Jihad in 9/11 Shirt: Bouchra Bagour, French Mother on Trial For Son's Attire

Friday, 08 Mar 2013 03:08 PM

By Michael Mullins

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Bouchra Bagour, a French mother who sent her 3-year-old son, Jihad, who was born on Sept. 11, to school last September wearing a t-shirt with "I am a bomb" on the front and "Jihad, born on 11 September" on the back, is now on trial after being charged with "glorifying crime."

If found guilty, Bagour, who claimed that her son's shirt was not meant to be a provocation, faces up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $1,300.

In court on Wednesday, the 35-year-old mom insisted that she sent her son to school wearing the offensive shirt "without stopping to think about it," and that she did not want to cause a stir, the BBC reported.

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Bagour's brother, Zeyad Bagour, purchased the shirt for the child. Zeyad is a co-defendant in the case and is also fighting the charges.

"It's the day his birth I wanted to highlight, not the year," Zeyad reportedly told jurors Wednesday.

Prosecutors argued that the defendants knew what they were doing when they dressed the boy in the offensive t-shirt.

"Who can claim that this is not a direct and scandalous allusion to terrorism?" one prosecutor asked in court.

In an interview with Sky News, another prosecutor in the case, Claude Avril, called the defendants' alibi weak.

"Idiocy is often the best alibi to hide the real intentions," he said. "The most scandalous thing is that they've used and manipulated a three-year-old child to voluntarily convey the words of a terrorist."

The boy's name, Jihad, is an Arabic term that is closely associated with Muslim extremism to Westerners.

The Arabic word "jihad," which translates as "struggle" or "effort" in English, appears 41 times in the Quran and has two meanings. The first meaning is a believer's inner struggle to fulfill his religious duties, while the second, which is most often employed by terrorists, is the physical struggle against the enemies of Islam: infidels.

Some Muslims use the term to defend their murderous acts through their so-called "holy war" against infidels -- anyone who is not Muslim.

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The case is expected to be decided on April 10.

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