Sunday, June 1, 2008

Internet Jihad and Free Speech

It's not my role to set off bombs - that's ridiculous," she said in a rare interview. "I have a weapon. It's to write. It's to speak out. That's my jihad. You can do many things with words. Writing is also a bomb.

So says Malika El Aroud, a 48-year-old Belgian "female holy warrior for Al Qaeda" who will not take up arms herself, but encourages men and other women to do so via internet--her weapon of choice since her suicide-bomber husband blew up not only himself, but the anti-Taliban Afghan General Ahmed Massoud, 2 days before the September 11, 2001 attacks in the US.

Both the Council of Europe's 2005 Convention on Terrorism and the European Union's amended 2002 Framework Decision on Terrorism encourage European states to criminalize incitement to terrorism. So-called internet jihad will no doubt be one of the first testing grounds for protecting speech in the struggle against terrorism.

(IntLawGrrl Diane Marie Amann continues this discussion in a post below.)

1 comment:

blogdude said...

There's nothing like a warrior. And especially this warrior: She freely writes on the Internet while "collecting more than $1,100 a month in government unemployment benefits." Page 2.

This one shares the resilience of other warriors. El Aroud states that prison would "be great. They would make me a living martyr." Page 3.

So, don't send her to prison. To begin, terminate her benefits (without denying, of course, procedural due process). Next, medicate her. Finally, place her among real people in a real job (earning the same amount that she voluntarily takes now).

Instead of prison, this will devastate her: She'll become just like everyone else.