Judge Supports Hate Crime Charges Against Amish Sect Leader
It was a toss up whether to file this under law, or religion. It does establish case precedent that’s important in the modern world. Many fundamentalist religions are going through reformations, it’s not just Islam that has reactionary extremist sects. When schisms, sects, and fundamentalists split and fight internecine wars and agitate against each other it can quickly grow out of hand into full fledged hate and evil.
Years back we used to sarcastically joke about Amish acts of terror when comparing to Muslim extremists, but here you see the dawning of a reactionary religious hate sect that happens to be Amish. They are using violent acts of terror to control their opposition, and while it’s mild compared to Al Qaeda, it’s how these things start.
Extremists like Al Qaeda use “Takfirism” to justify attacks on fellow Muslims, giving themselves the magic ability to detect who is and isn’t a “true Muslim.” Almost all religions have extremist sects who brand other members of the religion as “not true members” - allow that to flourish and you have a potent force for evil within a religion.
This is why it’s good that secular laws keep religious extremists in check - where reactionary fundamentalists are allowed free reign, they quickly subvert all freedoms to their extreme views.
A federal judge has rejected a challenge of the federal hate crimes law by Amish sect leader Sam Mullet and 15 followers charged with beard- and hair-cutting assaults in Ohio Amish country last year.
U.S. District Judge Dan Polster of Cleveland ruled this week that the indictment against Mr. Mullet, brought by the Justice Department under the 2009 Hate Crimes Prevention Act, does not violate the U.S. Constitution.
Mr. Mullet’s attorney, along with lawyers for the other defendants and the Center for Individual Rights, a nonprofit Washington public interest law firm, said the beard-cutting attacks were not hate crimes because they did not involve an anti-Amish bias but rather a dispute within a religion.
But Judge Polster said the Hate Crimes Prevention Act doesn’t limit acts of violence to conflicts between different religions.
“While hate crimes are often committed by members of one religious [or racial or ethnic] group against another, history is replete with examples of internecine violence,” he wrote. “By the defendants’ logic, a violent assault by a Catholic on a Protestant, or a Sunni Muslim on a Shiite Muslim, or an Orthodox Jew on a non-Orthodox Jew, would not be prohibited by this statute.”