Al-Timimi’s advocacy of violence should be unlawful. In this case, the system was right. The idea of taking on the United States and its citizens is an idea that various groups for instance Muslims and Islamic are ready to use the words of al-Timimi’s to advocate their reason against the United States. The criminal history of Al-Timimi’s tied him to being the divine spearhead of the Virginia Paintball Jihad network, a group of men charged of crimes linked to terrorism (Schmalleger, 2008). Al-Timimi was prosecuted in 2004 because of his activities and was sentenced in 2005 of soliciting and involving others to levy war against the U.S and trying to contribute to services to the Taliban. A testimony provided by members of the Virginia Paintball jihad cell indicated that Al-Timimi’s had convinced some of them to travel to Pakistan to train for jihad from a United States selected Foreign Terrorist Organization.
Al-Timimi’s words would encourage an unstable group of people to take part in war against the U.S.As we all know the globe is currently unstable because of the 9/11 and its effects that at any minute and speaking words like the one’s Al-Timimi spoke could continue to have a negative effect on the United States.
According to the first amendment, Al-Timimi’s speech remains unprotected. His speech was considered fierce and it fortified coercive practices. This is clear when putting into consideration the fact that he gave other people the information that they needed so as to arrive at the Lashkar-e Tabia camp without being discovered or noticed. Al-Timimi’s speech should not be secured considering the first amendment and defending the circumstances that Al-Timimi’s speech should not be safeguarded, and the cases of Schneck v United States should be put into consideration (Schmalleger, 2008). The right of freedom of speech implies that speakers may not be punished for what they say. However, they may be punished for the time, place, and the way in which they say it. Another way that we can think about this case is that every American citizen has a right to free speech but, they cannot purport to speak anything to a crowd or bomb on a plane because of the risks that such statement cause to neighboring people. Al-Timimi’s speech should not be protected because of the risks that it put Americans to and their state in. This is true when we put into consideration the time and place (after September 11th) that Al-Timimi shared some information and sentiments.
Considering Ann Coulter’s words in her writings, I felt they would have a lesser impact as compared with al-Timimi’s utterances. This was based on the fact that there were several groups in his back yardand after seeing these words they would spark violent conditions in the United States with very little support from outside (Wu, 2015).
Justice Holmes compared that situation to living in a country that is at war he said “when a nation is at war,” “many things that might be said in time of peace are such an interruption to its attempt that their statements will not be endured so long as men fight and that no court could consider them protected by any constitutional right” (Schmalleger, 2008). He thought that during war, the government has the powers to deter obstructions to recruitment. Furthermore, it has the capability of punishing individuals who use words that are proved to result in destructions. As a result, Al-Timimi’s speech could not be protected because his remarks were considered a risk to the U.S during war times. American people have a right to speech, but it is clear that there are some exceptions, Al-Timimi’s case is a clear example, but it is not the only speech where some speech was not protected. In 1948, in the case of Dennis vs. the United States, some Communist Party of America leaders were taken into protection and charged with disrespecting some elements of the Smith Act (Wu, 2015). The act made it unlawful by attempting to unite to teach and advocate the takeover or destroy the government of the United States. Leaders of the party were found remorseful and their conviction was supported by lower courts.
We are convinced that there is a lot to fear from free suppression of free speech than from freedom of expression. Al-Timami’s utterances were beyond the idea of free speech, and also far from a freedom of expression (Wu, 2015). When words are uttered in a manner that establish and encourage harm and violence as his words did, then it is true to say that we Americans should be concerned and not tolerate such kind of behaviors.
The United States is given more rights as compared with other nations. In most cases, some Americans abuse and use them inappropriately. In the case of al-Timimi, I have a feeling that the system was right to convict al-Timimi.
Schmalleger, F. (2008). Criminal justice. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Pearson/Prentice Hall.
Wu, J. (2015). Book Review: West Virginias criminal justice system. Criminal Justice Review.