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Ali Al-Timimi’s Case of Terrorism Essay

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Updated: Jan 12th, 2022

Ali Al-Timimi’s case has overturned the whole American and Islamic society. A former Islamic lecturer who was born in Washington was sentenced to life in prison without parole for 70 years. It was strict punishment for his propaganda of terrorism in American society. But it was fair and it helped to keep the piece in the country.

Ali Al-Timimi being a native citizen of the USA and having Muslim backgrounds has had an enormous impact over a group of young Muslim people in northern Virginia. This group of people has played paintball in order to train their skills to levy a holy war around the whole world. Al-Timimi’s speech has urged this group of people to protect the Taliban from the U.S. invasion. This attack was considered by him as a sort of a presage of a final apocalyptic battle of a holy war between Muslims and non-believers. Four representatives of this group visited Pakistan to train with a militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba. They testified that they wanted to join the Taliban and fight in Afghanistan. Ali Al-Timimi’s speech has inspired these people to fight against the American power. Ali Al-Timimi is considered to be the kingpin of hate against America.

Such actions alerted the American government as far as terrorism is a burning issue in American society. The jury pronounced a strict and fair sentence to Ali Al-Timimi in order to keep the order in the country. Although, the defence demanded to set aside the verdict which is an assault on human religious and free-speech rights and to request a new trial, the verdict was definitive. Ali Al-Timimi became the tenth convicted person prosecuted according to the “Virginia jihad network”.

Many philosophers argue that free-speech rights are vital for a healthy society as far as it is necessary for the search of truth. Communication freedom is an integral part of political liberty and democratic society. More than that, it is essential for personal self-fulfillment and individual dignity.

Forty years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court made a decision that has become one of the most important cases in First Amendment jurisprudence. It was determined in Brandenburg that “the constitutional guarantees of free speech and free press do not permit a State to forbid or proscribe advocacy of the use of force or of law violation except where such advocacy is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action.” Al- Timimi’s actions undermined the piece in the American society and could have ended in irreversible damage with a lot of victims. He instructed his followers to produce such lawless actions against the American government pointing out the Islamic legality in such actions. Al-Timimi and his group were ready to come into action to achieve their aim. As the result, the American government took strong measures. Schenck v. the US, Justin Holmes wrote “The question in every case is whether the words used are used in such circumstances and are of such a nature as to create a clear and present danger that they will bring about the substantive evils that Congress has a right to prevent.” However, Al Timimi’s followers were not directed to attack the Pentagon, they were going to commit their unlawful deeds abroad threatening the peace of the American society and the whole world.

More than that, According to the U.S. Code: “Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States”. Al-Timimi’s speech and actions were a sort of urge to levy war against the American power.

John Stuart Mills makes emphasize the importance of the freedom of speech, he says: “If all mankind minus one were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind”. Everyone has the right to have his/her own point of view despite the fact that it may differ from others or even may be immoral. Al-Timimi as a citizen of the USA has the right to express his satisfaction with the government on the one hand but his actions and instructions created a clear danger to the American society on the other hand. John Stuart Mills points out in his essay on Liberty: “The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others.” It is one of the main reasons why Al-Timimi’s speech should not be protected otherwise it makes harms other people. This Islamic propagandist not only wanted Americans to die, but he also recruited other people to realize his ideas. The American government took strict measures especially after a heinous act of terrorism where nearly 3,000 people were murdered.

Terrorism has become a global problem that takes the lives of peaceful and innocent citizens. Why should other people answer for the actions of the government? Al-Timimi’s case is evidence that sometimes people abuse their free-speech rights. All evil deeds are born on the consciousness level and only then they are realized. As the result, in order to fight terrorism, all these terroristic acts should be prevented even on the consciousness level. Does it mean control over a human mind? In fact, we don’t even pay attention to how much people as Al-Timimi can influence our minds. Our society should be protected from such people who undermine peace in the country. Al-Timimi’s speech was not protected in order to keep peace in the country.

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