A French woman who sent her son to school in a controversial shirt last year received her sentence on Friday, along with her brother, who had the shirt made.
Bouchra Bagour was charged with justifying a crime last September when she sent her son, named Jihad, to preschool in Sorgues, Provence wearing a shirt reading "I am a bomb" on the front and "Jihad: Born September 11" on the back to mark his Sep. 11 birth date. The shirt reportedly caused a teacher to file a complaint and landed Bagour and her brother Zayed, who gave the boy the shirt, in court.
The pair were acquitted in April for defending terrorism, avoiding the French penalty of up to five years in jail and a 45,000-euro fine. However, after an appeal by the prosecution, the decision was overturned by a court in Nimes today. Bagour received a 2,000-euro fine and a one-month suspended jail sentence, while Zayed's sentence was doubled to a 4,000-euro fine and a two-month suspended sentence.
Suspended jail sentences are given after a conviction and remain on a defendant's record but are often discharged by a judge. However, judges can also levy conditional suspended sentences in which the penalty is withheld once a defendant exhibits good behavior. It is not clear whether the suspended sentences for Bagour and Zayed are conditional.
Bagour admitted the shirt was "tactless" but maintains that she just wanted to mark her son's birthday and did not intend for the shirt to be a provocation or defense of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. As for the boy's name, attorney Gaele Guenoun, who found Friday's decision to be "harsh and surprising", reportedly said the name Jihad is not unusual.
Guenoun says she will consider possibly sending the case to the French supreme court in Paris.