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Holy Crap

As pretty much everyone has heard, a student at Pace University is facing serious criminal charges for doing what Newsweek fabricated a year ago: tossing a Koran in a toilet.

Stanislav Shmulevich, for whatever reasons (and I can think of quite a few), decided to toss a Koran in a toilet on campus. This, naturally, got the campus Muslims (as well as Muslims elsewhere, who seem to always be seeking something to get outraged over) upset. ("Frothing" might be too strong a term, but not just barely.) And then, a couple of days later, he did it again.

What Mr. Shmulevich did was, without a doubt, stupid and a crime. You see, they weren't his Korans, they belonged to the school. So his juvenile stunt qualifies as vandalism and destruction of school property.

But that's not what he's being charged with. Instead, the school notified New York City's hate crimes division, who arrested him for "criminal mischief" and "aggravated harassment."

He's also had his name and photo plastered all over several newspapers, so I don't think it's too far a stretch to think he'll end up like Theo Van Gogh.

I have several thoughts on this matter.

The first is that the essence of his action was blasphemy -- disrespect for Islam's holy book -- and I don't think that, under the Constitution, the government (federal, state, county, or city) has any right to enforce the laws of any religion. They certainly have no problems with people committing blasphemy against Christianity or Judaism, so they sure as hell don't have any business protecting Muslim religious sensibilities.

The second is that the charge of "harassment" was clearly filed by someone who doesn't know much about modern Islam. A fairer charge would have been "incitement to riot," because -- let's face it -- this is far more likely to trigger violent demonstrations than suicidal depressions.

The third is that this is a perfect example of what is so fundamentally wrong with hate crime laws. Had Mr. Shmulevich simply bought his own Koran and disposed of it in the way he did, there would have been no crime. Instead, by starting off with that act of petty vandalism, he left himself vulnerable to far more serious charges for his "thought crime."

The guy did a dumb thing. He should have to replace the two Korans he ruined, and perhaps serve some community service. And since Pace is a private college, it can do pretty much discipline him however it sees fit. But to turn this into some huge incident is a grotesque perversion of our justice system and the very fundaments of our Constitutional system.

We've already seen what CAIR and the other Muslim apologists will do with our legal system. The last thing we need is to give them any more help. Rather, we should inform them that the Constitution applies equally to everyone -- and no religion (or psycho asshats who hide behind religion) gets to use it for their own purposes.


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Comments (26)

Your analysis is dead-on. ... (Below threshold)
jpe:

Your analysis is dead-on. And here's what'll happen: since there's obviously no basis for the hate intensifier, and the underlying charges are weak at best, the charges will be dismissed, the kid will sue the city for massive damages and win.

And that'll strongly disincentivize further police abuses of the First Amendment; the legal system will self-correct. (in other words, the problem isn't with the hate crime statutes, but with police and prosecutorial abuse of those statutes)

And here's what'll happe... (Below threshold)
Sultanofsham:

And here's what'll happen: since there's obviously no basis for the hate intensifier, and the underlying charges are weak at best, the charges will be dismissed, the kid will sue the city for massive damages and win.

With the kind of judges we've been seeing lately dont be to sure about the charges being kicked.

Jay Tea wrote:A... (Below threshold)
BC:

Jay Tea wrote:

As pretty much everyone has heard, a student at Pace University is facing serious criminal charges for doing what Newsweek fabricated a year ago: tossing a Koran in a toilet.

Speaking of fabrications: Newsweek never "fabricated" such a thing. The story was based information supplied by "a senior government official" regarding a preliminary Pentagon investigation into prisoner abuse.

From this Washington Post piece:

Newsweek on Monday retracted the May 9 article in which it reported that a government investigation had confirmed an instance of a Koran being put in the toilet. Newsweek editors now say their source, a senior government official, is no longer sure that the alleged incident is confirmed in the investigation.

An ACLU FOIA lawsuit obtained a secret FBI document in which a Guantánamo Bay prisoner described a Koran being flushed.

Just a little corrective FYI that I'm sure you guys will appreciate and thank me for.

-BC

It looks like I made a HTML... (Below threshold)
BC:

It looks like I made a HTML typo and that FBI doc link didn't take. Let's try that again.

-BC

BCDoes the FOIA link... (Below threshold)

BC
Does the FOIA link work? Or is it my computer?

Thanks... (Below threshold)

Thanks

Well, Stanislav may not be ... (Below threshold)

Well, Stanislav may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer but surely he can offer up some defense. Confusion perhaps?

He should have dipped a jar in a urine filled toilet and dropped a crucifix in it. Screw the top on and voila.... an NEA grant.

With the kind of j... (Below threshold)
jpe:
With the kind of judges we've been seeing lately dont be to sure about the charges being kicked.

I didn't see that the Koran was the school's, but it's hard to see how petty theft can sustain a hate crime sentencing enhancement. So it's not the total slam dunk I envisioned, but I'd still bet money it still plays out the same.

I just ran down the NY stat... (Below threshold)
jpe:

I just ran down the NY statutes, and the charges are totally bogus. There are two charges that could sustain a hate crime enhancement: harassment in the first degree and criminal mischief in the third degree. It ain't harassment, because the conduct has to put the victim in reasonable fear for his life or security. That doesn't apply.

Criminal mischief in the 3rd degree requires the intentional destruction of property worth more than $250. Unless it's a rare copy of the Koran, it probably cost the school 20 bucks.

Ridiculous.

HughS:<b... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

HughS:


He should have dipped a jar in a urine filled toilet and dropped a crucifix in it. Screw the top on and voila.... an NEA grant.

Excellent point.

Unless it caused damage to the plumbing (which given the 'found in a toilet' - I'm guessing not), all he did was ruin a couple of books. The article did not indicate whether the books were his or the school's or to whom they belonged. IMO, if he had tossed a copy of the 'The Canterbury Tales' in the can to irritate 'The Chaucer Society', there's no difference. It really boils down to a 1st Amendment issue, IMO.

Imagine if he'd flushed a c... (Below threshold)
C-C-G Author Profile Page:

Imagine if he'd flushed a copy of the NY Times.

OK, BC, maybe "fabricated" ... (Below threshold)

OK, BC, maybe "fabricated" was a bit much. But how about "incredulously reported?"

Anyone with a LICK of common sense knows you can't flush a Koran (or any book of a similar size) down a toilet. It's slightly more plausible than one of the prisoners claiming they cut off his head and sewed it on to a pig's body, then put it back.

The story was complete and utter bullshit from the get-go, but Newsweek still ran with it. And people died because of their spreading that lie. Sheer irresponsibility and idiocy on Newsweek's part.

J.

From LGF:Another i... (Below threshold)
Brent:

From LGF:

Another interesting question raised by one reader: at many universities, Muslim student groups make copies of the Koran freely available, for da'wa purposes (proselytization). We've been assuming that the Korans in question did not belong to Shmulevich; but what if they were free handouts?

I don't see where the Koran... (Below threshold)

I don't see where the Korans he tossed belonged to the library. That implies that that the books were probably ones he purchased. If I buy a book, be it a Bible, a Koran or some gem from Noam Chomsky and decide to flush it down the toilet, who have I hurt besides a plumber's aching back?

A hate crime (if there is such a thing) is a wannabe Jihadi aiming an SUV into a crowd of college students, or some idiot shooting up people in a Jewish center or some sheet-covered redneck bombing a Black Church.

There is a difference between a so-called hate crime and thought crime. Desecrating a book one owns might be stupid, but it is not criminal. One can imply that he hates Muslims, but is hating anyone a crime as long as you don't cause some physical harm?

VW


VW

"The guy did a dumb thin... (Below threshold)
drjohn:

"The guy did a dumb thing. He should have to replace the two Korans he ruined, and perhaps serve some community service."

WRONG WRONG WRONG

He has the right to burn a flag, he can toss Bibles in the toilet, he is protected by the First Amendment, which CANNOT protect this religion over others.

He can throw as many Qur'ans in the toilet as he desires, provided they don't bleong to someone else. The ONLY thing that he could be held account for is messing up the toilets.

The day he can't do what he wants with a book is the day this country dies.

OK- I agree that he should ... (Below threshold)
drjohn:

OK- I agree that he should replace them if they're not his (I apologize for missing that), but darn it that's all.

Thing is, he'd be facing th... (Below threshold)
drjohn:

Thing is, he'd be facing this same garbage even if those were his own purchased Qur'ans.

Thing is, he'd be fac... (Below threshold)

Thing is, he'd be facing this same garbage even if those were his own purchased Qur'ans.

And therein lies the problem. And the hypocrisy and cowardice of the school.

BC said... ... (Below threshold)
Son Of The Godfather:

BC said...

Newsweek editors now say their source, a senior government official, is no longer sure that the alleged incident is confirmed in the investigation.

Yes, another unnamed source. Convenient indeed, when manufacturing stories.

"Treatment of the Quran ... (Below threshold)
LAB:

"Treatment of the Quran is a sensitive issue for Muslims, who view the book as a sacred object and mistreating it as an offense against God. The religion teaches that the Quran is the direct word of God.

Agreed, if this is someone else's property and he clogs the toilet, the guy should replace the books and be on probation or something.

But jeez, what a concept! Screw the Bible, but if you offend the Muslims, its a definite "hate crime" and a "sensitive issue" for those driven by political correctness.

Christianity & Traditional ... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

Christianity & Traditional Western Culture - Bad.

Non-Christian Religion and Non-Western Cultures - Good.

Come on people. Its not that hard.

Christianity & Tra... (Below threshold)
Christianity & Traditional Western Culture - Bad.

Non-Christian Religion and Non-Western Cultures - Good.

Give the man a cookie, for summing up the modern trend so succinctly.

Of course, the good news is that we actually have an example of what happens if this chain of thought continues to its logical conclusion - or at least the next step down the line. Said example is none other than Europe itself, and Britain and France specifically.

I guess it is good to know where we are headed.

These types of things happe... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

These types of things happen because we do nothing about it. We should be equally outraged and offended about this. ww

Elsewhere, a couple in NC w... (Below threshold)
jpe:

Elsewhere, a couple in NC was arrested for "desecrating a flag." Abusive cops & prosecutors that seem not to have heard of the First Amendment know no ideology, apparently.

The religion teaches tha... (Below threshold)

The religion teaches that the Quran is the direct word of God.

Quite a lot of Christians think the exact same thing about the bible. But we don't count.

Jay Tea, you said it over a year ago, and I'm about to the point that I'm going to have a tee shirt made:

"We have the right to not obey Islamic law."

Gee...when has cloggin a to... (Below threshold)
moseby:

Gee...when has cloggin a toilet with SHIT become a hate crime?




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