Samina Malik, a 23-year-old who last month became the first Muslim woman to be convicted of a terrorism offense in Britain, was given a suspended nine-month prison sentence and 100 hours of community service. Ms. Malik, who
called herself the “lyrical terrorist” in online forums because she thought it was “cool” and posted poems with titles like “How to Behead,” was convicted in the same London court of possessing records likely to be useful in terrorism, mostly jihadist manuals from the Web. Many among Britain’s 1.6 million Muslims said she should not have been prosecuted, describing her actions as foolish and offensive, but not criminal. Before the sentencing, Muhammad Abdul Bari, the head of the Muslim Council of Britain, the country”s largest Muslim organization, told The Times of London that “many young people download objectionable material from the Internet, but it seems that if you are a Muslim, then this could lead to terrorist charges, even if you have absolutely no intention to do harm to anyone else.”
Yes, many young people do download all manner of things from the Internet, but for law enforcement to get involved, common sense suggests a criterion of how likely the bearer is to use the downloaded material in a way that constitutes a danger to public safety. Jihadist manuals, coupled with the content of her poetry, obviously raise a few red flags (and the age of 23 is getting a bit old to be playing the “youth” card). An excerpt from the New York Sun:
“It’s not as messy or as hard as some may think,” she wrote in her poem “How to
Behead.” “It’s all about the flow of the wrist. Sharpen the knife to its maximum. And before you begin to cut the flesh, tilt the fool’s head to its left. Saw the knife back and forth. No doubt that the punk will twitch and scream. But ignore the donkey’s ass. And continue to slice back and forth. You’ll feel the knife hit the wind and food pipe. But Don’t Stop. Continue with all your might.”
Emily Dickinson, she ain’t.