"Tennessee, like the federal government, has a compelling state interest to protect our citizens from jihad terrorism," added Representative Matheny. "The incidence of homegrown terrorism is rising and our local and state law enforcement officers are on the frontlines in preventing such attacks. Tennessee's current law addresses terrorism after the fact. This legislation aims to prevent acts of terrorism before they occur."
Open source reporting shows that between 2001 - 2008, there were one or two terror attempts per year. That number jumped in 2009 - January 2011 to one or two cases uncovered nationally per month. The lawmakers said the bill protects the right of political speech and the right of citizens to practice freedom of religion.
"This bill does not interfere with the constitutionally protected rights of those who practice Sharia religious law," added Senator Ketron. "This is not about religious rights or about those who practice Islamic beliefs. It's about protecting our citizens from acts of terrorism that come from Sharia jihad which is a growing threat in all our states."