LONDON -- The head of the Muslim Council of Britain lamented the prosecution of a woman convicted of writing poetry praising beheadings and possessing terrorist manuals.
Muhammad Abdul Bari said British lawmakers criminalized the thoughts of Muslim youths ahead of the sentencing Thursday of Samina Malik, 23, who called herself "the lyrical terrorist" for writing poems with titles like "How to Behead," The Times of London reported Thursday.
A jury convicted Malik under Section 58 of the Terrorism Act of 2000 for "possessing documents likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism".
Bari said the prosecution was unjustified as the possession of controversial material does not equate with an intent to do harm.
"Samina's so-called poetry was certainly very offensive but I don't believe that this case should really have been a criminal matter," Bari told the Times.
Prosecutors unveiled notes from Malik indicating her desire to "go for martyrdom" and she possessed extremist material on her home computer, including an al-Qaida manual, a terrorist's handbook and a document titled, "How to Win Hand-to-Hand Fighting."
Copyright © 2007, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.