Zombie Muhammad? Atheist attacked by Muslim during Halloween parade
Tuesday, an Atheist wearing a “Zombie Muhammad” costume while marching in a local Pennsylvania Halloween parade was attacked by a Muslim.
According to reports, the Parading Atheists of Central Pennsylvania (PACP) were marching in a Halloween parade in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania,when a Muslim stormed out of the hometown crowd to assault one of the marching atheists who happened to be wearing a Zombie Muhammad costume.
The atheist in the Zombie Muhammad costume was proclaiming that he was the Prophet Muhammad, risen from the dead. Apparently the words and costume offended a Muslim man, who came out of the audience and began to follow and harass the atheist dressed as Zombie Muhammad before actually choking the atheist.
Subsequently, a police report was filed, and charges in the matter are pending.
The victim posted a video of the incident to YouTube. In the video description the victim writes:
Oct 11 2011 in the Machanicsburg City Parade I was attacked by a violent muslim IN AMERICA! This is proof that muslims want Shria Law in America. He attacks me to pull my beard off so he could identify me and chokes me.
I understand many will say I deserved it, but no one has the right to abridge my freedom of speech and violence is never the answer to freedom of speech. Islam is a religion of Peace? not the case here.
Some atheists and others are questioning the wisdom of marching in a parade and purposefully offending a religious group. Some question the public relations value of such activity.
It does seem fair to say that the intention of the atheists was to poke fun at and offend Muslims. To be fair, there was also a “Zombie Pope” marching in the Halloween parade while claiming to be on the look out for little boys. No doubt, many Catholics found a pedophile Zombie Pope offensive as well.
Yet regardless of whether or not one is offensive in speech, there is no justification for violent assault in order to silence that speech. The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is there not only to guarantee freedom of speech for those we agree with, but more importantly, it is there to guarantee the freedom of speech for those who we find particularly obnoxious and offensive.