The lyrical non-terrorist

Samina Malik“Pity Samina Malik, the young woman who will live for the rest of her life with the consequences of a terrorism conviction simply for being a suburban shopgirl who expressed her fantasies on the internet.

“Scribbling doggerel in praise of al Qa’eda on the back of WH Smith receipts will do no more to bring about the universal caliphate then a smartarse politics student with a Che Guevara poster in his bedroom does to further guerrilla struggle in South America.

“Malik is just one of many millions of kids in every country around the world wrapped up in a flirtation with any variety of anti-establishment symbolism that comes immediately to hand. Mostly it stops at posting message on online talk boards, as it did in her case….

“Let’s keep a sense of proportion here. Yes, I am in favour of intelligence service surveillance against violent Jihadists. But what is needed is action against real terrorists, not lyrical ones. Just imagine how counter-productive Malik’s conviction is going to prove in the struggle for the hearts and minds of alienated Muslim youth.”

Dave Osler at Dave’s Part, 8 November 2007