Actions have consequences. Perhaps someone should have mentioned that to Shamima Begum before she ran off to join IS in its terrorism.
She left, along with fellow Bethnal Green Academy schoolgirls Kadiza Sultana and Amira Abase, in 2015 – and was married to an IS fighter within three months.
She has since had two children with him – both of whom have died.
Now pregnant with a third child, she says she wants to come home because she fears for its future – and wants to take advantage of the care provided by the National Health Service.
Why should she have it?
This young woman is entirely unrepentant.
She left the UK in order to support terrorism and has shown no regret for doing so. She exhibited no horror at the memory of seeing decapitated heads thrown into bins by members of IS and it seems likely she wants to come back because she now realises IS may soon be wiped out.
She seems a very selfish young woman with attitudes that could be described as sociopathic.
And she has pushed This Writer into a corner where I find myself agreeing with Home Secretary Sajid Javid about her: She should not be allowed to return to the UK. She should not be provided the support of a system she wanted to help overthrow.
Mr Javid told The Times: “If you have supported terrorist organisations abroad I will not hesitate to prevent your return. We must remember that those who left Britain to join Daesh were full of hate for our country. If you do manage to return you should be ready to be questioned, investigated and potentially prosecuted.”
Ms Begum made her choice and seems happy with it.
Her only reason for wanting to return is health tourism – and we’ve spent the last few years listening to politicians and ordinary citizens across the UK saying that people coming to the UK from abroad should not be allowed to scrounge free healthcare from the taxpayer.
This person should not be any different from them.
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Is there a face to face interview with her now? She’s still an easily led teenager from a closed door background, it doesn’t really make sense to me if she has 2 kids already & they’re ok plus she hates this country and it’s people knows it’s very likely she will end up being locked up for an indefinite time why for a 3rd child she wants to come back, I won’t believe MSM coverage of this to be the complete truth
Her other 2 children died…
My understanding is that her 2 other children died.
The other two children died.
her previous two children are not alive. they died,if you read the above properly. but how she expects our country to take her back ,whatever her reason, i dont know. if shes not repententant at all then no way. if she showed remorse then there might be a slight chance i would say yes but not without constant surveillance etc,)and we cant afford that with out depleted police force and other forces.
Mike, whilst I sympathise with. your natural ‘reaction’, it’s important to remember that this young woman was initiated into a cult whilst still a child. She was then ‘trafficked’ to Syria and was exposed to who knows what, we have yet to discover. In her interview she is both dissociated (a psychological response to what she has seen and experienced and is also in the middle of a refugee camp full of her fellow cultists – what else is she to say but the cult message. As a British Citizen she is entitled to return and only then should a full evaluation of her be carried out in a secure place of safety.
Pat – Respect for your compassion. ‘Judge not’, comes to mind although I can understand how emotional the negative reactions can get – but IMHO we should attempt to push past that gut reaction, step back – and try not to victim-blame.
Who is the victim in this story?
She will return and make millions out of her story…
And if she should ‘make millions ‘ out of her story, who will be responsible for that? The girl, or those who hover around her pretending to befriend her but really to pick over her and her family’s bones! 😓
There is a double standard here. Our own government (in collusion with the US, France, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Israel and others) has supported terrorist organisations abroad and continues to do so. We have sent them recruits (such as Begum), as well as money and weapons.
Daesh, along with many similar jihadist groups, is a mercenary army, advancing the foreign policy interests of Western governments and their allies, providing an excuse for US military intervention as well as directly pursuing regime change in Syria. They are our proxies abroad, whilst also providing an excuse for domestic repression and divide-and-rule propaganda at home (through Islamophobic terror narratives). The idea that we (our governments) are fighting against them is entirely illusory. When they are no longer useful as ISIS / Daesh, they are rebranded as FSA, SDF, HTS, FAI or whatever other label is convenient to support the new narrative.
It is well known that Turkey (a NATO member) and Saudi Arabia have been major supporters of Daesh, yet these countries receive no criticism at all from their allies (that’s us) on this. Moreover, does anyone seriously believe that MI6 could not prevent a bunch of teenagers travelling from the UK to join ISIS in Syria, via very well known rat lines running through Turkey? No British citizen joins ISIS without the full approval of the British state.
I disagree (though not entirely). Her obviously grief-stricken father wants her back and her innocent unborn child is not to blame for the wrong choices she made. So I say let her in, let her deliver her baby and then prosecute, re-educate, deradicalise, whatever. But don’t let another baby die just for revenge.
She made her bed, let her lie in it. She is unrepentant and she knew what she was doing!!
For once, Jacob Rees-Mogg got it entirely right. The young woman who ran away to ISIS is a UK citizen, and she is entitled to stay a UK citizen just as any criminal who is a UK citizen.
Furthermore, she was a child when she ran away. She has suffered: being pregnant three times from the age of 15 to 19 and having two babies dying of starvation makes her a victim – if a victim of her own choices that she made as a child. Her child, a UK citizen and herself are entitled to treatment from the health service.
I am sorry for once to be extremely disappointed in your blog.
Apparently she is not entitled to NHS treatment because the NHS is a residence-based service and as Ms Begun has not been a UK resident for more than three years, she doesn’t qualify.
Absolutely agree Mike.
I entirely agree. We are suffering hardship with OUR national health system due to moneygrubbers and this person showed her true colours. She has resigned her British status, totally of her own volition. She has, therefore, forfeited her right of access to the peoples health service. End of this story!
I’m surprised you take this attitude. This was is groomwd teenager. She needs rehabilitation. Yes she is potentially a danger but we have a duty of care of our children
How do you know she was groomed? You don’t. How do you know she will respond to “rehabilitation”? You don’t. And she isn’t a child; she’s an adult with all the responsibilities of an adult.
how do i know she was groomed? same way either of us know she actually exists, media. she was 15, she is only 19 now. If it happened to you you’d be screwed up too. and if it happened to your daughter you’d want her back, I strongly suspect.
regardless it is in the national and international interest for countries to take them back leaving them in refugee camps is not a feasible answer. Apart from anything else it seperates them and puts within a more credible infrastructure.
and regardless even of that she is still a citizen.You are opening the door to a further change that has already happened weakening citizen rights in ways that will be felt by what you probably consider more deserving refugees and citizens.
Right, so you don’t know she was groomed at all – you have no proof.
I can show she exists because there are photographs of her all over the media, and we can look up her official records if we want.
No, I’m not opening a door to a weakening of citizens’ rights by expressing an opinion about an individual.
It is not in the national interest to have a huge security risk (as described by the head of MI6) here in the UK, draining our security resources as she will have to be watched, possibly for the rest of her life.
you think she wasn’t groomed? iISIS ad a massive inline presence at that time alot of it specifically targeted towards young girls and women. https://graziadaily.co.uk/fashion/shopping/groomed-become-isis-bride/
But that isn’t really the issue, I’d say bring her back if she went willingly, nor is it the issue that if it were your daughter you would want to bring her back.
Nor is it the issue that i have already argued and you ignored that it is in the national interest to not have ISIS sitting around in refugee camps with nowhere to turn to except he next jihad.
yes you are weakening citizens rights by by expressing an opinion about an individual’s citizenship rights being conditional on their behavior and your denial of it is utterly disingenuous for someone who poses as you do as champion for truth against exactly that kind of BS. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/feb/17/the-observer-view-on-shamima-begum
You lack compassion on this issue, it’s an emotive one, that tests the limits for many people I’m sure.
No, I don’t lack compassion on this issue. I simply look at it in a rational way. There’s a difference.
the is little point in claiming rationalism when it is obviously that which is being argued. we aren’t monkeys hitting a keyboard at random.
There is nothing rational about rescinding citizenship to people based on their behavior. their citizenship has nothing to do with it.
If they are dangerous aresholes then they retain their nationality as such. we don’t think its ok to export our criminals overseas, well we shouldn’t, it is another aspect of hostile environment:
People have a right to statehood: http://www.upenn.edu/pennpress/book/15363.html
Rejecting their nationality does nothing to stop a person being dangerous and leaving people of a violent cult organisation in refugee camps dotted around the region they once overtook, in an area of poor infrastructure and ability to rehabilitate them is a recipe for a resurgence. You confirm they have nowhere to go but to whatever the next incarnation of arabic terrorism, itself in no small part a reaction to our invasion and manipulation of their nations, offers next.
We should focus on rehabilitating our errant teenagers, punishment and rejection will never do that.
If a person behaves in a way that shows they intend to harm the country of which they are a citizen – its institutions, its way of life, its culture – then it is clear that they do not want to be a part of that country. Isn’t it? And if they aren’t located in that country, it is impossible to bring them to that country’s justice. What option does that country have, in such a situation?
I note that Sajid Javid has just taken the decision to deprive Ms Begum of her UK citizenship. He will have made that decision after consulting with the most learned legal minds he can access.
He’s still a Tory, so we should feel free to criticise him at will – but we must have good grounds for doing so. As I stated before, there has been an unhealthy element of emotionalism attached to one side of the debate which needs to be removed.
Bear in mind that a prime purpose of a country’s government is the protection of the people. The Conservatives are extremely poor at this because it may be argued that they are responsible for the deaths of many thousands – perhaps hundreds of thousands – of UK citizens themselves. That being said, it is clear that they could argue successfully against bringing a known terrorist sympathiser back into this country from a foreign land, in order to protect the population in general.
I have posted in the past on the reasons for terrorism in the Middle East, and the UK’s role in those reasons. I won’t be lectured on that aspect of this matter.
You cannot prove that this person is not a threat; MI6 says she is, and that expert opinion trumps both of us. You cannot prove she has any interest in rehabilitation – she is on the record as being unrepentant. And you cannot prove that she was groomed or seduced by underhand means into radicalisation. It is entirely possible that she simply agrees with the philosophy of IS.
Put it all together and you cannot prove that bringing this person back to the UK is not deliberately putting UK citizens in harm’s way. That is a risk that no UK government minister may take – especially after Salman Ramadan Abedi.
“If a person behaves in a way that shows they intend to harm the country of which they are a citizen – its institutions, its way of life, its culture – then it is clear that they do not want to be a part of that country. Isn’t it? ” By this reasoning all criminals, or in some brexiters terms all remainers (and vice versus) even could be deported. and you said you were not encouraging this.
“And if they aren’t located in that country, it is impossible to bring them to that country’s justice. What option does that country have, in such a situation?” But it isn’t impossible to bring her home, nor would acting oppositely be a sensible response to not being able to. if the problem was being blocked from doing so.
Savjid David may have consulted the ching for all I care, he decided himself outside of a court of law, it stands to be challenged legally for obviuos reasons mentioned.
Yes there is alot emotional baggage. remove it and see that we have international obligations to uphold and human rights that should not be breached becuase one case is difficult.
the protection of its people but this woman is one of its people, again your argument leads to the acceptance of deportation. If its ok to say not to people coming back who may have cimmitted crimes then its ok to kick people out who may have committed crimes. You don’t even need to take them to court according to this reasoning.
You have posted on the reasons for terrorism which makes it all the more surprising that you wash you hands ofanother of its effects.
I have no intention of proving this isn’t a threat, it isn’t part of my argument that she isn’t threat, in fact I accepted from the outset that she is a potential threat as are the ISIS people who need to be returned. So are many people who retain citizenship, the prisons are full of them and the tories are doing what they can to deport them on similarly spuriuos grounds (parents from bangladesh!)
I don’t intend to prove that this is not putting citizens in harms way, although there is no indication at all that this woman has been violent towards anyone. we have obligations that goe beyond that, and the consequences of and potential harm of leaving UK ISIS members festering in camps in the middle east is far worse. Again by your argument deportation should be employed whereever there is a crime, a violent one at least.
Your argument ignores the main point: She is a citizen. We should not using a human right to punish people by withdrawing it, neither should we be foisting problematic citizens onto other countries to deal with, nor should we be ignoring our obligations incurred to Syria for our input into the war and the input of our citizens.
Citizenship should not be the issue.
No – most criminals, and certainly all Remainers, have no intention of harming the country as a whole. Criminals who do must face serious penalties. One of those is the deprivation of citizenship “for the public good”.
If someone has fled the country in order to support acts that are harmful to that country, in whose interest would it be for that country to go to the expense of bringing them home? Certainly not the country they have attacked.
Sajid Javid did not consult the I Ching; he consulted government lawyers. But you’re right, his decision is entirely open to challenge in the courts.
We do indeed have international obligations to uphold – and the government also has an obligation to protect UK citizens. Try to remember that.
Your reasoning around deportation is specious. This person did not just commit crimes; she supported terrorism and she supported treason. Have a sense of proportion, please.
You cannot prove bringing her back won’t threaten UK citizens or put them in harm’s way. I wonder why you continue arguing this case.
She is NOT a citizen, by the way.
it is against international and uk law to make someone stateless. citizenship is a right by international law, nota privilege. and it is wrong to make citizenship conditional.
it is your reasoning that is specious using arguments that confuse the rights of a citizen with the right to be a citizen.
Wrong. Citizenship carries duties. They are not onerous, but they do exist. And failure to honour those duties does carry a penalty.
Whether Ms Begum has been made stateless is a matter for debate. You might be determined that this is what has happened, but then you have an agenda.
no you are wrong, I’ll repeat it, try and get the difference:
You are confusing the right to citizenship with the rights of being a citizen.
read the above sentence a few times. Go over it, Understand its implications and nuance.
Instead of just defending your position try and understand the argument being presented.
You are confusing the right to citizenship with the rights of being a citizen.
If you do not honour your commitments there are several ways that your rights to the benefits of citizenship can be curtailed, but you are still a citizen having your rights curtailed, your right to being a citizen is not challenged. you are thrown in prison or whatever, but you are still a citizen being thrown in prison, many of the rights of citizenship are lost but the citizenship itself is intact.
This is an important principle and a human right and you are willing to trash it. That has consequences for the security of every citizen who may not please the status quo or the govt of the day, or the mob rule that is becoming so much more common with brexit and the resurgence of nationalism . ( Incidentally the last system I know of where you lost your citizenship if you were executed by the state was nazi germany but I wouldn’t be surprised if soviet russia did that too, they will have been repressive ones).
Robin, your comments are repetitive and unconvincing. You seem to think the right to citizenship may never be revoked and are trying to twist the facts to suit that belief. You need to understand the situation as it really is. Shamima Begum has really been deprived of her citizenship, as around 100 people were also really deprived of it before her. Nobody’s human rights have been trashed. Nobody has opened the door to the wholesale removal of citizenship for specious reasons. There is an important principle here, and it is that people with an agenda like yourself should not be allowed to get away with repeating nonsense again and again in the hope that eventually someone will believe them. This correspondence is over; I’ll be deleting any other comments of yours on the same lines as this. You have failed to engage on any level other than to keep repeating an unpersuasive argument – and if you don’t like it, don’t whine about it because that’ll be deleted too.
I’m an extremely patient person but there is no reasoning with you on this.
I disagree Mile. She was an easily led child who was radicalised. At 19 she is barely an adult. She has had two babies die. We don’t know the full horrors of what she has witnessed. We don’t know if she felt safe enough to speak freely and therefor said she felt no regrets. This young woman has been traumatized in ways you cannot know or understand. Legally she is a British citizen and as such should be allowed to return. On her return she should be questioned, and if needs be prosected. But, she should also have psychological treatment, and her innocent unborn baby should have a right to be born in a safe environment.
Normally I like your blogs Mike, but I think you are letting your anger turn you into an extremist.
How do you know she was easily-led? Did you know her personally? You refer to things we don’t know, yet you seem happy to make claims that you simply cannot support with evidence.
And whatever makes you think I’m angry? Judging from many of the responses I’ve received here, on Facebook and on Twitter, it seems I’m one of the few who are actually examining this case rationally.
She knew enough to deceive her parents and she gave no thought to how they would feel! If a child is criminally reponsible at 10yrs then she was old enough to know better. What about all the British who are suffering here through no fault of their own.
besides the leader of MI6 has said that he is Not willing to risk any of his officer’s lives to bring her home. Even if she does get back her child will be taken away from her and she will go to prison.
Remember the Windrush scandal? We cannot pick and choose which British citizens are worthy of citizenship. Under international law, we cannot make her stateless. Sajid Javid was wrong to deny those with criminal records who had been illegally deported the right of return. This girl, regardless of what she has done, is a British citizen and should come home, where she should face the law, for whatever it is that she has done. Her child is innocent and denying that child safety, here, we would be creating, potentially, another terrorist. Unrepentant. What does that tell you? The fact that she was unfazed by the sight of severed heads should tell you all that you need to know. She didn’t leave the country and emotionally void human being; she was a highly emotional 15 years old girl. You’ve heard of Stockholm Syndrome. This girl has been indoctrinated and clearly, emotionally abused. We are supposed to be civilised, rational people. £et us not take on the values of Daesh. We must show understanding and compassion and, as I said, let her face the law and if found guilty of any crime, she must pay, just as she would have, had she committed the crime here.
You are speculating. The facts do not support your claims.
The fact that she is a British citizen and that it is unacceptable to make her stateless is not up for debate.
And I’m not saying the UK should do that. Read the article again.Ms Begun made particular choices and they have consequences.
I would hazard a guess that, at the time of her leaving, seeing severed heads in bins would have disturbed her, profoundly. The fact that this is no longer the case, suggests that she has endured sever mental trauma. If these are my claims, what are the facts, of which you speak, that contradict them?
I reiterate, we don’t get to pick and choose who our citizens are.
I don’t need any facts to contradict them because you haven’t presented me with any facts to contradict. That’s my point.
I understand the reaction but I can’t reconcile myself to it while recognising that she is herself a victim, she was radicalised here, she was still legally a child when she left, she is still a British citizen. That doesn’t mean we should forget and forgive, let alone give her a hero’s welcome but it does mean we are partially culpable. We should let her back, assess, treat, prosecute, imprison etc as appropriate. The level of violence she has been exposed to, the physical privations, 3 pregnancies in as many years etc will have harmed her, and whatever she says in front of her current community has to be viewed in the light of that and the likelihood of reprisal.
Why do you say she is a victim? How do you know? Yes, she was radicalised – but that might simply have been a matter of reading up on IS and deciding she supported it and wanted to help it. She is still a UK citizen because the UK does not recognise any legitimacy for IS – not because she wants to be a UK citizen. Why are we partially culpable? We did not send her to IS. As I said in the article, actions have consequences.
In my new article on this matter, I have suggested that she should be told what will happen if she does manage to return to the UK. Then we can draw our own conclusions about her from whether she still wants to come.
What do you mean when you refer to “the level of violence she has been exposed to” – are you implying that she has suffered violence herself, or are you saying she will have been affected by violence she has seen? How do you know that either has happened? You don’t.
How do you know she is likely to face reprisals for the things she says in her current location? That is speculation.
In what way are We culpable? She decided on her own path in life.
I for one wouldn’t want to see her back in this Country . .
Two babies dead of starvation, and another likely to go the same way? what have they done to deserve to die? We have got to the point where our hearts are turning to stone!! The west destabilises a country, and young people of the UK listen to stories of their relatives bombed by our countrymen and homeless or dead. We are complicit, even though we have no blood on our hands directly. This scenario, coupled with school bullying, and discrimination enables children in the UK to be brainwashed into an “adventure”. She probably does need reprogramming, but not by a culture that sees newborns as expendable. OUR national health system is in a mess due to political choice. The Tories have always defunded and sold to the highest bidder, but you are not screeching about Virgincare, and it suing the NHS. Never mind the billionaire profiteers when there is a young woman to blame!! Her baby dies because we are now less than human, and we have made even more enemies,fired up by stories of our inhumane actions who believe they are justified in barbarian acts – which is exactly how we are acting by letting babies of any nationality die. Colin, Trevor and Mike, you are betraying the spirit of Bevan, you are betraying the spirit of the welfare state, and splitting the vulnerable into deserving and undeserving. It is the very way they keep us down, it is how they justified the workhouse. No baby should be a dead baby because we lack compassion.
This is a false argument.
If the UK were to intervene to stop one (or two) foreign-born babies from dying, then the UK opens it up to demands that it try to stop all foreign babies from dying. Are you aware of the amount of cost that would involve? What about the fact that it would relieve foreign governments (yes, including that of IS) of responsibility to look after their own people? Ms Begum made a choice to live where she did, under the conditions that were prevalent there. That’s a lot more freedom than most people have, yet you are saying the UK should not honour her decision, even though she shows no sign of changing her mind after becoming an adult (which is another argument that has been used in this case – that she was too young to make that choice).
I am well aware that our National Health Service is in a mess due to political choice. You seem keen to claim that I am ignoring the UK’s misbehaviour abroad (not true; see my articles on that issue) and denying the situation in the NHS (also not true; see my articles on that issue) in order to make your point, but the fact that you have to ignore my actions in order to criticise me simply demonstrates the falseness of your argument; you have to lie about me in order to make it.
I’m not splitting the vulnerable into the deserving and the undeserving; I’m saying that it is not for us to override the decisions of other people and other nations about they way they live.
I’m really suprised, shocked and disappointed by this article, its something I would expect from The Mail, not find here. You’ve really let yourself down here and showed no understanding of the complex psychological effects grooming can have on a young mind. I’ve always supported your blog, but not anymore.
There is no evidence to support claims that this person was subjected to any form of grooming. She was radicalised, but that is a different thing. We have no evidence that she was brainwashed or subjected to any other psychological coercion. It seems to me that you are angry because I have pointed out some uncomfortable facts about this case. Can you provide any hard evidence to support your assertions?
Mike you too are just taking your ‘facts’ at face value. Don’t forget the ways of MSM in getting interviewers to say/support what they have decided is the angle they wish to pursue. None of us knows the whole picture, which is why I suggested that she should be returned here (as international law requires) confined and subject to a full deep psychological assessment. if she has committed any crimes, these must be dealt with in the normal way. I imagine décisions will be made regarding her child but are we turning into the USA where every case is decided by trial by media? I had thought we were better than that! Groomed/radicalised little difference to me. A lot of the victims in the sexual grooming cases didn’t understand that they were victims at the time. Let’s show some compassion until there has been an in depth investigation please.
We form our opinions based on the facts that are presented to us. I think the sticking-point here is the difference between facts and opinions. There will be no trial by media in this case. Ms Begum will not be made to remain in a refugee camp – or come to the UK – because of any viewpoints published here or elsewhere in the MSM or social media. Her fate will be decided by lawyers and the government. I have seen no evidence that my initial appraisal of this young woman is incorrect and none of those preaching compassion (because it’s an emotive word?) have presented any fact-based argument for me to do so.
You heartless s**t. i want to leave but cannot.Goodbye
Is that the limit of your ability to debate?
Not a matter or choice or personal opinion. She is a british national and thetefore she can come back. Then, we have a legal system (apparently great). It will be decided if she was a victim, or a criminal… or a combination of both… a victim at 15, and a criminal now. Not for me, nor for you to judge. Also “15 year old white british girl moves to Colombia to join a christian sect and helps kid getting raped as demanded by the cult”. Do you remember that story in the 90s?
No compassion here for a child. Time for me to leave before some of you start reading the Daily mail.
That is a simplistic, prejudicial viewpoint you’re pushing. Why are you so willing to absolve the parent(s) of responsibility for their decisions? Remember there are many children in other countries who are born in conditions that mean their chances of survival are low. Should we have compassion for them, too? The NHS would be overloaded with children from other countries – and it is overloaded already. The situation is not as clear-cut as you are rather desperately claiming and it is disingenuous of you to suggest otherwise.
Hi Mike I have just seen a video on YouTube, the same interview where Ms Begum is saying that people should feel sorry for her. (I don’t)!!! She has given birth to a boy who she has named Farrer.
this is now why I’m against her coming back!!!