged me based on my beliefs (or lack thereof). Glass houses, my friend. You ain't so different than me.

      February 28, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
  5. Dr. Peabody

    Both of these guys are nuts. No, all three if you count the AntiPope. Next time let him dress up as a Gay Jesus and maybe the issue will be less murky.

    February 28, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      How would it be any different at all? The provocateur was well within his rights. The assailant performed a criminal act. The judge let his bias show. How would any of that have changed?

      February 28, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      dress up as "Gay Jesus?" How would you be able to tell?

      February 28, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
  6. Portland tony

    With free speech comes accountability and responsibility. It doesn't appear that this professional atheist showed either! When you are trying to solicit violence, sooner or later you will!

    February 28, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
    • denver2

      For all your smug finger-waving about those silly ole' atheists, does it give you pause to hear a sitting judge with apparently no understanding of the current state of American jurisprudence as regards the First Amendment?

      February 28, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
    • Glenn

      Wrong! Free speech is.... wait for it.... FREE. There is no accountability. That's how our founding fathers wanted things and I agree fully.

      February 28, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      Scary, but not surprising considering some other recent weird stuff from various judges. They are people too. *Sigh*

      February 28, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • Robert

      That's why our founding fathers included all that extra language about accountablity, consequences, etc. Oops, they didn't?!? Guess bozos like you just get it wrong.

      February 28, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
  7. Horus

    Yet the courts have repeatedly upheld horrific antagonization as freedom. Think Westboro Church. This is no different, except that a man exercising his right to his opinion about religion, regardless of how pathetically done, is still his right.

    February 28, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
  8. John

    Gee, another Moslem person committing violence.. Such a shock!!!! Send them all back to their deserts!!!!

    February 28, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • justageek

      Gee...another troll.

      February 28, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
    • Tim

      its not trolling when it's true.

      February 28, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
    • justageek

      Except that the ruling says it's not true.

      February 28, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
  9. The Judge is a Muslim?!

    I just googled this Judge's name and LISTENED with my own ears to the hearing where the judge says "I'm a Muslim, and I'm offended" Look it up yourself if you don't believe me. Unreal. I'm on the Athiests side!!! Hope the judge gets thrown off the bench. Clear bias.

    February 28, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • The Judge is a Muslim?!

      Here's the link. It's at the 31:25 mark on the video
      http://news.gather.com/viewArticle.action?articleId=281474981142579

      February 28, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
    • Sam

      IF he is a muslim then that explains the outcome of this case. Justice?

      February 28, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
    • The Judge is a Muslim?!

      Sam, I'm finding multiple links saying he's a recent convert to Islam. No joke.

      February 28, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
    • hippypoet

      the judge was making a separate point by that statement – he was telling the atheist to consider other people feelings when making a stance and how you choose to make that stance...

      the statement made had no bearing on the case nor its outcome.

      don't make the judge seem bad simply because he is a muslim – his choices of belief are delusional, and so his outlook on life is so as well, that is what you should focus on. here is your question : How can a judge who is delusional in the first place make any kind of proper legal decisions? sound good?

      February 28, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
    • justageek

      "Clear bias"...funny.

      February 28, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
    • The Judge is a Muslim?!

      Why is "clear bias" funny?

      February 28, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
    • The Judge is a Muslim?!

      Hippy – the statement he made had a LOT to do with it. If he's a recent convert then he may be overzealous. His judgement could be clouded (no pun intended) ESPECIALLY given the mentality of some Muslims and certainly because of how sacred Mohammed is to them. If a Catholic judge was devout and extremely conservative and ruled in a Bible burning case in a controversial manner, you'd better believe his religion would be a factor. His religion is a factor in his ruling in this case and it shouldn't be.

      February 28, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • hippypoet

      perhaps you missed my question for you....

      here....

      here is your question : How can a judge who is delusional in the first place make any kind of proper legal decisions?

      February 28, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
    • The Judge is a Muslim?!

      I didn't miss it, I thought it was rhetorical. I'm not sure why you're asking me that. If he's delusional then of course he can't make sound decisions. That's different than what you opened with. You touched on the statment he made and said it had nothing to do with it. I'm saying it does.

      February 28, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • hippypoet

      no judge should sit and rule over anything if they are believers in any faith – those involved in any legal issue and finding themselves in that court room could be in a very biased room because of how the judge views them due to his or her beliefs.....

      i was under the impression that judges were appointed and once there they must be as blank slates and only use the existing laws and past rulings to make there decisions! guess not!

      i would vote for a law that states that all judges must be atheists – it is a stronge poisition to be in and no religious biased should ever play a part!

      February 28, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
    • justageek

      Why is "clear bias" funny? – Because it is only your opinion and you make it sound as if the bias is because he is Muslim and you have no real way of knowing unless the judge himself told you that it was clear bias.

      February 28, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • The Judge is a Muslim?!

      Also Hippy – he can choose whatever religion he wants, I don't care. He could worship a fig newton with toothpick horns while chanting "Newtons are Fruit and Cake!" for all I care. As long as he doesn't use it against me in a court of law if I say fig newtons are gross and leave seeds in my teeth.

      February 28, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • hippypoet

      look, in my opinion the judge was simply acknowledging his disagreement with that the atheist did...and from what i have seen, it was after the decision was made, so like i said – he was making a separate point with this statement – i could be wrong thou.... not something to argue over thou. 🙂 no worries dude.

      February 28, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • The Judge is a Muslim?!

      I tend to agree with you Hippy, but how will we know they're being honest about their Atheism? Look at the number of Catholics who proclaim to be "good Catholics" yet sin on a daily basis? Heck, look at the PRIESTS – they're claiming to be holy themselves while molesting children. There will always be bias, it's just whether or not it's out in the open or not.

      February 28, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • The Judge is a Muslim?!

      No arguing, we're discussing. The problem with his making his statement even AFTER his ruling is that it makes people question if it was a factor in his decision. It's not like he became a Muslim after he ruled. It was most likely a major factor in the outcome.

      February 28, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      The bias is very clear since he seems to believe that the victim is out of bounds to insult someone's religion. SCOTUS is very clear on that point, so this judge should be as well.
      Socially, the guy is setting himself up, but the legal system must protect his right whether an individual judge agrees with him or not. I was not this judge's place to try to force his personal interpretation of the 1st amendment on anyone. Let him be placed on the SCOTUS first.

      February 28, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
  10. dlabrook

    Why is there even a discussion about this? There was not evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant was guilty! Religious beliefs of anyone, including those of the judge, are irrelevant.

    February 28, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      If the attacker was in fact operating from a belief that he needed to defend Islam, he should have boldly stated that he was in fact the attacker in open court. You can't claim heroism for your faith and then deny your actions in public. The day is coming when people of faith will no longer accept the humiliation of the self professed "Godless and God-Awful"

      February 28, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      Deacon, then the jails will fill with the faithfully violent.

      February 28, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
  11. Deedra

    This should go to a higher court of appeals. There is certainly precedent in the protection of the rights of "antagonists" when you look at the cases of Nazi groups, KKK groups, and those that protest at the private funerals of fallen soldiers. Regarding the physical assault, the rights of this particular low-life who happens to be an atheist should also have been protected and the Muslim perpetrator punished.

    February 28, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
    • Eric

      I listen to the audio and I feel the judge was bias. No is allowed to touch another person in our country simply because you don't agree with there beliefs. If this conduct is upheld this judge just opened the door for Christians to attack Muslims for the same thing without worry of prosecution. P/C is killing this country and this judge needs to be removed from making decision based on his personal opinions instead of law.

      February 28, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
  12. Web

    I'm a nonbeliever, but I think Perce's behavior was irresponsible and insensitive. However, the judge's remarks really upset me. It seems to be OK for fundamentalist Christians to demonstrate at military funerals as protected speech, but not athiest against muslims. This judge should be ruling in the cases involving the Westboro Baptist Church demonstrations.

    February 28, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
    • Kevin

      I think if this judge presided over such a case (Christians protesting military funerals) that he may have had the same sentiment. We don't know though. The D Bag who was parading around had it coming to him. I am a non believer too (in a higher power), but I am a believer that if you do something so stupid and arrogant which is aimed at making someone go over the top then you get what you give.

      February 28, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
  13. smeeker

    This is America, not Saudi Arabia. We don't have to kowtow to mohamad or anyone else. We can even burn the koran if we choose to.

    February 28, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
    • hippypoet

      how about the torah? the christian bible? how about the flag? if you answer is no to any of these, then shut up mouth and ask yourself why, why is this wrong while that is right?

      February 28, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • Brad

      I don't think we should be burning anything! Except Hatred!!! But it is my freedom to do whatever I want. We just have to understand that other people in other countries may get upset. But I will tell them this right now: QUIT burning my American Flag and I'll put a stop to burning your Quran. Eye for an Eye...

      February 28, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
    • WhatWhatWhat?

      Calm down, hippie. The answer is actually "yes" so your rant is moot. Why would it be anything different, except in your feeble mind?

      February 28, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
    • Brad

      Actually, I'm not into flags at all, or burning things. I'll have to use a different handle today.

      February 28, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
    • hippypoet

      i'm not worked up, i don't care what you burn...just be safe doing it. 🙂
      it becomes a problem when those who view these THINGS as sacred get mad and do something out of vengance and stupidity!

      i was making a point that if you view any THING as sacred then you should have no place to talk about burning anything out of anger or spite! ITs all stupid!

      February 28, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
    • WhatWhatWhat?

      What??? I thought we were talking about free speech? What does "sacred" mean, or did you mean "scared"? I think you're losing it.

      February 28, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • smeeker

      In fact, the supreme court ruled that people can burn the flag if they choose. Why doe the muzzies get special protection?

      February 28, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  14. Robert

    In Brandenburg v. Ohio (1969) the Supreme Court ruled that highly offensive or inflammatory speech is protected by the First Amendment. Responsibility is not required.

    "The judge went on to point out that in many Muslim countries, ridiculing Mohammed could warrant the death penalty under Islamic law." In other words, the judge thinks that Saudi Arabian justice should be a role model for the U.S.?

    February 28, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
    • WhatWhatWhat?

      Absolutely!

      February 28, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • Brad

      And the verdict/ruling in 1968 was from a biased group! The supreme court does not speak on behalf of the people. They judge and make rulings on their own accord and their OWN INTERPRETATION of the law.

      Taking responsibility out of the equation takes away common sense that is needed but missing in our society.

      February 28, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
    • Dr. Peabody

      I think the judge was thinking along the lines of "inciting a riot" and "turning a kiddie costume parade into a grim, insulting charade" instead of "protected free speech." Try this one: suppose Robert and WhatWhat dressed up in Klan robes and went down to Harlem to tell all the black people they were too dependent on government handouts. Mention watermelon and fried chicken while you're at it, and then imagine the trial afterward when we try to determine what caused these men to be murdered. I'd say they asked for it, regardless of the legality. They wouldn't have actually deserved murder, when ridicule and harassment would have done just fine, and a court should find someone guilty, but it would be a difficult prosecution.

      February 28, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • WhatWhatWhat?

      Stay where you are Mr. Peabody, someone is on their way there to pick you up for those nasty things you said in your statement. We cannot tolerate inciteful speech, so you are the next to go. Please, stay where you are...

      February 28, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
  15. SusyQ

    Athiest, Muslim, whetever is not really the issue here. The judge confirms that there was no enouigh evidendce to support the assault charge. This has nothing to do with freedom of speech. The judge's verdict seems correct to me, although I disagree with his opinions.

    February 28, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
    • frank

      what is missing in this article but verified by a video interview with the arresting officer, stating in his written report that Talaag Elbayomy himself told the officer that he attack the protester. He doesn't deny it attaching him. How is that not proof?

      February 28, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
  16. WhatWhatWhat?

    ...You also have the right to free speech...but we know that none of you are stupid enough to actually try it...

    Religion=Delusion

    February 28, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
    • justageek

      Nice...a wannabe Ernie statement. How clever is that equation.

      February 28, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
  17. Jeepers

    What this guy did is less offensive to me than what Westboro Baptist church does all the time and they have been consistently upheld in court with the right to keep on doing it.

    February 28, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
    • Brutus1234

      I was thinking exactly the same thing.

      I guess this judge's ruling now opens up the floodgates for people to attack the Westboro demontrators because they are antagonizing the public and whether or not there are witnesses it's a he said she said arguement so there should not be any charges.

      I wonder if the ruling would have been the same, if the person attacked in this case were part of a conservative church as part of a church sponsered protest of Mohammed, rather than being an atheist. Maybe the atheists should enlist some religious friends and test the theory.

      February 28, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
    • Paul

      I said that exact same thing, but was blocked. This is just ridiculous. The Westboro people belong in the ground, but instead get police protection. Anyone that jokes about Mohammed, however, it's perfectly fine to assault them?? This judge needs to be remvoed from the bench. And I'm a Democrat!

      February 28, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
    • Dr. Peabody

      If someone attacked them every time they showed up, they might stop, or a judge might rule against them. They are afraid of my county for some reason that I know nothing about.

      February 28, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
  18. Ed

    The judge was wrong period. Who is protecting or giving Mulims special treatmenmt? They need to get a life and if they don't like it then they can go baxck from where they are from. Besides Mohammid is a joke and myth as all religions are. We live nder US law and not Islamic law. That judge should be barred for making such a comparison.

    February 28, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
  19. DoubleW

    "The so-called victim was the antagonist," ...
    Geeze! Coud there be a more convincing example of religious Doublethink?

    February 28, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
  20. smeeker

    I am offended by muzzies trying to impose sharia law here. Time to overthrow islam.

    February 28, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • WhatWhatWhat?

      Islame? It's time to overthrow ALL religious delusion, don't just single one of them out.

      February 28, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
    • Matt

      How about time to cast aside all stone age beliefs and further humanity with science and reason?

      February 28, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
    • Dr. Peabody

      This guy failed his Christian duty to love all mankind, even the Muslims. Why slam them? You are commanded to forgive them and to love them, and yes, God DOES ask too much. I didn't write the Book, so don't blame me for pointing this out.

      February 28, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.