The “Lyrical Terrorist”

If you think the PATRIOT Act is bad, you should take a look at the Terrorism Act 2000, courtesy of the United Kingdom.

Under that law, a 23 year old woman, Samina Malik, was recently convicted of the “crime” of possessing “information of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism.” See Article 58, Terrorism Act 2000.

Ms. Malik might actually be a terrorist. She might offer material support to terrorists. Of course, one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. C.f. Getting to Yes with Terrorists. I can’t comment on what she might be – I’ll just comment on what she was convicted of.

Malik had written extremist poems praising Osama Bin Laden, supporting martyrdom and discussing beheading. (source)

The BBC also reports that “Police said they found a library of ‘extremist’ Islamic literature in her bedroom,” wrote on the back of a receipt that “The desire within me increases every day to go for martyrdom,” and listed on her social networking site that her interests include “Helping the Mujaheddin in any way which I can.” (source).

This certainly does not paint Ms. Malik in a positive light. Knowing these facts alone makes me comfortable stating that I do not like her one bit. I despise her. Nevertheless, I must criticize her conviction.

She was earlier found not guilty of a violation of Article 57 of the Terrorism Act, which states:

A person commits an offence if he possesses an article in circumstances which give rise to a reasonable suspicion that his possession is for a purpose connected with the commission, preparation or instigation of an act of terrorism.

Under U.S. law (at least today), to sustain a criminal conviction, the state must prove the facts of its case beyond a reasonable doubt. Under the UK Terrorism Act, all the state needs to prove is a “reasonable suspicion.” Not only that, you can be convicted for nothing more than a “reasonable suspicion” that you possess an article that could be used to simply “instigate” an act of terrorism. In other words, a bullhorn, a CB radio, etc.

Now stay with me here… even under that broad and lax standard, she was found not guilty. So, the state took another swipe under Article 58 of the Terrorism Act:

Under that provision, a person is guilty if:

(a) he collects or makes a record of information of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism, or

(b) he possesses a document or record containing information of that kind.

Accordingly, Ms. Malik was found not guilty of possession of anything that could be reasonably suspected to be used to even instigate terrorism, but she was found guilty of possessing literature and poetry “of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism.”

In all fairness, the Terrorism Act provides that the defendant may demonstrate a good excuse for having these materials. Apparently Ms. Malik did not have any such excuse. I would have a hard time criticizing her conviction if there was a proven allegation that she had fertilizer, fuses, gasoline, or anything else that might be actually useful for terrorist purposes — but possession of literature? Writing pro-terrorist poetry? In a free society, it should be a crime to act, not to read or write.

I am not saying that Ms. Malik shouldn’t have been investigated, watched, and followed. She worked at Heathrow Airport. She seems to have strong pro-terrorist sympathies. She might have been a security risk. If I were a judge, I would have approved a warrant to search her home, a wiretap on her phone, and 24 hour surveillance of her until the police were satisfied that she had made an overt act in support of an act of planned violence. However, until that moment, she is not a criminal — she is curious and/or stupid.

That is the definition of “freedom.” In a free society, we need the freedom to read what we want to read and to write what we want to write, no matter how bad, stupid, misguided, or ugly it may be.

I discussed this issue on Fox News. To watch, click here and then click “art or terror” once you are redirected.

7 Responses to The “Lyrical Terrorist”

  1. AcidDrip says:

    Ok so what about david Irving and his “Right” to say the Holocaust didnt happen? Personally I support his right to say that and also Samina maliks rights… but what are we going to do about it..; Blogging isnt enough i fear..

  2. I question why you place “right” in “quotes.” Perhaps it is a function of this “syndrome.”

    I don’t know who David Irving is, and I don’t really care. If someone wants to say that the Holocaust never happened, then I would fight to the death to protect his right to spread such a lie.

    Otherwise, where shall we draw the line? Should we punish those who say that evolution never happened? Perhaps we should shutter all the churches and lock up the priests since they clearly also make a living out of spreading fairy tales?

    The way you cure “bad” speech is with “good” speech. End of story.

  3. Bob Cumbow says:

    Damn, you are good on camera! Nice job!

  4. On Clattery MacHinery on Poetry, there is a call for poetic license, for freedom:

    World Samina Malik Day December 6th
    http://clatterymachinery.wordpress.com/2007/11/18/world-samina-malik-day-december-6th

    .

  5. […] The Legal Satyricon: The “Lyrical Terrorist” posted by Prof. Marc J. Randazza […]

  6. USpace says:

    I totally agree with you about this women. She sounds like a potential terrorist monkey, but all she has is poetry. No outright declarations of planning an act. I think they may have gone after her because she doesn’t scare them like some of the violent Imams preaching all over London and the UK do. This way, they can show they are tough on terrorists and even Muslim women.

    Thanks for posting on this. The evil forces are after Lionheart because he helped the cops put a
    drug dealer in prison, then the dealer’s gang started sending him death threats and then the cops wouldn’t help him.

    Local bloggers blogging locally all over the world generally are going to face much more danger because they
    will always be in their foe’s backyard reporting on everything they do and driving them mad for revenge.

    He’s not just writing about Islam encroaching on Europe and the UK. He’s writing about what a very wealthy and well connected Pakistani
    Muslim organized crime family is up to in Luton.

    The Pakistani Muslim ‘Mafia’, the Mob.

    We can’t stop, WE MUST NOT STOP fighting for Free Speech and Justice! We will fight for Lionheart!
    .
    absurd thought –
    God of the Universe says
    ignore creeping sharia

    don’t believe Jihadists
    want world domination
    .
    The ‘Bushies’ would never advocate these legal shenanigans but some of the PIAPS people and Dhimmicrats do and would.

    This ‘Racial & Religious Hatred Act’ is a load of crap. Hopefully it will be scrapped someday when the lawyers start being pressured to use it against Islam’s obvious and much more virulent hate speech.

    This planned arrest is terrible news for Lionheart, Britain and the world.
    Probably the Luton Pakistani Muslim Heroin and crack gang (which is also involved with forcing non-Muslim teen girls into sex-slavery) who he has helped expose pressured the dhimmi pigs to arrest him.

    Too many in the dhimmidiot government in Britain are pathetic and corrupt.
    The EU is showing itself to be very evil in practice as well as most misguided and extremely stupid and ignorant of reality.

    This suppression of free speech will actually cause more violence and hatred of course.
    This case will also serve to educate the masses even more about the evils of Sharia and the importance of standing up to Islam.

    This must be made very public, we should all tell all our friends about this. Spread the word! God bless Lionheart, I believe he will prevail.
    The lawyers on the Right MUST be supported to start fighting this BS more.

    Both ‘The Left’ and ‘The Right’ should be ticked off about this.

    We should tell all the Radio Gods about this. Maybe they’ll rant about it on their shows.

    .
    absurd thought –
    God of the Universe says
    outlaw most bloggers

    license all the rest
    monitor their writing

    .
    absurd thought –
    God of the Universe says
    eliminate FREE speech

    the truth may not be spoken
    if criminals are exposed

    .
    absurd thought –
    God of the Universe says
    outlaw self-defense

    exposing violent crimes
    shall be deemed hate speech

    .
    absurd thought –
    God of the Universe loves
    corrupt politicians

    offer immigrants welfare
    get their votes to keep your jobs

    .
    absurd thought –
    God of the Universe says
    be traitorous garbage

    just destroy your country
    screw your great-granddaughter
    .

    http://lionheartuk.blogspot.com/

    http://haltterrorism.com/

    http://absurdthoughtsaboutgod.blogspot.com/

    :)
    .

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