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Shamima Begum, regardless of her new image, remains the UK’s responsibility

RescueRanger

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Yes - east London, East Glasgow, wherever the “isolated” communities emerged it was absolutely a haven for these types. i remember my jaw dropping when one fine morning I awoke to see some 200 turbaned shalwar(raised to 3 inches) qameez folks marching with huge flags down the street of the apartment I was sharing and had to pinch myself to make sure I was awake.
I know the type well. Another one of our "quality" exports.
 

ziaulislam

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Shamima Begum, regardless of her new image, remains the UK’s responsibility
Gina Vale


She was groomed as a child and has endured trauma – and to say she now ‘looks western’ is an insult to British Muslims
  • Dr Gina Vale is a senior research fellow at the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation
Shamima Begum on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, 15 September

Shamima Begum on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, 15 September. Photograph: ITV/Rex/Shutterstock

Thu 16 Sep 2021 16.10 BST



In her first live interview since joining Islamic State (IS), on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, 22-year-old Shamima Begum made her latest appeal to return to the UK. She is one of over 6,000 minors who became affiliated with IS, but ever since the grainy CCTV pictures emerged of her leaving the UK with two east London schoolmates in 2015, her case has captured international media attention.

Begum’s case first raises the issue of accountability of minors who become radicalised. At first, media reporting described the three girls as being “lured” into IS, comparing their childhood innocence to the monstrosity of their recruiters. The then education secretary, Nicky Morgan, wrote to their school saying, “We hope and pray for the safe return of the pupils”. In the rush to explain the fact that young girls could turn away from their lives in Britain to join a terrorist organisation, the “jihadi bride” narrative took hold – a catch-all phrase that focuses on girls’ romantic motives.


Yet this term is problematic, because it simplifies, sexualises and stereotypes women’s involvement with the group.

Begum claims that her motivation for joining IS was to “get married, have children and live a pure Islamic life”. However, growing research into women and girls’ radicalisation into IS has revealed varied and individualised motivations, including a desire for belonging, purpose, adventure, ideological fulfilment and even a thirst for violence.
In the terror group’s published articles, marriage and child-rearing were painted as women’s “jihad” and primary duty, but this was not the limit of their activism. Women adopted roles as teachers, doctors, bureaucrats and even frontline combatants and officers in IS’s infamous “morality police”. From innocent schoolgirls to “monsters”, these women are now viewed as a credible security threat.

However, IS’s strict, anonymising female dress code has left little evidence of individual women’s activities within the group’s territory. In her interview, Begum asserts: “I did not do anything in Isis apart from be a mother and a wife … the government don’t actually have anything on me.”

Begum is now demanding the opportunity to prove her innocence and has renounced her support for IS. For some, this notably includes her “new look”. When she appeared without her hijab and abaya, her interviewers on Good Morning Britain questioned her need to “look western” in an attempt to reflect an internal transformation.

There are two troubling assumptions here. First: whether or not her change in appearance is a public relations stunt, Islamic dress should never be construed as a marker or measure of radicalism. While IS mandated that all women within its territory should wear the full burqa, this does not, in any way, mean that all women who choose to wear the burqa are aligned with IS or support other extremist groups. These garments are items of religious dress, not an IS uniform.

Second, this comment normalises a “western” appearance as being without a hijab or other signifier of Islamic faith. It reinforces the discriminatory sentiment that Muslim women do not belong in western – or here, British – society. The social media accounts of young women and girls who joined IS consistently speak of a lack of acceptance, discrimination and overt Islamophobia as reasons for joining the group. Biases in our society that connect radicalisation and physical appearance are easily exploited by extremist recruiters.

In April 2019, IS lost control of its final enclave in Syria, pushing formerly affiliated women and children into secure camps. According to latest estimates, the largest of these, al-Hol, is home to over 65,000 women and children, with almost 10,000 foreign nationals housed in a high-security annex. Overcrowding, poor sanitation and limited access to healthcare have resulted in high infant mortality rates.

All three of Begum’s children are now deceased. Her youngest, Jarrah, died shortly after her arrival at al-Hol. She describes the shoestring medical facilities leaving her feeling that there was “nothing [she] could do to help him”. Whatever one thinks about Begum, the loss of these children is a tragedy. Born into these circumstances, they have paid the highest price for the choices of their parents. But while the death of baby Jarrah can be attributed in part to Begum’s travel to a warzone, it also could have been avoided if he (and his mother) had been allowed to return to Britain.

The UK government’s decision to strip Begum of her British citizenship (asserting that she has claim to Bangladeshi citizenship through her heritage) has sparked controversy. The 1981 British Nationality Act stipulates that a British-born individual cannot be deprived or stripped of their citizenship if they would be rendered stateless. In effect, this means that citizenship deprivation can only be deployed against the children of migrant parents or children of dual nationals, resulting in what some analysts have highlighted as a discriminatory “two-tiered system”.

Travel to Bangladesh, whether possible or not, should not be part of the debate. Begum is/was British. She was born in England and left Britain to join IS. Her actions have consequences that are the UK’s responsibility. Leaving her (and others) in makeshift detention centres only increases the strain on already over-burdened Kurdish authorities, the evidence of which is clear from recent jail-breaks and smuggling campaigns.

Begum has once again become a “poster girl”, this time for demonised former IS-affiliated women. Irrespective of states’ decisions to repatriate or prosecute their citizens, it is clear that many women like Begum have endured psychological and physical trauma during childhood and early adulthood. Their cases should be managed sensitively. Sensationalist questioning and stereotyping by media and politicians will hinder prospects for rehabilitation, feed into discriminatory and Islamophobic narratives, and even potentially reignite support for extremism.
  • Dr Gina Vale is a senior research fellow at the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation, King’s College London
Racist british govt
Discarding their responsibilities
 

UKBengali

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She isn't Bangladeshi and as such does not possess a Bangladeshi passport.


She is British. She has never been to Bangladesh.



If she comes to Bangladesh she will be summarily executed and then the UK government and its people can have that on their conscience.. so much for human rights advocacy.

Summarily executed?

What law has she broken as far as BD is concerned?

Anything that may be proven that she has done will fall under Syrian law and outside BD jusrisdiction.
 

Novus ordu seclorum

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Stripping of nationality should be prohibited by international law as a fundamental violation of human rights. It denies justice. Everyone should have the right to fair trial. The law cannot say you don't qualify to be tried and must be banished. That is punishment without trial and it does not establish guilt. Moreover, it is not the responsibility of Syria to keep her. Syria has the right to deport her to the country she is citizen of.
 

UKBengali

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Stripping of nationality should be prohibited by international law as a fundamental violation of human rights. It denies justice. Everyone should have the right to fair trial. The law cannot say you don't qualify to be tried and must be banished. That is punishment without trial and it does not establish guilt. Moreover, it is not the responsibility of Syria to keep her. Syria has the right to deport her to the country she is citizen of.
It was a joke a UK government minister saying she has done horrible things but does not understand that these are accusations and have not been tested in court as to whether they are in fact true in law.

Shaming Begum is a covenient political football to score cheap political points in the UK.
 

Novus ordu seclorum

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It was a joke a UK government minister saying she has done horrible things but does not understand that these are accusations and have not been tested in court as to whether they are in fact true in law.

Shaming Begum is a covenient political football to score cheap political points in the UK.
There are so many problems with this. Imagine a state saying to a serial killer that he will not be tried in court but will be stripped of citizenship and banished to no man's land. He will be like, thanks.
 

Ahmet Pasha

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Very few people understand the ostracization muslim youth have to go through in the West. If not for Islamic family system. These folks either would have destroyed themselves or others.

There is a lot of abuse that happens subtly. Even if it is overt the authorities look the other way most of the time. Unless it's too big to ignore and becomes big news.
 

jamahir

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Moreover, it is not the responsibility of Syria to keep her. Syria has the right to deport her to the country she is citizen of.
Agreed.

Very few people understand the ostracization muslim youth have to go through in the West.
Come on, older generation British Muslims like Tariq Ali didn't turn out like these modern thwab-wearing TJ types.

If not for Islamic family system. These folks either would have destroyed themselves or others.
And what "Islamic" family system is it that is producing these misguided Muslims who go away to fight wars against progressive Muslim-majority societies like Libya and Syria on behalf of Western governments ?
 

Novus ordu seclorum

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The idiocy of abdicating justice and responsibilities was brought first by the serial human rights violater Saudi Arabia who made OBL stateless. This state is also responsible for creating Salafi extremists in the first place. Nice going declare them some other country's problem by declaring them stateless. Should be outlawed internationally. Didn't think the UK would fall for it but Islamophobia screwed their thinking.
 

DalalErMaNodi

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Summarily executed?

What law has she broken as far as BD is concerned?

Anything that may be proven that she has done will fall under Syrian law and outside BD jusrisdiction.


So according to you we should harbour a known terrorist ?



This is Bangladesh. Zero tolerance for terrorism. Nobody will oppose her execution.


Either the UK takes her back or let's her rot.



Foreign Minister momen himself said she'd be executed, her fate should she come to BD is sealed.
 

camelguy

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Can I just add that there would have never been ISIS if not for the UK and US adventure.

Shamima would be on onlyfans in the UK and no one would be talking about her useless parents.
 

UKBengali

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So according to you we should harbour a known terrorist ?



This is Bangladesh. Zero tolerance for terrorism. Nobody will oppose her execution.


Either the UK takes her back or let's her rot.



Foreign Minister momen himself said she'd be executed, her fate should she come to BD is sealed.
No, she is nothing to do with BD as she was born in the UK, never set foot in BD and does not have citizenship.
BD has no obligation to let her in and so the point is moot.

Momen should never have made that statement as it makes BD look like a banana republic. He should just have said that she is not a citizen of BD and so will not be allowed to enter the country.
 

DalalErMaNodi

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No, she is nothing to do with BD as she was born in the UK, never set foot in BD and does not have citizenship.
BD has no obligation to let her in and so the point is moot.

Momen should never have made that statement as it makes BD look like a banana republic. He should just have said that she is not a citizen of BD and so will not be allowed to enter the country.


Had he not said that, regardless of whether he meant it, she'd have been on a plane to Dhaka first thing the next day.


And once she is in Bangladesh, they'd pressure us into keeping her.



Best thing that man ever did was to make it look like we're, as you put it, a banana republic. The direct consequence of this being they didn't dare make her our responsibility because then it'd make them look bad.
 

Indos

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Just forgive her, we are all make mistake, dont we ?

Indonesia even has released many ex-terrorist after they fulfil their prison time. During the prison time we do conseling and make them understand more about Islam.

 

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