Does the First Amendment Protect the Religious Duty of Jihad?

Below is the latest newsletter from the Tennessee Council for Political Justice.

Newsletter #196 — Does the First Amendment protect the religious duty of jihad?

The First Amendment protects our freedom of religion and speech. Does our Constitution also protect preaching the duty of jihad to Muslims?

The certified English translation of codified Islamic sharia law is “Reliance of the Traveller, the Classic Manual of Sacred Islamic Law.” [pdf] The compilation was authenticated by both the Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA) and Al Azhar University in Cairo, the preeminent teaching center of sharia law.

Islamic sharia law says that both the greater and lesser jihad are mandatory for believers. Islamists call violent jihad the “lesser jihad” and the spiritual struggle the “greater jihad.” But according to the Reliance of the Traveller, Section o9.0 the discussion of “jihad” begins this way:

Jihad means to war against non-Muslims and is etymologically derived from the word mujahada, signifying warfare to establish the religion…”

“Details concerning jihad are found in the accounts of the military expeditions of the Prophet…, including his own martial forays and those on which he dispatched others. o9.0

Sharia law imposes a communal obligation regarding this “lesser jihad” recounting that “[i]n the time of the Prophet jihad was a communal obligation after his emigration (hijra) to Medina.” (o9.1). Is the law’s emphasis on the violent jihad because it was Mohammed’s violent Medinan jihad (the offensive jihad), that helped spread Islam? Is it because every Muslim has a religious duty to convert “non-believers” either by persuasion or force?

If Mohammed is the perfect Muslim that all Muslims are to emulate, and an imam in a mosque preaches jihad and a worshipper then commits jihad, is the imam’s speech protected religious speech or speech that incites violence which may not be protected by our constitution? For example:

Former Islamic Center of Tennessee Imam Abdullah al Ansari directed his listeners (at 5:12), that “He [Allah] told us to fight the Jews and Christians. Fight them until they give jizya. They give this protective tax from their hands and they are humiliated and subdued. If Islam, true Islam and true Muslims do not rule there will never be justice.” (almost word for word Koran 9:29; Reliance o9.8 — Objectives of Jihad p.602

The Boston Imam Abdullah Faarooq exhorted the listening worshippers that “[y]ou must grab on to this rope, grab on to the typewriter, grab on to the shovel, grab on to the gun and the sword, don’t be afraid to step out into this world and do your job.”

In 2009, the FBI estimated that “Imams preach jihad and extremism in 10 percent of the 2,000 mosques in the United States.” A 2011 random survey of 100 mosques by the Terrorism Research Initiative, found that 80% of the mosques preached jihad either through sermons and/or materials.

The California based Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America (AMJA) issues fatwas (authoritative religious rulings that guide Muslims living in the West) on issues such as condoning death for apostates, marital rape and female genital mutilation. AMJA also hosts an annual Imams’ training conference.

Regarding the instigation of offensive jihad in America, an AMJA fatwa translated from Arabic states that “the Islamic community does not possess the strength to engage in offensive jihad at this time. With our current capabilities, we are aspiring towards defensive jihad, and to improve our position with regards to jurisprudence at this stage. But there is a different discussion for each situation. Allah Almighty knows best.”

Memphis Imam Yasir Qadhi is a frequent speaker at the AMJA imams training conference. Shaykh Waleed Basyouni, the vice-president of Qadhi’s AlMaghrib Institute, is also on the AMJA fatwa committee.

Sayyid Qutb, a “leading theorist of violent jihad” and the Muslim Brotherhood “intellectual godfather,” promoted offensive/violent jihad to establish Islam’s supremacy over infidels and all other religions. The mosques attended by the Chattanooga jihadist and the one attended by the Boston marathon jihad bombers are both owned by a Muslim Brotherhood organization.

“Camouflaged incitement?”

In Incitement in the Mosques: Testing the Limits of Free Speech and Religious Liberty, the University of Baltimore Law professor Kenneth Lasson explains that according to the U.S. Supreme Court’s Brandenberg case on free speech, “…the government could limit speech that is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action that is likely to incite or produce such action.”

He notes that the First Amendment does not protect what he calls “camouflaged incitement” — “…language that can be considered coded speech, guns for hire, inducement by simulation or supplying how-to plans are all suspect.” He suggests that clerics deliver sermons with the intent to “encourage action… Religion moves followers to act on their beliefs.”

Bill Warner’s “Statistical Islam” [pdf] shows that 98% of the Hadith and roughly three-quarters of the Sira’s references are to jihad of the sword (the “lesser jihad”).

So, against the backdrop of violent jihad like 9-11, the Boston marathon bombings, the Chattanooga murders, the Fort Hood killing spree, the murder of Pvt. Andrew Long by Abdulhakim Mohammed, is it incitement to violence when imams read from the Quran, the Sira and Hadith, and claim that Mohammed is the example for all Muslims to follow? Or press believers to follow Islamic sharia law? So, how close in time does the violent jihad have to be to be considered “imminent”? And last but not least, should these imams be protected by the First Amendment if they preach the religious duty of the “lesser” jihad?

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The law professor Kenneth Lasson gives a pragmatic answer: “[t]errorism creates a kind of permanent imminence. When messages advocating murderous violence are heard by large numbers of people, the government should have the authority to stop the speakers. There is no democratic value in protecting clerics who exhort their listeners to kill Jews and Americans wherever you can find them.”

18 thoughts on “Does the First Amendment Protect the Religious Duty of Jihad?

  1. The article’s question is merely a symptom of the deeper question of whether sharia, with its fundamental concept of ijma, should be allowed to exist under the US Constitution and democratic legislation.

    • It is being readied for English subtitles right now. After that, we’ll see what happens.

    • This is an excellent and very important link, thank you for posting it here. It deserves to be published more than just a comment link!
      I specially feel that Klára’s speech speaks to me. I grew up in communist Hungary and she is so right, that one thing the communist/socialist dictatorship gave us is the ability of recognizing totalitarian ideologies.
      Please Baron if possible please publish her speech in your site!

  2. The wording of the first amendment is:

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

    What happens when the provisions of a religion, say Thuggee, run counter to non-sectarian laws designed to protect society? Thuggee advocates the killing of non-Thuggees.

    My reading of the first amendment is that Thuggee as a religion, cannot be banned. However, a policy to tolerate the provisions of Thuggee running counter to valid law, like the law against killing, would also go against the First Amendment, which prohibits laws affecting the “establishment” or a religion.

    My interpretation of the wording of the First Amendment is that the government does not have to make special accommodation to a religion…indeed, it is specifically prohibited from doing so. However, it is not valid to establish laws obviously designed to inhibit one religion. One example I can think of is that laws making halal slaughter illegal might have a difficult time passing the test is they did not also make strict kosher slaughter also illegal, and if they were not rooted in concern for animal well-being, rather than the desire to do away with Islamic practices.

  3. This religion (so-called) seems to be the scariest one on the planet. We cannot allow them to win, not here in America. It’s been going on too long now. I still remember when I was still working and commuting an hour each way, hearing about some man in Minnesota beheading his own daughter for some “sin” such as going out on a date with a non-muslim. That was 20 years or so ago. I was horrified. I still am. They are here in dear old Kansas, too — in the east (Kansas City) and in the west (Garden City). Oy. However, we still outnumber them and a lot of Kansans are armed.

    I am looking forward to Klara’s speech. And wondering what else we, as Americans, can do about this situation. I think Europe is a lost cause at this point, unfortunately. Other than Hungaray and Poland (and perhaps a few other eastern European countries) western Europe has fallen. Merkel’s fault.

  4. The question if it really protects the Islam itself.

    And here the problem is, is Islam a religion? or is it a sect? Religious freedom is about people having their own supernatural beliefs and not suffering because of having a different God.

    But when it comes to moral dogma and the mandate to terrorize infidels… shouldn’t be Islam be considered as a sect? A huge sect, but a sect whatsoever.

    And a sect shouldn’t be protected by any Constitution.

      • I agree it is a cult; vicious, devious and murderous–like its adherents.

        • Islam is a juridical imperialist utopian nightmare…tyrannical and murderous. To me, calling it a “cult” doesn’t do it justice, though I understand what you mean.

          Islam reminds me so much of Marxism. It even has its own nomenklatura. And like Communism, it is riven with factions and internecine hatreds. Nietzsche would have admired it…

    • “Is Islam a religion?” That is the question, as Hamlet would have said. The problem with all Western laws regarding ‘freedom of religion’ is that they are derived from a Christian understanding of what a religion is–and that is of St Paul in pagan Rome telling Christians to obey the emperor (although not to offer incense to his genius) or the prophets telling the Hebrews being taken into exile exhorting them to abide by the laws of their host conquerors. To the extent that a religion demands the submission of its non-adherents to its dictates, or advocates violence or other activities contrary to the laws of a free society, it is not to be viewed as a religion. Freedom in all free societies is always limited to freedom to do those things that don’t impinge on the rights and freedoms of others. (And there’s a tautology there–since ‘rights’ are ‘freedoms’ and not ‘entitlements’, as the lefties (or the Muslims who demand to marry 9-year-olds) would have them.)

    • “Is Islam a religion?”
      Islam is a thousand headed Hydra that one cannot simply cope with.

      When you point your finger to it’s intolerance toward infidels, a new head rises from the water preaching that the infidel-verses are not valid for all times, while other heads are recruiting suicide bombers meanwhile.

      If you point out it’s lack of acceptable ethic system, immediately a new head will come storytelling and lullabying while other heads are raping women and children around the globe.

      It will keep us busy dealing with it’s heads if we play the game. Thrust your sword into it’s sordid heart and we are done with it.

  5. “Islamic sharia law says that both the greater and lesser jihad are mandatory for believers. Islamists call violent jihad the “lesser jihad” and the spiritual struggle the “greater jihad.”

    Actually, there is next to nothing about the “greater jihad” in the Quran. The whole thing is based on a “weak” hadith, one that Islamic clerics consider a forgery.

    Jihad means to war against non-Muslims to establish the religion, and that’s it.

    • “Actually, there is next to nothing about the “greater jihad” in the Quran. The whole thing is based on a “weak” hadith, one that Islamic clerics consider a forgery. ” – sheik yer’mami

      Whether the hadith is weak or abrogated, it remains in the immutable doctrine of Islam because it serves as a useful tool (taqiyya, tawriya, kitman and muruna.

      Dr. Bill Warner of Center for the Study of Political Islam explains:

      “Our first clue about the dualism is in the Koran, which is actually two books, the Koran of Mecca (early) and the Koran of Medina (later). The insight into the logic of the Koran comes from the large numbers of contradictions in it. On the surface, Islam resolves these contradictions by resorting to “abrogation”. This means that the verse written later supersedes the earlier verse. But in fact, since the Koran is considered by Muslims to be the perfect word of Allah, both verses are sacred and true. The later verse is “better,” but the earlier verse cannot be wrong since Allah is perfect. This is the foundation of dualism. Both verses are “right.” Both sides of the contradiction are true in dualistic logic. The circumstances govern which verse is used.” link

  6. Would a religion that advocates and practices human sacrifice be protected under the First Amendment. I think not.

  7. Well, if I had the power, I would ban Islam in the USA. Who needs this crap? (Baron, I managed not to say the word I really wanted to say).

    This is such an anti-American religion and we all somehow know it. If they would just do their own thing and kind of keep quiet about it, it wouldn’t be so bad, but NO! — they have to keep trying for converts to their backward religion. It is so outdated and so barbaric, I can’t believe they managed to import it here, but they did.

    And they are rampaging through the mid-East and causing unbelievable trouble there. I will bet anything that a muslim planted that bomb on the aircraft that went down last week. Our current government is afraid to offend the muslims at this point, but that is not going to work in the long term. As I said Viktor Orban and the Polish leader are the only ones who still have brains in their heads. I hope Mr. Orban has good security, as well as the Polish guy.

  8. I believe that it would take a constitutional amendment giving the government the power to ban the advocating or practicing of totalitarian philosophies, ideologies, or religions in order to stop the evil “religion” of Islam.

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