First Amendment for Jihad?

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The question is not whether Mehanna has the right to preach and publish what he believes – under the First Amendment he does – but whether Jihad is part of a legitimate accepted dialogue. Where were the people in his family and community who might have dissuaded him? Why have Muslim-American leaders and organizations remained silent?   Instead of apologizing for him and organizing support groups (“Free Tareq”) there should be a thorough and serious self-criticism.

If not, there will be many more Americans like Mehanna, Major Nidal Hassan who murdered 13 and wounded 29 people in Texas, and Najibullah Zazi and Adis Mendunjenin, from Queens, NYC, who were convicted in May, 2012 of plotting to bomb the subway and other terrorist acts.

Americans have spent a great deal of money and sacrificed many thousands of lives to assist Muslims in Iraq, Afghanistan and other Muslim countries to live in freedom, to establish democratic governments and improve their lives. The payback should not be Jihad, and certainly not from loyal American citizens.

The problem is not only terrorist organizations, like al Qaida, but so-called religious leaders who sanction and fuel hatred and terrorism. Combating them is not only a matter of law, but of education.

In order to defeat Jihadism among Muslim-Americans, the message must be clear. Jihadism is un-American. Like KKK racism and neo-Nazism, it violates American norms and values and is therefore unacceptable.

Minds are dark places, full of holes. They are not dangerous, until they are, but by then it’s often too late.

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  • PhillipGaley

    I'm going to have to go with the civil libertarians and Justice Jackson in the war crimes trials on this one—as, “free speech,” protected by the First Amendment; and in doing so, I see several advantages for the larger Society—Justice Jackson had said that, those who had been at bar had been tried, not for their repulsive philosophy, but for what they actually did.

    While, as "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.", still and all, and turning to the other direction, to that other party in conflict, because it is only in terms of language that, we are able to think, allowing Mehanna's freedom of expression, might provide attentive listeners with a pretty fair indication of what he thinks and of his possible courses of direct—or even, indirect—action.

    But not only this, to us as easily, his freedom is collateral to ours, . . . in freeing our own minds from caution for what we might say, . . .

    And so again, the greater the degree of freedoms, the more inclusive the Society, the safer and in all ways, the greater that Society, . . .

  • anonymous


    Did you open a can of vegetable soup and find it contained a surplus of commas, prompting you to inflict the excess on the rest of us? Did the other punctuation marks gang up on you and terrorize you when you were a small child, making you too frIghtened to ever face them again?

    Randomly slinging commas throughout your post doesn’t make your gibberish any more understandable or make you appear any smarter!

    William F. Buckley Jr. must be spinning in his grave! I hope he gets up and haunts you for that post of yours!

  • Schlomotion

    This article reduces to the question: "The question is not whether Mehanna has the right to preach and publish what he believes – under the First Amendment he does – but whether Jihad is part of a legitimate accepted dialogue."

    That question reduces to: is there a legitimate accepted dialogue?

    If so, who legitimates it and who gives it the stamp of acceptance?

  • ahmadnb

    Violent Jihad/warfare can only be declared by a head of state…this is the earliest precedence that was set by Muhammad himself. Acts of terrorism are not acts of Jihad, but crimes against humanity. This joker mentioned in the story is a criminal, pure and simple and should be put down once and for all.

    • Roger

      Oh come now, you know better than that.
      Al Qaida has no head of state and they declared violent jihad.

      Every crackpot group that wants press declares jihad and blows up a hotel or market place.

      • ahmadnb

        And for your information, al Qaida's “jihad” is illegitimate. I say this as a Muslim. And it is the duty of Muslims around the world to not only shun Al Qaida but to hunt down its members like animals and kill them until every one of them is dead. Now you can declare a “Crusade” against Islam and get nowhere. Or you can join up with the Armed Forces of your country if it is engaged in operations against Al Qaida. Unless, of course, they deemed you as “unfit to serve due to mental incompetence” which is what I strongly suspect in your case.

        • Roger

          No, it's good information.
          You want to pretend that you decide what the militants can and can't do?

          The only way is if you get their attention at the end of a gun.
          Until then, any crackpot muslim can and does declare jihad and then starts shooting folks. Nigeria is facing a lot of church bombs with that scenario.

          You may think you know islam, but you don't if you are serious about the things you say here.

  • Ghostwriter

    Until Muslims understand that Americans don't want Islam forced on us simply because they want to,the struggle against Jihadists and Jihadism is going to be a long one.

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