I have always been clear on where I stand with the situation of Shamima Begum. The UK Government made the correct choice on her citizenship in my opinion, but did they make the right choice regarding her child?
Horrendous reports have emerged that her newborn child has passed away because of poor sanitary conditions in Syria. Despite how I feel about the mother of this child, it’s awful that this baby who was born in a war zone, has passed away when their life had barely started.
This child should not have had to suffer because of the parents and their behaviour. Should more have been done to take the child away from Begum and back to the UK before this tragedy happened? There is the case that the Government should have been more discriminating in its decision. This infant should have been allowed to come back to the United Kingdom, leaving it’s dangerous mother and terrible conditions in war-torn Syria.
However, what I certainly do not accept are the comments from Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott. I do agree with her on the fact that her child should have come back to the UK as soon as possible, but she argues for the return of Begum as well, an individual who is a potential threat to our democracy. Political point scoring is not beneficial in this situation, a strong decision was needed and Sajid Javid has made the correct call regarding her citizenship.
Whether she has a dual citizenship or not, she is arguably a threat to the United Kingdom with her abhorrent views and our citizens need to be kept safe. The legality of what the Government has done by removing her citizenship remains to be seen, but the Prime Minister and Home Secretary had to act.
Shamima Begum’s lack of remorse in several interviews with the UK media was not just shocking, but scary for a lot of people when there existed the chance that she could have returned. Even if she did show a lot of remorse, we wouldn’t know whether that was a smokescreen or whether she really meant it.
The trust between the UK and Begum completely disappeared when the latter decided to join a group in February 2015, that is notorious for being against the UK. The atrocities that the group committed were clear for all to see, yet she still decided to join and leave her home country. Therefore, I can’t really have sympathy for her.
People around the world who have had family and friends killed by the so-called Islamic State, would most likely be shocked if people like Shamima Begum were allowed to return to the country. Families have been destroyed by the militant group, even in the United Kingdom.
Multiple terror attacks in London and Manchester and the impact they caused were clear for all to see. Incidents like that will last long in the memory of people who were alive to witness the reports and the actual violence. Some people may take years to get over the scenes they witnessed. Action needed to be taken against Begum in my opinion, and that’s what the UK Government have done by revoking her citizenship.
Begum went to join ISIS as a 15-year-old, fully aware of how dangerous and hostile the organisation is to the United Kingdom. Do I have sympathy for her being ‘brainwashed’? No I don’t. She knew exactly what she was doing when she travelled to join the militant group.
I can almost guarantee that we would never have heard about her if the so-called Islamic State were still the force they were a couple of years ago. She would still be with the group and fully supportive of their ugly motives, four years down the line.
There is the argument that she was given excessive media attention. As an aspiring journalist, I agree with that. It may be ironic that I’m currently writing this article about her after making that comment, but the opinions on this subject are irresistibly strong, including mine.
The Labour Party said that Begum should have been allowed to return to the UK and face questions. Why should we pay the price for her return, both financially and potentially in terms of security? The only reason where it would be barely acceptable to see her come back to the UK is if she’s jailed. However, our economy does not need to be put under further strain because of her actions. Why should taxpayers have to pay for her to be in prison.
Our society is made up of many Muslims who are peaceful, respectful and a great asset to the UK. Why should their reputations have to suffer because of Shamima Begum? We’re proud to be a tolerant nation, but we can’t tolerate people who have joined terror organisations. There have to be boundaries.