Begum: Shocked at British Citizenship Being Taken Away
Islamic State Bride: Shamima Begum
Shamima Begum, the British born Bangladeshi girl, who with two friends went to Syria, to join Islamic State, has had her British nationality stripped away from her. If you recall, in my previous article, I speculated Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, would remove her right to come back to the UK.
Upon hearing the news, Ms Begum now with a child, said reading the letter from the home office, was "Kind of heartbreaking to read" and "Hard to swallow". Speaking to ITV News she found the decision of the UK government, "Unjust". Ms Begum has already lost two children and obviously, now her British citizenship has been revoked, she will probably have fears for the current child she is carrying.
The father of her children, a Dutch convert to Islam and IS fighter, is believed to have surrendered to anti-IS forces in Syria. As for his current whereabouts and safety, no information is available.
Some may regard the Home Offices decision, to quote Ms Begum, as "unjust". The fact she is a 19-year-old girl stuck out in a Syrian refugee camp and with an unborn child is why many may think it unjust. However, others will say at 15, responsible decision maker or not (at that age) she made a choice to reject the western nation she had been born into and all it had to offer, for a group who hated the UK with all of its breath. The moment she and her companions made their way to join IS, was the moment, she chose to renounce the British way of life, and instead opt for the values of Islamic State.
It was thought at one stage she had joint British-Bangladeshi citizenship, however, this is now known not to be true. It has been speculated that possibly, because of Ms Begum's Dutch nationality, she may seek Dutch citizenship, this though depends on the attitude of the Dutch government. Their attitude to returning Dutch IS fighters, along with their non-Dutch dependants, such as wives and children.
Ms Begum also has the right to appeal the decision of the Home Office, but whether she will, is another matter. Certainly, her UK based legal team, have indicated their sorrow at the decision of barring Ms Begum from the UK, but have indicated, they are weighing up what to do next, on behalf of Ms Begum.
Although in an interview, Ms Begum has indicated she would like to return to the UK, it appears she is still a supporter of the Islamic State. When asked about the Manchester Arena bombing, where innocent lives were taken, she said the loss of life was regrettable, however, she indicated it was in revenge for western forces bombing IS targets, where supposedly, innocents had also died.
It is possible, that some IS people trying to return to the UK and other western nations have genuinely renounced any allegiance to the group, however, western governments can ill afford to take that chance. Many IS people, trying to get back to Europe for example, may lie about their renouncement of the once strong Khalifate, only to lay low until the time is right and cause another terrorist outrage.
It is possible, many IS people have got back to their countries of birth and gone to ground. If these people are discovered, they should face the full weight of the law.
Meanwhile, Islamic terror remains a clear and present danger around the world.
Shamima Begums Bio.
1) Born in the UK in 1999.
2) In 2015 she made the decision to join the Islamic State group.
3) Together with two school friends, she flew from Gatwick airport in the UK.
4) Her two classmates were Amina Abase and Kadiza Sultana.
5) All three girls were from east London.
6) They arrived at the de-facto Islamic State capital, Raqqa.
7) When Raqqa was re-captured by Western-backed forces, Ms Begum and her Dutch husband, Yago Riedijk, fled to another IS stronghold called Baghouz.
8) Discovered in a refugee camp by western media.
9) Ms Begum had no idea what had happened to her husband.
10) Admitted to losing two children.
11) Is currently pregnant.
12) Wanted to return to the UK.
13) Cannot do so now as the UK government has revoked her citizenship.