Anorak News | Shamima Begum: Guantanamo Bay or Bethnal Green for ISIS teen; and the Manchester bomb

Shamima Begum: Guantanamo Bay or Bethnal Green for ISIS teen; and the Manchester bomb

by | 15th, February 2019

What to do with Shamima Begum, the 19-year-year-old Londoner who at 15 ran away to join ISIS – the death cult that murders gays, Christians and Jews, rapes Christian children it sells into slavery and murders families an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester? After the Times spotted a heavily pregnant Begum in a refugee camp, the debate has raged: do we let her in or keep her out? In a headline so trite is should come with a health warning, the Manchester Evening News reports: “Shamima Begum’s plea to come home is backed by three Good Morning Britain guests.” It’s not war, human heads in bags and genocide. It’s entertainment.

Shamima Begum’s relatives want her back in Britain. Home Secretary Sajid Javid says he “will not hesitate” to prevent the return of those who have supported terrorist organisations abroad. The teenager’s brother-in-law calls for “compassion and understanding”. She’s pregnant, after all. Shamima wants the NHS to care for her unborn child – she lost two babies to illness while living in Syria.

But can she in law be banned from returning to the UK? Yes. Maybe. The Sun says her permanent exclusion from Britain is an option for officials. Or if she does return, can she be jailed? Being a member of a terrorist group is a crime, right? But there is no evidence she took active part in the ultra violence. And she went to Syria as a minor.

There should be some kind of reckoning if she returns. Begum says she wants to “come home and live quietly with my child”. No chance. That’s not how it works. Something happened. She can’t airbrush history and her alleged crimes. She is no victim. Some say she was “groomed”, as if Begum was a passive presence as she chatted about the stuff ISIS is into and found it deeply attractive.

So are we after redemption or simple punishment? And are we bothered more by what any decision says about her than about us? What are out values?

Maybe Begum should be sent to Guantanamo Bay? The Telegraph says most jihadis who return to the UK from Syria are on “secretive” government rehabilitation schemes. “Let Shamima Begum come back, say Bethnal Green residents,” says one Guardian headline. What they say about her in Manchester no-one bothered to find out?

Posted: 15th, February 2019 | In: News Comment | TrackBack | Permalink