Tuesday, April 26, 2005


Freedom of Speech - Nice While it Lasted

We may well be seeing the beginning of the end of true free speech in this country. Although guaranteed in the Bill of Rights, people advocating unpopular positions could always be imprisoned for something.

In one famous case during World War I, a man got 10 years in prison for telling a crowd the US Government wasn't doing enough for the widows and children of servicemen killed in France. (Incitement to disobey the draft laws.) This guy wasn't talking to a bunch of guys standing in front of their local draft board - he was making a political speech opposing the war.

Cut to the present time:
Islamic Scholar Ali Al-Timimi Convicted

Published: April 26, 2005

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) -- A prominent Islamic scholar was convicted Tuesday of 10 counts alleging he encouraged followers in the days after the Sept. 11 attacks to join the Taliban and fight the United States.
The case against al-Timimi was closely linked to the earlier prosecution of 11 men who were allegedly part of a ''Virginia jihad network'' -- a group of men who played paintball games in 2000 and 2001 in the woods of northern Virginia, allegedly as a means of training for holy war around the globe. Nine men were convicted and received prison sentences ranging from three years to life.

The foundation of the charges against al-Timimi was a Sept. 16, 2001, meeting in which he offered an apocalyptic interpretation of the Sept. 11 attacks, which he said heralded the final battle between Muslims and nonbelievers. He said Muslims were obligated to defend Afghanistan's ruling Taliban regime, prosecutors said.
(Source: New York Times)
If urging others to join the Taliban is a criminal offense, what about recruiting for the various survivalist and white power groups? For that matter, how about arresting Tom DeLay and the various Radical KK-Kristian groups for encouraging followers to commit crimes against federal judges?


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