An Atheist, a Muslim and a Judge: What Really Happened by Cathy Young.
The story that flew around the blogosphere last week was guaranteed to cause an uproar: A Muslim assaults an atheist for mocking Mohammed, and a Muslim judge dismisses the charges and berates the victim — and it all happens here in America. Suddenly, warnings about the threat of Sharia law on our shores got a strong boost.
In fact, there was no “Sharia court,” and the judge is not a Muslim. But, however egregious the misreporting of the story and the vilification of the judge — Cumberland County, Pa., magistrate Mark W. Martin, who graciously answered my queries in an email exchange — the actual facts of the story are troubling. Judge Martin’s intent may have been entirely benign, but his handling of the case sends a bad message not only about freedom of speech, but about the place of Islam in American culture.
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