The Struggle to Define Jihad: A Religious Belief or Secular Philosophy?

24 Pages Posted: 26 Mar 2006

See all articles by Neal D. Schuett

Neal D. Schuett

Miami University of Ohio; University of Iowa, College of Law

Date Written: March 1, 2006

Abstract

This paper briefly examines the evolution of the jihad doctrine within Sunni jurisprudence. More specifically, the paper analyzes the most recent manifestation of the jihad doctrine by Islamist organizations and jurists, and the considers the question of whether or not this interpretation of jihad warrants protection under the Free Exercise clause of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. Through the tests as enumerated in Stevens and Yoder this paper argues that the jihadi Islamist doctrine of self-annihilation is a secular geo-political militant ideology shrouded in religious, specifically Islamic, doctrine that does not rise to the level of First Amendment protection under the Free Exercise clause.

Keywords: jihad, constitutional law, first amendment, religious freedom, free exercise, free exercise clause, islam, secular philosophy, Yoder, Stevens, Islamist, Islamism

JEL Classification: K10, K19, K30, K33, K39

Suggested Citation

Schuett, Neal, The Struggle to Define Jihad: A Religious Belief or Secular Philosophy? (March 1, 2006). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=893320 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.893320

Neal Schuett (Contact Author)

Miami University of Ohio ( email )

Oxford, OH 45056
United States

University of Iowa, College of Law ( email )

Melrose and Byington
Iowa City, IA 52242
United States

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