Howard Friedman, Free Exercise Defense Raised For Teen Charged With Attempting To Support ISIS, Religion Clause

The Chicago Sun-Times reported yesterday that the attorney for Chicago teenager Mohammed Hamzah Khan has filed a motion to dismiss the indictment against Khan on First Amendment grounds.  The 19-year-old Khan was arrested at O’Hare Airport in October as he and his younger brother and sister were trying to travel to the Middle East to join ISIS.  He was charged with knowingly attempting to provide material support and resources to a foreign terrorist organization.  According to a long and interesting article last month inRolling Stone on the three siblings, Khan wrote in a letter to his parents:

An Islamic State has been established, and it is thus obligatory upon every able-bodied male and female to migrate.

In his motion to the court filed last week, Khan’s attorney, Thomas Anthony Durkin, argued:

While it is easy to disagree with Mr. Khan’s unpopular religious beliefs and label them misguided simplistic, or even fundamentalist, it cannot be said that [they] were not sincerely held — and that is all that must be shown.

Full article here: