At Harvard, Controversy Over "American Jihad" Speech

June 7, 2002

Source: Beliefnet

On June 7, 2002, Beliefnet featured the full text of Zayed Yasin's commencement speech, "Of Faith and Citizenship: My American Jihad." Yasin's speech explained, "Jihad, in its truest and purest form, the form to which all Muslims aspire, is the determination to do right, to do justice even against your own interests. It is an individual struggle for personal moral behavior. Especially today, it is a struggle that exists on many levels: self-purification and awareness, public service and social justice." He continued, "As a Muslim, and as an American, I am commanded to stand up for the protection of life and liberty, to serve the poor and the weak, to celebrate the diversity of humankind. There is no contradiction. Not for me, and not for anyone, of any combination of faith, culture and nationality, who believes in a community of the human spirit."