After sending her 3-year-old son named Jihad to school wearing a t-shirt that read, “I am a bomb,” a French mother and her brother face criminal charges of “apologie de crime,” an allegation that translates roughly to advocating violence.
The boy’s birthday is Sept. 11 and his name happens to be Jihad, a term known for its connotations of physical violence by Islamist extremists. The boy’s uncle is complicit, according to authorities, because he gave the shirt as a gift.
When the principal at the boy’s preschool in Sorgues, Avignon, in Southern France noticed the shirt, she gave the little boy another garment to cover up with. Shocked, she then contacted police. The incident occurred on Sept. 25 but is just now being reported, notably by La Provence
"I didn't intend anything by it. The word 'bomb' is used in the sense that he is a beautiful kid, nothing more," the mother told the French daily paper. "If it has shocked anyone then I am sorry, but I really didn't mean anything by it. I am Muslim, but I am not a practicing one. I live a European lifestyle. It's just a simple phrase on a t-shirt, there's nothing dangerous about it," she said.
The shirt read "Je suis une bombe,” or, “I am a bomb” on its front in yellow cursive, with the much larger phrase "Jihad, né le 11 Septembre” announcing the child’s name and date of birth on the back. In French, the term “bomb” is akin to the American use of the phrase “bombshell,” meaning “hot stuff.”
La Provence confirmed both that this was the child’s actual name and date of birth. Another French paper, Le Parisien, published a photo of the boy.
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