World News This Week #3

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Shamima is not a threat.

Shamima Begum is on the news again as the Court of Appeal has ruled that she can return to the UK to fight for her citizenship. Begum, 20, was stripped of her UK citizenship in early 2019 and is currently in a refugee camp in North East Syria, living in harsh and difficult conditions.

She was born and raised in the London area of Bethnal Green to Bangladeshi parents. In 2015 she left the UK with her two friends, Amira Abase and Kadiza Sultan and travelled to the Syrian city of Raqqa via Turkey where she married a Dutch fighter, Yago Riedijk.

At least one of her friends has been killed and the whereabouts of the other is unknown.  Begum lived under Islamic State rule for more than three years.

Give her a chance to tell her story

She was found in a refugee camp in early 2019. She was heavily pregnant at the time with her third child. The British government revoked her citizenship and barred her from returning to the UK. The then Home Secretary, Sajid Javid cancelled her citizenship on security grounds. Her intention to return to the UK resulted in a public debate about the handling of terror suspects who want to return to the UK.

Her lawyer has stated that she hasn’t had the chance to tell her side of the story. It is illegal under international law to make someone stateless. Without a nationality, a person will not be able to travel, have access to healthcare or employment and have no way of supporting themselves. Article 15 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights declares that every human has the right to a nationality.

The British government argued that by revoking her citizenship she wouldn’t become stateless as she was eligible for Bangladeshi citizenship. The Government of Bangladesh, however, stated that Begum was not a Bangladeshi citizen and would not be allowed to enter the country. 

“It is wrong to judge her actions carried out when she was a child of 15 as she has paid for that terrible mistake ever since.”

Have Some Pity

While still a child she was brainwashed online and left the UK with two other impressionable young girls. She has been traumatised by living in a warzone and worse, has lost three children. Two boys and one girl, all who died from sickness or malnutrition. To lose even one child is any mother’s worst nightmare.

It is wrong to judge her actions carried out when she was a child of 15 as she has paid for that terrible mistake ever since. She deserves pity for being groomed and manipulated. Admittedly she made a grave mistake joining the so called Islamic State and should face charges as a result, but it is wrong to leave her in the squalor of a refugee camp with no hope.

She is British, born here, raised and educated here but under the manipulation of recruiters, she naively left to join the glamorised ‘Islamic State.’ Though many would say she deserves everything that has happened to her, it is basic humanity to forgive a mistake made by a 15 year old girl who was never involved in actual fighting or acts of terror. She also said in an interview that the Islamic State did not deserve victory because of their corruption and oppression. This signals her changed and more mature opinion of the terror group. She is not a threat.

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9 COMMENTS

  1. Muslims sometimes feel the pain and discrimination caused to other Muslims around the world. TV Speaks nothing good about Islam, but only to cause dread and xenophobia towards us. But if you use your faith, and a little effort the TRUTH becomes open to you. Islam has been stigmatized as an extreme fundamentalist religion. As our abrahamic religions have a connection, rarely does any choose another faith, especially Islam. As the Qur’an and hadith are completely authentic if you try to learn. Judaism, to Christianity, to Islam. I believe that our prophets loved each other, or maybe they conversed, as allah’s power is incomparable. It’s almost like when the prophets passed, these religions scattered in every direction, to find hope in their despair… As Muslims are still subject to prejudice in this country,And, the twin towers were bombed in 91 or so, but failed. In the ground (parking lot). Liked reading your article SutoBhai

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  2. May Allah bless you Muhammad, it’s very easy to go with the populist view and peddle the media narrative that she’s a ‘monster’ etc. Unfortunately too many people including muslims are easily swayed by anything the mainstream media spouts out.

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    • Aameen to your dua brother, but I would like to offer a rebuttal to your opinion. Occasionally, inveterate liars will tell the truth. Media studies can enlighten a person to the various narratives mainstream media outlets construct and deconstruct. Journalists work for a wage, and selling papers isn’t altruistic, it’s capitalism and works for the enrichment of their bosses’ personal/industrial/state sponsored agendas. That’s the reality of most forms of media. Now coming back to the truth regarding this particular person. Perhaps she now disagrees with ISIS ideology, but how has she repented for breaking Allah Taala’s commands, being part of a group that murdered Muslims, even just hurting her family’s feelings and disobeying her parents? The Shariah has clear limits and everyone sins, but each individual has a duty to turn in repentance to Allah Taala.

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      • Why I sympathise with Shamima Begum
        She told the BBC in February 2019, “I was hoping Britain would understand I made a mistake, a very big mistake because I was young and naive.” She has lost three children to malnutrition and disease. Imagine the grief and trauma of losing three babies.
        She was aged 13 when initially contacted by ISIS. Undoubtedly she is a victim of child grooming.
        Maybe she has repented and Allah has forgiven her for the sin of disobeying her parents. No one has a guarantee they will die as a true believer. Who knows what is in someone’s heart?
        Ultimately, Shamima Begum should return to the UK to be held accountable for her crime of joining a terror group and not be left stateless in a refugee camp.
        Less than 1 percent of the population have studied the media. Majority of the population are brainwashed sheep. Their views, if they even hold them, are shaped by the media who just want the latest scoop and it suits them to sensationalise stories to sell papers or get hits online.
        She is a disavowed member of ISIS and is happy to face British justice. Her only crime was to leave the UK under the influence of cruel and manipulative recruiters. She acknowledges her mistake.

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      • There are many reporters who have a conscience, and choose to try to bring the truth to the people through investigation and writing. Sometimes it’s not always about money and power, it’s about truth, love and humility. Yes the papers, directors, fellow workers have their own opinion, but if the truth is evident to them, then it will be heard. You just need to try.

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  3. I can’t say I share your sympathy for this person, but I appreciate how justice and fair process should apply to everyone, even former/disavowed members of ISIS. May Allah Taala have mercy on the Muslims oppressed in Syria and throughout the world.

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