FRENCH MOTHER CONVICTED OF JUSTIFYING A CRIME – You may well be scratching your head wondering how any court let alone a French court could convict anyone of ‘justifying a crime’, however this is a truly disturbing story.
Here is a mother that named her own son ‘Jihad’ and then decided it was a good idea to send him to school in a uniquely printed T Shirt that was made by her brother.
Bouchra Bagour brother, for his part, was also given a one month suspended sentence and ordered to pay €4,000.
Considering the combined cost of €6,000 this has to be one of the most expensive T shirts ever made.
So what was all the fuss about? The T shirt, on the front depicted a bomb, complete with a smiley face with the words ‘I am a bomb’. On the back of the T shirt the message was even more disturbing with the sentence ‘Born on September 11.
Charges were made against Bouchra Bagour after a teacher at the child’s pre-school in Sorgues, near Avignon, made a formal complaint. The school’s principle claimed that he child’s name ‘Jihad’ was worrying enough but to dress a child up in such a T shirt was completely and utterly wrong.
Bouchra Bagour claimed that she really didn’t think much about Jihad’s attire and couldn’t understand what all the fuss was about – it is, according to Bouchra Bagour, just a T shirt.
After the schools initial complaint the local mayor became involved and ordered prosecutors to investigate the matter.
Prosecutors, the major, school and judge condemned the mother’s decision to firstly name their child Jihad and then dress him in such a way – it was, according to the appeals judge, nothing less than taking a shameful advantage of a person that could not question such a name or T shirt and who was used to convey a very political message.
Initially the courts acquitted Bouchra Bagour and her brother however prosecutors decided to appeal the decision and it was the decision of the appeals court to punish them for their actions.
During the trial Bouchra Bagour denied attempting to defend the actions of terrorist through naming her son Jihad or by making him wear the offensive T shirt. According to Bouchra Bagour her son Jihad was born on September 11 and therefore the T shirt simply gave his date of birth and was not intended as a political message targeted at the Twin Towers atrocity on September 11 2001.
Bouchra Bagour did admit to being a Muslim but denied any connotations of being related to any terrorist organization.
The prosecution however took a much harder line and accused Bouchra Bagour of manipulating a 3 year old child for her own political agenda; a stance that the appeals court agreed with.
Prosecutors went on to say that Bouchra Bagour was not stupid and therefore should have been fully aware of the significance in what she and her brother were doing.
Some advocates feel as if Bouchra Bagour is simply being made an example of and goes against her rights to freedom of speech and a right to humour stating that viewing such a T shirt in terrorist related terms is no better than accusing any Muslim in traditional dress as being a terrorist.