Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Coming Soon - Thought Crimes

As a follow-up to the article I posted last week concerning the new "homegrown" anti-terrorist legislation, this is an example of the results that can be expected here.

If the pen is mightier than the sword, is violent poetry tantamount to terrorism? That was the judgment of British prosecutors after they read some of Samina Malik's poems titled "How to Behead" and "The Living Martyrs."

The 23-year-old store cashier, who called herself a "lyrical terrorist," became the first woman convicted under Britain's tough terrorism legislation last month after writing the poems and downloading material off the Internet. Her arrest and the time she spent in jail caused an uproar and is prompting a debate about the value of free speech versus national security, with some of her defenders saying that Malik was charged with a "thought crime," a scenario straight out of George Orwell's "1984."

In its potential threat to freedom of speech, some supporters have even compared the case to the detention of Gillian Gibbons, the British teacher jailed in Sudan for naming a classroom teddy bear Muhammad.

...Among her crimes was visiting terrorism sites on the Internet.

Although he said that Malik's crime was on the "margins" of the offense, ...the judge vigorously defended the legislation:"The Terrorism Act and the restrictions it imposes on the personal freedom exist to protect this country, its interests here and abroad, its citizens, and those who visit here. Its protection embraces us all."

OK. Any Questions?

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