On Wednesday, the owner of a small chain of convenience stores was arrested in Peoria, Illinois after he chopped off the hand of a 16 year-old shoplifter who had attempted to steal a bag of potato chips and a 16 oz. soda. But due to the Supreme Court’s recent Hobby Lobby decision, that man was released from custody on Thursday, even after pleading guilty to the attack.
On July 2nd, Seif Majeed, 41, of Peoria caught a young, unidentified shoplifter, chained him to a pipe in a back room, and then severed his right hand with a meat cleaver. The boy was then set free, and passed out due to blood loss less than one block away. Passersby took the boy to a local hospital, who notified police of the assault. Majeed was arrested at approximately 4:35 pm CST. Authorities say the shoplifter is in stable condition.
But on Thursday, a judge in Peoria ordered that Majeed be set free, and that all charges against him be dropped. Why? Because Majeed, a Muslim immigrant from Saudi Arabia, is the majority shareholder of the tiny Express Shop corporation, which has six stores in Illinois and one in Iowa. And according to Majeed, his corporation is Muslim, as per the recent Supreme Court decision involving Hobby Lobby, which grants corporations 1st amendment religious freedoms.
“Sharia Law instructs Muslim businesses to take the right hand of a shoplifter,” explains Judge Anthony J. McCormick. “Under normal circumstances, we would consider this a criminal act, but in the case of `Express Shop,’ a Muslim corporation, it would be a violation of their personhood rights to charge Mr. Majeed with a crime.”
“I don’t agree with the Supreme Court’s decision, and I don’t condone Mr. Majeed’s actions, but the law is the law,” McCormick added. “Let this be a warning to shoplifters everywhere, that when you’re in an establishment with religious views, you’re beholden to their method of conducting business.”
The boy’s attorney, Allison Aldridge, feels her client lost more than a hand. “This really is a loss for the morality of America itself,” Aldridge told a local newspaper. “What’s to stop Express Shop stores from stoning female customers for wearing revealing clothing? Or to sew up the vaginas of female employees? And does this mean [Majeed] can throw Molotov cocktails through the windows of Jewish businesses, without legal repercussions? I don’t think the Supreme Court thought this law through.”