A former UK ISIS schoolgirl, Shamima Begum, has launched a public appeal to return to Britain to deliver her baby. Now 19-years-old, in 2015 and then just fifteen-years-old, Shamima was one of the three notorious Bethnal Green Academy schoolgirls who fled the UK to joint the Islamic State.
Shamima Begum’s community in Bethnal Green (East London) is petitioning for her return. They feel the young girls should be allowed back.
Clarion Project’s Facebook group page, Lets Talk About Islamism, weighs in with their thoughts on the international story of radicalization, recruitment, and return.
“Her father, Mohammed Shakil, described her as a ‘perfect daughter who never went out nightclubbing and never went out doing this or going there, who kept herself busy in studies, and who wanted to be somebody in life and have an important role’. He and his son, Tareem Shakil, have subsequently been jailed for “county lines” drug smuggling, where police said they took over the homes of vulnerable people and earned £3,000 a day. Shakil’s father and brother had more than 100 previous convictions between them when they were sentenced to three years in prison for conspiracy to supply heroin and crack cocaine in November. Maybe she should have gone nightclubbing and got out more so she wouldn’t see joining ISIS as her mode of entertainment.” – S.J.
“One of the most troubling parts of this is that she’s not even prepared to pretend to be repentant for the sake of her child.” – C.H.
“She’s a British citizen [and] the state has a duty of care, unless she is being tried for an offense in a foreign nation she should be returned and then charged with joining a terrorist group , sentenced if guilty and then give support and help to understand why she may be wrong in her outlook.” – J.I.
“Is there a duty to care toward a terrorist/terror sympathizer? She said ‘she does not regret joining the terror group.’She was only concerned about is killing and torturing *Muslims* so apparently killing and torturing kafir [non-believer] is perfectly alright. This is a deranged radical fundamentalist. She can rot stateless in Syria. Her child is innocent and we should offer to take it in care.” – O.C.
“According to my understanding of UK law, the Terrorism Act 2000 makes it a crime to belong, or profess to belong, to a proscribed organization, such as ISIS. I have heard of some UK supporters of ISIS being stripped of their citizenship, but I don’t know if the UK has the legal authority to do that to someone who joined the organization as a minor, although she is 19 now and remains unrepentant of her ISIS support, and 18 is the legal age of being an adult under UK law. The Human Rights imperative of Mercy should apply. Here you have a pregnant UK citizen who is asking the UK authorities for help, due to her unborn child. That is a reasonable expectation of the state. However, like any other UK citizen, she also has to expect to be held accountable for actions under the UK law as well. Regardless, if she returns to UK, it should be a priority for the responsible individuals in the UK Muslim community as well as intelligence to make sure she does not pose a threat to other UK citizens. They too also deserve mercy and human rights.” – J.I.
“She doesn’t regret going to Syria, she just wants the benefits and comforts of the West because she realizes it would be more ideal to raise her child without the risk of her kid dying in an airstrike.” – B.P.