Monday, January 23rd, 2012
In The Weekly Standard, Program director Gary Schmitt questions whether the prosecution of Tarek Mehanna, a pharmacy college graduate, on various terrorism-related charges squares with our commitment to free speech:
On the face of it, the government’s case against the Massachusetts Muslim for lying to government investigators and conspiring to kill American soldiers abroad was sufficiently strong to ensure a conviction. The more problematic element of the case, however—and what makes it of interest from the point of view of constitutional law—was whether his advocacy activities constituted punishable “material support” to a terrorist organization (weapons, money, training, or expert assistance, for example) or whether they were speech protected by the First Amendment.
How can America respond to the threat of domestic Islamist terrorism while protecting civil liberties? This Wednesday, January 25, at 1:30 p.m., Peter Skerry, author of “The Muslim-American Muddle,” will be joined by leading experts on Islam in America–including Hillel Fradkin, Souheil Ghannouchi, Andrew C. McCarthy, and Justin Vaïsse–to discuss this question and the broader role of Muslims in American society. The event, which will take place here at AEI, is free and open to the public; register here.