Mother of Jihad faces charges

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iol pic wld jihad mother-court AFP Lawyer Gaelle Genoun (R) leaves Avignon's courthouse on December 19, 2012, with her client, the mother of a three-year old named Jihad.

Avignon - The mother and uncle of a three-year-old boy named Jihad appeared in a French court on Wednesday for sending him to school in a top bearing the words “I am a bomb”.

The long-sleeved T-shirt 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 near Avignon on September 25.

His mother and uncle are charged with condoning a crime over the alleged reference to the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington in 2001. The uncle bought the top and the mother dressed her son in it when she sent him to school that day.

The judge at the court in Avignon agreed to a request by their lawyer for the trial to be postponed until 2013 for technical reasons and set March 6 as the date for the next hearing.

The accused made no comment to reporters as they left the courthouse.

Jihad's teacher alerted the authorities after he turned up in the offending top 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.

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. - AFP


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