The mother and uncle of a three-year old named Jihad, who was born on September 11, were due in a French court Wednesday for sending him to school in a top with “I am a bomb” written on it.
The sweatshirt also had the words “Jihad, born on September 11” emblazoned on the back when he turned up at his nursery school in the southern town of Sorgues on September 25.
The pair are charged with condoning a crime over the alleged reference to the 9/11 attacks on New York’s twin towers in 2001. The uncle bought the top and the mother dressed her son in it when she sent him to school that day.
Jihad’s teacher alerted the authorities and a few days later the town mayor, Thierry Lagneau of the conservative UMP party, asked prosecutors to investigate.
“I condemn the attitude of the parents who shamefully took advantage of the person and the age of this child to convey a political message,” Lagneau said.
The mother and uncle of the boy, who official records show was born on September 11, 2009 and was given Jihad as his first name, were not known Islamists, prosecutors said.
The mother was astonished at the reaction to her son’s top and at the proportions the affair had taken on, they added.
She and her brother were due in court in Avignon, southern France, on Wednesday afternoon.