shamima platform magazine

Thoughts on the Shamima Begum situation

Terrorism has plagued the modern world. Numerous events around the globe have led to the deaths of innocent people and many attacks have been carried out by the so-called Islamic State.

We often hear of people from the UK going to Syria to join their “brothers and sisters” and fight for Islamic state. Which leads to the question, should we allow them back into the country if they change their minds about working for a terrorist organisation?

Shamima Begum was a schoolgirl when she and her two friends decided to leave London and join Islamic state in 2015. In recent weeks she has been in the media limelight after stating her intention to return to the UK to raise her child. This seems like a rather disrespectful decision considering how she has been part of Islamic state for four years. Does she expect us to simply roll over, get out the red carpet and welcome her back? I certainly don’t think so, and so don’t many others.

Setting foot in this country again would lead to her being interrogated, questioned and forced to give as much information as possible on a terrorist group that has been responsible for killing thousands of people.

Quite frankly we shouldn’t even be considering her return, or even debating it. She chose to travel to Syria. She chose to help ISIS in any way she could. She married a man she’d never met. She allowed herself to be taken in by their ideology and she has shown no regret or remorse. In interviews she admits she has been unshaken by seeing hideous acts of violence on innocent people, including decapitation.

Some have argued that her age led her to join Islamic State. At 15 years old however, I think such an argument is weak and naïve. She was old enough to know that murder and terrorism was wrong, and she had accepted the ideology they promoted.

What is also shocking is the mockery of the religion they think they represent. Islam doesn’t teach people to carry out terrorist attacks, or murder innocent people. I feel sorry for Muslims who have to come out in public and urge others to realise that Islam is not a religion that promotes acts of terror.

Ms Begum has not yet proved to the world that she deserves to return to the UK with her new born son. She has shown no regret for her decision to join the terrorist organisation and her naivety has plagued her thought process so deeply she thinks she can stroll back into Bethnal Green Tesco’s like nothing ever happened. Her pleas for forgiveness are underpinned by desperation to come back to a western world where she thinks everything will be handed to her on a plate. Perhaps Lee Rigby’s mother could put her up.

By Sam Phillips

This article is the opinion of the author and should not be considered representative of the entirety of Platform.

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