The Struggle to Define Jihad: A Religious Belief or Secular Philosophy?
24 Pages Posted: 26 Mar 2006
Date Written: March 1, 2006
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: Suggested Citation