PHILADELPHIA – The leader of a Muslim mosque in Pennsylvania is behind bars after he attempted to saw off a fellow Muslim’s hand with a machete, in accordance with Sharia Law.
According to reports, Merv Mitchell is the emir of the Al-Masjid Ur-Razzaq Ul-Karim mosque. The mosque is located on 63rd Street in Philadelphia.
Following a prayer meeting at the mosque last Monday, Mitchell and the imam of the mosque—whose name has not been released—confronted a fellow Muslim man and accused him of stealing money from the mosque. The 46-year-old man had helped organize the prayer meeting, according to police.
After the initial confrontation, Mitchell and the imam dragged the man around to the back of the mosque. Then, according to police Lt. John Walker, the Muslim leaders decided to invoke Sharia Law on the man.
“They threw the victim to the ground and held his right arm against a log,” Walker said. “One of the offenders grabbed a two-foot machete from inside the mosque, and struck the victim near his wrist.”
A Philly.com report reveals that Mitchell “swung at [the man’s] wrist, cut through his skin, and cut his tendons, but didn’t make it all the way,” because the machete blade was dull. Even so, the man suffered a severe laceration to his wrist from the attack.
The victim was treated at a hospital and later released, according to reports. However, he will reportedly need reconstructive surgery to mend the knife cut’s damage.
Mitchell, who has an extensive criminal record, was charged with criminal conspiracy, simple assault, aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, and related offenses. Police also obtained an arrest warrant for the imam, but he has not yet been located, according to Reuters.
The gruesome attack was in accordance with Muslim Sharia Law, which purportedly states, “As to the thief, male or female, cut off his or her hands; a punishment by way of example from Allah for their crime.”
After reports of the attack were publicized, many online commenters strongly condemned the Sharia Law-inspired punishment.
“Sharia law is based on religion, not laws,” one commenter asserted. “No two systems of law can exist in any country and work.”
“Sorry, we do not do Sharia in this country,” another commenter opined. “Both the mosque’s imam and amir need to go to jail. I still want a Constitutional Amendment to forever outlaw it in this country. If that makes me a bigot so be it.”
So far, lawmakers have been reluctant to decisively outlaw Shariah Law in the United States. As previously reported, Missouri’s governor vetoed a bill last year that would have banned Sharia Law from Missouri courts. Then, later in 2013, a federal judge declared Oklahoma’s ban on Sharia Law unconstitutional.
Photo: Philadelphia Police Department/Reuters