The charges were reduced from hate crime status. Still, one wonders what would have happened if he had thrown a Bible into the toilet. Probably he would have gotten some kind of award from the Pace Art Department.
NEW YORK (AP) — A former Pace University student who twice threw copies of the Koran into a toilet at the school after disputes with Muslims pleaded guilty Monday to disorderly conduct in connection with the incidents.
Stanislav Shmulevich, 24, pleaded guilty as part of a deal in which he must do 300 hours of community service. He has completed about 80 hours of the service at a hospital, his lawyer said.
Shmulevich, of Brooklyn, admitted he tossed the Muslim holy books into toilets at Pace on Oct. 13, 2006, and Nov. 21, 2006. A criminal complaint says the Koran that was recovered in the October incident “was covered in feces.”
In both cases, a teacher found the books in a men’s room on the second floor of the school’s main building in lower Manhattan.
Muslims consider the Koran a sacred writing that contains the direct word of God, and desecrating it is seen as an offense against God.
Is that a point of American law? Did that figure in this criminal complaint? Should this case really have been treated any differently from how it might have been if he had thrown, say, The Conscience of a Conservative into a toilet?
Detective Faisal Khan, who prepared the complaint, said Shmulevich told him “he committed the acts out of anger toward a group of Muslim students with whom he had a recent disagreement.”
Shmulevich, a business major and immigrant from the former Soviet Union, initially was charged with two counts of criminal mischief as a hate crime. The charge is a felony punishable by up to four years in prison.
His lawyer, Glenn Morak, said he believed the disorderly conduct plea was an appropriate disposition.
“There was no hate crime here,” Morak said. “He accepts responsibility, and he is repentant.”
Good. After all, “if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practise regular charity, then open the way for them: for Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful” (Qur’an 9:5).