Thursday, November 15, 2007

From London To Salem.. a journey of justice.

Courtesy of Christian Today

LONDON - A British-born woman, who liked to use the name the "Lyrical Terrorist", became the first woman to be convicted in Britain under new security laws after being found guilty of possessing terrorism-related documents.
Samina Malik, 23, wrote a series of poems calling for "Jihad" (holy war) and collected a library of material for terrorist purposes including the Al Qaeda manual and the Mujahideen Poisons Handbook, the Old Bailey heard.
"Malik liked to be known to some people as the Lyrical Terrorist, or Stranger Awaiting Martyrdom," said prosecutor Jonathan Sharp.
"She had a library of material she had collected for terrorist purposes ... It may have been culled from the Internet but it has not just been idly viewed, it has been searched for, downloaded, saved and preserved," he added.
Malik, from Southall, west London, used to work at a newspaper shop at Heathrow airport until her arrest.
During the trial, the court heard one of Malik's militant poems "How to Behead," describing in detail how to slice off a hostage's head.
The prosecution also told the court that Malik wore a bracelet with the word "Jihad" inscribed on it and had Osama bin Laden's "Declaration of War" on her computer.
Other material on her computer referred to car bombs, her hatred of all non-Muslims and bomb-making.
Police said she had tried to join extremist subscription-only Web sites and had attempted to donate money to the Mujahideen.
"Malik held violent extremist views which she shared with other like-minded people over the Internet. She also tried to donate money to a terrorist group," said Peter Clarke, head of Britain's Counter Terrorism Command.
Malik was found guilty of possessing documents likely to be useful to a terrorist, an offence brought in under the Terrorism Act passed in 2000.
Judge Peter Beaumont however granted her strict conditional bail -- in effect house arrest -- until early December, after calling for more information into her family background.
He said Malik remained an "enigma" to him, and called for more information into "her family circumstances and in particular the influence her brother has had in the family".
Beaumont warned Malik, who sobbed in the dock, that "all sentencing options remain open".

Courtesy of Wikipedia.

The Court of Oyer and Terminer convened in Salem Town on June 2, 1692, with William Stoughton, the new Lieutenant Governor, as Chief Magistrate, Thomas Newton as the Crown's Attorney prosecuting the cases, and Stephen Sewall as clerk. Bridget Bishop's case was the first brought to the grand jury, who endorsed all the indictments against her. She went to trial the same day and was found guilty. On June 3, the grand jury endorsed indictments against Rebecca Nurse and John Willard, but it is not clear why they did not go to trial immediately as well. Bridget Bishop was executed by hanging on June 10, 1692.
In June, more people were accused, arrested and examined, but now in Salem Town, by former local magistrates John Hathorne, Jonathan Corwin and Bartholomew Gedney who had become judges of the Court of Oyer and Terminer. Roger Toothaker died in prison on June 16, 1692.
At the end of June and beginning of July, grand juries endorsed indictments against Sarah Good, Elizabeth How, Susannah Martin, Elizabeth Procter, John Procter, Martha Carrier, Sarah Wilds and Dorcas Hoar. Only Sarah Good, Elizabeth How, Susannah Martin and Sarah Wilds, along with Rebecca Nurse, went on to trial at this time, where they were found guilty, and executed on July 19, 1692. In mid-July as well, the primary source of accusations moved from Salem Village to Andover, when the constable there asked to have some of the afflicted girls in Salem Village visit with his wife to try to determine who caused her afflictions. Ann Foster, her daughter Mary Lacey Sr., and granddaughter Mary Lacey Jr. all confessed to being witches. Anthony Checkley was appointed by Governor Phips to replace Thomas Newton as the Crown's Attorney when Newton took an appointment in New Hampshire.
In the beginning of August, grand juries indicted George Burroughs, Mary Eastey, Martha Corey, and George Jacobs, Sr., and trial juries convicted Martha Carrier, George Jacobs, Sr., George Burroughs, John Willard, Elizabeth Procter, and John Procter. Elizabeth Procter was given a temporary stay of execution because she was pregnant. Before being executed, George Burroughs recited the Lord's Prayer perfectly, supposedly something that was impossible for a witch, but Cotton Mather was present and reminded the crowd that the man had been convicted before a jury. On August 19, 1692, Martha Carrier, George Jacobs Sr., George Burroughs, John Willard and John Procter were hanged.

Petition for bail of 11 accused people from Ipswich, 1692
In September, grand juries indicted eighteen more people: Ann Pudeator, Alice Parker, Mary Bradbury, Giles Corey, Abigail Hobbs, Rebecca Jacobs, Ann Foster, Sarah Buckley. Margaret Jacobs, Mary Lacey Sr., Wilmot Redd, Samuel Wardwell, Rebecca Eames, Margaret Scott, Job Tookey, Mary Witheridge, Mary Parker, and Abigail Faulkner Sr. The grand jury failed to indict William Procter, who was re-arrested on new charges. On September 19, 1692, Giles Corey refused to plead at arraignment, and was subjected to peine forte et dure, a form of torture in which the subject is pressed beneath an increasingly heavy load of stones, in an attempt to make him enter a plea. Dorcas Hoar, Alice Parker, Ann Pudeator, Martha Corey, Mary Bradbury, Mary Esty, Wilmot Redd, Samuel Wardwell, Mary Parker, Margaret Scott and Abigail Faulkner Sr. were tried and found guilty. Abigail Hobbs, Ann Foster, Mary Lacey Sr., and Rebecca Eames pled guilty. On August 22, 1692, only eight of those convicted were hanged: Alice Parker, Ann Pudeator, Martha Corey, Mary Esty, Wilmot Redd, Samuel Wardwell, Mary Parker, Margaret Scott, reported called by Salem minister Nicholas Noyes, "Eight firebrands of Hell." Dorcas Hoar was given a temporary reprieve, with the support of several ministers, to make her confession before God. Aged Mary Bradbury escaped. Abigail Faulkner Sr. was pregnant and given a temporary reprieve.
Mather was asked by Governor Phips in September to write about the trials, and obtained access to the official records of the Salem trials from his friend Stephen Sewall, clerk of the court, upon which his account of the affair, Wonders of the Invisible World, was based.
This court was dismissed in October by Governor Phips.


Catherine Rossetti said...

Excellent post!

Warrior Dog said...

Thank You,

We have become more civilised?

Catherine Rossetti said...

The best thing I ever learnt from my favourite history prof was this: "The only thing that history teaches us, is that history teaches us nothing."

When I read this I thought of other people who were persecuted.. for being different, thinking different.

Censorship of the mind.

I quote Wiki:

"Freedom of speech is the concept of being able to speak freely without censorship. It is often regarded as an integral concept in modern liberal democracies. The right to freedom of speech is guaranteed under international law through numerous human rights instruments, notably under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, although implementation remains lacking in many countries. The synonymous term freedom of expression is sometimes preferred, since the right is not confined to verbal speech but is understood to protect any act of seeking, receiving and imparting information or ideas, regardless of the medium used."

"The Terrorism Act is a United Kingdom Act of Parliament made law on March 30, 2006, after being introduced on October 12, 2005. The Act creates new offences related to terrorism, and amends existing ones. The Act was drafted in the aftermath of the 7 July 2005 London bombings, and some of its terms have proven to be highly controversial. The government considers the Act a necessary response to an unparalleled terrorist threat; it has encountered opposition from those who feel that it is an undue imposition on civil liberties, and could convince some British Muslims to turn to violence.


Part 1:

Disseminating terrorist publications (Section 2): Prohibits the dissemination of a publication which is either (a) likely to be understood as directly or indirectly encouraging terrorism, or (b) includes information which is likely to be understood as being useful in the commission or preparation of an act of terrorism. The maximum penalty is seven years' imprisonment."

Faaakkk, interesting debate.

I see value in both sides. The right to be angry, disillusioned and to say it. but... in a time where terrorism has become a very real threat, I can't blame people for trying to enforce laws that could prevent tragedies. Whether this is the best way is definitely debatable.

It also reinforces an old belief, two wrongs doesn't make a right. Terrorism in it's basic form can kindly be regarded as a group of people revolting against the system. And if we didn't have that, many gross human rights violations would go unnoticed. People bombing things are hard to ignore.

But.. what does it say of our society that we have to resort to the lowest common denominator, VIOLENCE to get anything done? Make any type of statement?

I am weary of people who use violence to obtain peace... how long will that peace last, and why would they not use the exact same method of motivation against those that supported them in the first place?

michele said...

The more things change the more they stay the same.

Stunning (literally) juxtaposition.

Warrior Dog said...


I believe suppression in any form to be undemocratic and inhumane. Simply because of the physical abuse that eventually forms part of that suppression. Even here in 'democratic' South Africa Draconian forms of suppresssion are inacted on it's citizens every bloody day.

I once, quite recently was arrested for being "dronk op straat", all I did wrong was to wear my leather jacket and waistecoat with my clubs 'colours' on. None of the cops bothered to notice that I didn't smell of booze or the fact that I was speaking quite clearly when I finally had the opportunity to explained how I was going to kick their arses if they gave me half an opportunity. Nevertheless, I was treated to waves of verbal abuse, and one cop even threatened to take of his badge, and take me outside'.

Lovely ain't it?

Being different isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Warrior Dog said...


Yes, that is true. There are only a few 'Warriors' out there in the world; fighting governments, royalty and bureaucracy's so that we can have the freedom to express ourselves.


It was immediately aparent to me, and I couldn't resist drawing on the parallel.

Rus Bowden said...

Intriguing and thought-provoking parallel.

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

World Samina Malik Day December 6th


جبهة التهييس الشعبية said...

Join the campaing

Warrior Dog said...

On the last comment,

Thank you for placing the link to my article on your blog. I read it(took a while) and the more I read the sadder I became. I have no words to describe the anger I have towards the british government and of course her big sister America.

eet kreef said...

Really good analogy. I do have a problem with the arrogance of big brother. And I do feel that there is a whole lot of room for more understanding. Would I feel the same way if my brother was killed by a suicide bommber? Dunno. Hopefully one of them will never feel the need to bomb my family.