French mom on trial for sending toddler, named Jihad, to school wearing an ‘I am a bomb’ T-shirt
Mom Bouchra Bagour and her brother Zeyad are on trial this week in Avignon, France. Bouchra has been charged with glorifying crime.
Bouchra Bagour (left) leaves Avignon's courthouse in December after she sent her 3-year-old son, Jihad Bagour (whose birthday falls on Sept. 11), to school in a shirt that read "I am a bomb." The T-shirt was a gift from Bagour’s 29-year-old brother, Zeyad Bagour.
When French mother Bouchra Bagour had a baby on Sept. 11, she named her son Jihad (a not uncommon first name in some Muslim countries). Three years later, she sent her toddler to nursery school wearing a T-shirt that said “I am a bomb” on the front and read “Jihad, born on 11 September” on the back. This week, she’s defending her actions in court.
The T-shirt was a gift from Bagour’s 29-year-old brother, Zeyad Bagour. Jihad’s teacher spotted the 3-year-old wearing his controversial clothing in class last September. She alerted the police, who later charged Bagour with “glorifying crime,” according to the BBC.
At Bagour’s trial in Avignon, France, the 35-year-old mom from the town of Sorgues insisted that the shirt wasn’t meant to provoke or defend terrorism. Instead, she was hoping for a chuckle.
She thought the shirt would “make people laugh,” Sky News reports.
Her brother and co-defendent also denied the charges.
"It's the day (of) his birth I wanted to highlight, not the year," he told the court, according to the BBC.
Prosecutors aren’t amused. They’re hoping to fine Bouchra $1,300 and hit her brother with a fine of about $3,900.
"The most scandalous thing is that they've used and manipulated a 3-year-old child to voluntarily
convey the words of a terrorist," lawyer Claude Avril told Sky News. The trial will be decided on April10.
Freedom of Expression or Terrorism? Or maybe just really dark humour?