International Business Times reported Friday that
a French mother who named her son Jihad has reportedly been convicted by an appeals court in the city of Nimes, France, of “glorifying a crime” for sending the 3-year-old to school wearing a shirt emblazoned with the French words for “I am a bomb” and “Jihad born on September 11th.”
The jihadi mother, Bouchra Bagour, got a suspended sentence of a month in prison and a $2,705 fine. Jihad’s uncle, Zeyad Bagour, got a two-month prison sentence, also suspended, along with a fine of $5,409, for buying him the “I am a bomb” shirt.
But Bouchra and Zeyad Bagour say the whole thing was just a joke. “For me,” said Bouchra in court, “the text is simply my son’s name and his date of birth. It’s a bit different, but I thought it would make people laugh. … My brother gave my son the sweatshirt, I put it on him, and I never thought anything of it.”
Zeyad Bagour added that he “had no intention of being provocative or shocking people. “For me, the words ‘I am a bomb’ mean ‘I am beautiful.’”
The Bagours’ attorney, Gaële Guenoum, expressed shock at the court’s ruling, calling it “severe, surprising and amazing.”
Prosecutors, however, weren’t buying it. “At some point,” one observed, “there must be limits. They are not stupid. They understand the significance of what they are doing.” They knew that in this context, the Bagours weren’t just making a cute joke; they were glorifying evil.