Incitement in the Mosques: Testing the Limits of Free Speech and Religious Liberty
56 Pages Posted: 2 Jul 2008 Last revised: 6 Jul 2008
Date Written: Fall 2005
In times of terror and tension, civil liberties are at their greatest peril. Nowadays, no individual rights are more in jeopardy than the freedoms of speech and religion. This is true particularly for followers of Islam, whose leaders have become increasingly radical in both their preaching and practice. "Kill the Jews!" and "Kill the Americans!" are chants heard regularly in many Middle Eastern mosques, as frightful echoes of the fatwa are issued by today's quintessential terrorist, Osama bin Laden. The incitement continues unabated to this day. In April of 2004, for example, a Muslim preacher at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem referred to Jews as "sons of monkeys and pigs," and as "murderers of prophets." Loudspeakers boomed across the Old City with his message, in which he condemned Jews to total extinction.
Keywords: free speech, religious liberty, terrorism, civil liberties, Islam, Muslims
JEL Classification: N40
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation