Samina Malik should not be glamorised. The information we have on her is partial, but plainly in at least one aspect she is a stupid young woman with some desperately unpleasant fantasies. She was given to writing poetry that sickeningly depicted political violence, and delighted in it. She indulged her fantasies on the internet.
I disapprove, strongly, of the “Lyrical terrorist”, but disapprobation of society should not entail criminality. Thoughts should not be crimes, and there is no evidence at all that she had any intention of actually committing violence. I am pleased she has not got a further custodial sentence, but we should not forget that she already spent five months in jail. That is wrong, just as I believe it was wrong for Austria to jail David Irving for his equally misguided views. If you persecute an idea, you strengthen its attraction to some, and unpleasant thoughts of marginal attraction acquire the glamour of grievance.
There is not much difference between those who have seriously penalised Malik for her thoughts, and those who would persecute a school teacher for the naming of a Teddy. Those of us who believe in freedom must uphold it – everywhere.