A Pennsylvania judge has dismissed charges against a Muslim man who physically attacked an atheist dressed as “Zombie Muhammad” during the Mechanicsburg, Pa. Halloween parade.
Talaag Elbayomy, a 46-year-old Muslim man, allegedly attacked Ernest Perce V, who was dressed as “Zombie Muhammad” and walking with a man dressed as “Zombie Pope” during the October parade. Both men were members of the Parading Atheists of Central Pennsylvania.
During the attack Elbayomy reportedly attempted to take Perce’s “Muhammed of Islam” sign and choked him. Zombie Pope was uninjured.
“He grabbed me, choked me from the back, and spun me around to try to get my sign off that was wrapped around my neck,” explained Perce to ABC 27.
Judge Mark Martin threw out a grainy video of the attack and explained that there wasn’t enough evidence to convict Elbayomy of the harassment charge.
Martin further dressed down Perce for his insensitive behavior, going so far as to call him a doofus and telling him that in Muslim societies he could have been put to death for mocking Muhammad.
“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,” Martin said. “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 doofus… 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.”
Sgt. Brian Curtis handled the incident aftermath. Curtis explained that Elbayomy admitted to grabbing Perce that October night.
“I believe that I brought a case that showed proof beyond a reasonable doubt and the case was dismissed,” Curtis told ABC 27. “I was disappointed.”
Perce was disappointed by the decision as well.
“He let a man who is Muslim, because of his preference of his culture and his way of life, walk free from an attack,” Perce said.
According to ABC 27, Elbayomy thought it was a crime to depict Muhammad and had joined Perce in calling police.