Recently I interviewed Ernest Perce and asked him why Judge Martin did not allow the video of the attack to be shown.
Perce: Judge would be offended! Yet they used comments made on the video at YouTube two months later to establish that I had a biased view toward Talaag Elbayomy. If the judge were honest, he would have said, "Attorney, the video is not entered as evidence, and therefore I cannot use the comment from two months after the supposed attack."
I called demanding to speak to the judge. He was always in a training session or in court. Finally, on February 16, I talked with the judge at 3:42PM, and he said, "I will hold you in contempt of court under section 42 of the Judicial System" if I didn't take down the audio. He also threatened to hold me in violation of 112 of the Rules of Court Section D.
He also said that I would be held in contempt of court. He denies this now, but this is what he told me. He was furious.
PG: Why did you decide to dress as Zombie Muhammad for Halloween in the first place?
Perce: Mainly to stand for the freedom of speech, and to show my disdain for such a hateful religion and culture. I have always made fun of Muhammad.
PG: When did you start receiving threats?
Perce: I started receiving death threats immediately after putting the video online of the parade. People have said that they would kill me, rip my eyes out, run me over, shoot me and laugh at me, since I have blasphemed Muhammad. They say I will be found out and [hanged] in front of my family.
PG: Did you report these threats? If so, what response did you receive?
Perce: I have reported several of the threats.
PG: What is your reaction to the judge's telling you that what you did was offensive to Muslims?
Perce: When I first heard Attorney Thomas, the defendant's attorney, telling me to read the Koran and the judge stayed silent, I was stunned. Then when the judge said, " I have a Koran; I challenge you to show me where it says Mohammed [rose] from the dead," I was stunned. I remember thinking "In America, what does it matter what interpretation a person has about a ruthless book?" I thought, "I'm not going to challenge you to a debate, and who in the hell are you to require me to read a Koran?"
This is America! Freedom of speech is our birthright. This judge trampled on the Constitution. At that point I forgot I was recording. Do you think he thinks that being offended justifies harassment? There is no doubt that he believes that offensive speech warrants harassment.
PG: What do you think of Judge Martin's office denying that he is a Muslim?
Perce: Remember, a Muslim can lie to a nonbeliever, a kaffir. He spoke Arabic to the defendant and his friend. They answered back. If he claims he isn't a Muslim, then why does he have a Koran? Why did he challenge me to a debate on the interpretation of the Koran? Why get mad at me and insult me? Why then go on a six-minute rant against me? Why value Islam above Christianity? He said, "They pray five times a day, towards Mecca. To be a good Muslim before you die, you have to make a pilgrimage to Mecca." Christians pray all the time, Jews pray all the time, Buddhists follow the basics of karma. Humanists will do no harm to anyone.
There is so much wrong with his preference for Islam. I've never met a Christian who got offended at a person dressing as Muhammad or wanted to debate them, or who told another person, "As-Salamu Alaykum."
His staff can say what they want, but there are only three possibilities: he just got saved, or if he has nothing to hide, why threaten me with contempt and order me to destroy the audio? Or third, he's a Muslim who is backpedaling because he got offended and had a slip of anger, and he knew he couldn't physically attack me!
PG: What do you plan to do now?
Perce: I am going to organize a protest against Judge Martin. I'm going to buy a billboard featuring Martin's photo, saying, "You're outside your bounds of the First Amendment! I'm Mark Martin, I am a Muslim and I'm offended." Victims are not the antagonists. Women do not deserve to be raped because of how they dress. A woman who has been abused doesn't warrant further abuse. I'm angry that an official of a court would say this.
PG: Is there any possibility you could try to press any further criminal or civil charges against the attacker?
Perce: I am not able to file criminal charges against the attacker because of double jeopardy. I am considering a $50 civil suit or asking for a public apology. Martin's decision effectively says that Muslims do not have to learn to accept blasphemy against their religion without violence. Yet when you are a citizen of the USA, you accept our Constitution. Free speech is our foundation.
PG: What do you want people to know?
Perce: I will say to Muslims: "I will not allow you put fear in my mind or [the minds] of those whom I know! I will not be silent. I am an American atheist, and I am not afraid to deal with you openly. While so many others draw Muhammad in private, I am Muhammad in open public!
PG: Are you worried about being attacked or getting death threats?
Perce: I'm more worried that if I stay silent, the energy and emotion within me will be worse to me than being attacked, or even death threats or death itself! So do your worst, and I will do mine! Only my worst is standing up against Islam!
PG: Has the media expressed interest in this story?
Perce: The media has expressed little or no interest. I hope they do, because this judge needs to be out of office.
This is why we must have anti-sharia legislation in America. Equal protection under the law. There is no equal protection or justice for non-Muslims under the sharia. Nor was there for Ernest Perce in Mark Martin's sharia court.