Shirley Dent on the Guardian blog highlights the case of a young lady called Samina Malik. The self-appointed "lyrical terrorist", is the first woman to be convicted under the Terrorism Act after she downloaded various documents from terrorist websites.
... Malik went all Web 2.0 and posted poems - terrible, terrible poems - on various websites. That's about the extent of her terrorist activity. But never fear. The judge and prosecutors went the extra mile to give her a notoriety that her very, very bad poetry and infantile fantasies about being a terrorist really don't warrant.The poetry was terrible - both in the sense of being badly written, and because of the violence it depicted.
One of Malik's poems, The Living Martyrs, read:
Let us make Jihad/ Move to the front line/ To chop chop head of kuffar swine.Another was called How to Behead:
It's not as messy or as hard as some may think/ It's all about the flow of the wrist ...Not at all nice.
But poetry, as Dent points out, is not a terrorist act, whatever the content or quality of it.
And Andrew Bolt of Australia's Herald Sun reckons that:
If she’d stuck to the style of Tupac Shakur, writing in a crop top and jeans rather than a hijab, none of this would have happened, of course, no matter how eerily similar the poetry would have been.Readers wonder in the comment section where English PEN is in all this.
So do I.
You can watch the news report here: