Archive for February, 2008

Jihad literature: terrorist charges dropped

February 23, 2008

This month five Bradford students won their case in the Court of Appeal in which their conviction of holding Jihad literature was dropped. They had been jailed last year for “commission, preparation or instigation” of terrorism after it was discovered that they held extremist Jihad literature.  They were released because the Lord Chief Justice found no evidence against them that they intended to commit a terrorist act.

This case has implications for the library service and may now influence the policy of the MLA guidelines on the selection and treatment of controversial material, that was released in January for consultation. The case suggests that other people will now legally be allowed to download extremist material as long as they don’t intend to use it to commit a terrorist act.

This kind of ruling mirrors what happened to issues such as pornography and violent literature in the 1950’s and 60’s when there was a series of prosecutions for obscene literature including the novel ‘Lady Chatterley’s Lover.’