• France's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Mother faces court over boy's 'I am a bomb' top

The Local/AFP · 6 Mar 2013, 09:21

Published: 06 Mar 2013 09:21 GMT+01:00

The sweatshirt also had the words "Jihad, born on September 11" emblazoned on the back when he turned up at his nursery school in the southern town of Sorgues on September 25.

The family and their supporters claim it was a harmless attempt at humour but they were charged with condoning a crime over the alleged reference to the 9/11 attacks on New York's twin towers in 2001.

Their trial, due to take place in December but adjourned until March 6, will take place in the town of Avignon.

The uncle bought the top and the mother dressed her son in it when she sent him to school that day.

Jihad's teacher alerted the authorities and a few days later the town mayor, Thierry Lagneau of the conservative UMP party, asked prosecutors to investigate.

"I condemn the attitude of the parents who shamefully took advantage of the person and the age of this child to convey a political message," Lagneau said at the time.

The prosecutor in Avignon previously told the court the family must have known the reaction the boy’s clothing would provoke.

“At some point there must be limits. They are not stupid. They understand the significance of what they are doing,” he said.

The mother and uncle of the boy, who official records show was born on September 11, 2009 and was given Jihad as his first name, were not known Islamists, prosecutors said.

The mother was astonished at the reaction to her son's top and at the proportions the affair had taken on, they added.

The uncle, Zeyad Bagour, was equally outraged the case has ended up in court. “We are accused of condoning a crime, It’s ridiculous,” he told France Info radio.

Story continues below…

The family are supported by the local branch of the organisation Movement against Racism and for Friendship between Peoples (MRAP).

Josette Pessemesse, from the far-left Front de Gauche party, wrote an open letter to the court defending the “right to humour”. It was signed by around 50 people.

“This is the same as qualifying all Muslims as terrorists,” Pessemesse told France Info.

The pair risk a €45,000 fine and a one year prison sentence if found guilty.

The Local/AFP (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
'Five terror plots thwarted' on Riviera since Nice attack
A police boat patrols the waters off the beach in Nice during the summer. Photo: AFP

Authorities in Nice say five potentially deadly terror plots on the French Riviera have been foiled since the Bastille Day truck attack in the resort.

IN PICTURES
French firefighters calendar to provoke global palpitations
Photo: Fred Goudon

Warning: Some readers may suffer palpitations, sweats or other side-effects when reading this story.

Why Paris beach festival could be sand-free in future
Photo: AFP

Is a beach with no sand still a beach?

Lost without translation: The struggles of Calais migrants
Communication problems in the Calais jungle camp. Photo: AFP

So many languages are spoken in the Calais jungle migrant camp but French is rarely heard.

Paris finally bows to the importance of Oscar Wilde
Oscar Wilde's tomb in Pere Lachaise cemetery, which now has a glass screen protecting it. Photo: AFP

It's taken a while but the French capital is finally paying tribute to the importance of the writer who died in a Paris hotel.

French towns divided over taking in Calais migrants
Photo: AFP

Towns across France are arguing over whether to take in migrants soon to be evacuated from the Calais "jungle" camp.

Paris region eyes up cable cars to unclog traffic jams
Could something like this be the future of transport in Paris? Photo: AFP

Did you know there are 12 cable car projects around the Paris region? Better than the RER trains surely?

Dos and don'ts to help you cope with writing in French

Writing emails in French is a whole new challenge that requires a whole new set of tips.

French writing phrases you can't get your head around
Photo: Ray Sadler/Flickr

"Je vous prie de bien vouloir...." What?

Paris banking district stages France's latest mock attack
Photo: AFP

The La Defense business district in Paris was the scene of the latest mock terror attack last night, as French authorities continue to take no chances.

Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Culture
The crazy French writing phrases you can't get your head around
Features
Room for improvement: Paris's matchbox apartments
'Stop telling immigrants to be French and help it happen'
Society
Take the test: How far have you assimilated into French culture?
Lifestyle
Eleven things you should know before moving to Paris
National
France's Marion Cotillard rebuffs rumours of fling with Brad Pitt
National
Eight arrested over links to Nice truck attacker
Features
Why everyone should party in a French chateau at least once
Travel
The Frenchman who hated 'Nazi-Zealand' after four-day hitch-hike fail
Culture
What's on: Ten exciting events across France in September
The 45-million year old underground shells that flavour Champagne
Features
French job speak: All the terms you need to know
'Resilient' Paris now a more appealing city than New York
National
France says it's OK to warn drivers about speed cameras
Meet Honorine, 113, the oldest person in France
Education
Grenoble named France's best city to be a student
Society
New Metro map reveals cheapest pints of beer in Paris
Business & Money
How reliant is the French economy on Paris?
Society
Here's why Parisians want to move to Bordeaux
And the 'best place to spend a weekend in Europe' is… Lyon
Analysis & Opinion
'Muslims in France must be considered ordinary citizens'
Armed guards to ride French trains from October
National
France among Europe's priciest for train travel
2,732
jobs available