Islamic State bride Shamima Begum wants second chance
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Begum and two friends ditched the United Kingdom in 2015 as a 15-year-old schoolgirl for a life with Islamic State. Four years later she was discovered living in a Syrian refugee camp, with her two children having died and her IS fighter husband nowhere to be seen.
At the time, she pleaded to return to her home country with her third child. But the British Home Secretary at the time, Sajid Javid, revoked her citizenship and her child later died.
Over the last year, lawyers for Begum have been fighting to allow her to return to the United Kingdom so she can appeal the citizenship decision. That was smacked down in February by the nation’s Supreme Court, which ruled she was a security risk.
Now, in a new documentary filmed over the last two years, Begum has spoken out, saying that she wanted to kill herself after the death of her third child.
“That day I just cried for all my children. I cried for all of them. No one could help me, no one could do anything,” ITV reports Begum as saying.
She says people wrongly “feel like I’m responsible” for Islamic State’s crimes, but insists she is innocent, not knowing about or supporting the terrorist group’s actions. Begum calls herself “naive” and claims she said some things – like that she didn’t regret joining IS – as she was scared that if she didn’t, she would be killed.
In the documentary, the woman explains that she left the United Kingdom for Syria as she felt like she was the “black sheep in the family” and “felt really guilty” about the suffering of Muslims in the Middle Eastern country.
“I always wanted to be part of a Muslim community because when I was young, I felt like I was an outsider in my community,” Begum says. “So I just wanted to be a part of something. My friends started practicing [Islam] and they helped me come into the religion as well.”
Begum says the British government has made up stories to make her sound more dangerous than she actually is and has asked Brits to give her another chance.
“I would say to the people in the UK to give me a second chance because I was still young when I left,” Begum says. “I would ask that they put aside everything they’ve heard about me and just have an open mind about why I left and who I am now as a person.”
The documentary was directed by Alba Sotorra Clua, who believes Begum could stop others from making a similar mistake.
“It took them a while to realise that they have responsibility for their choice… They cannot just think ‘Okay, I regret, I go back, as if nothing has happened,'” she said. “No, it’s not about this… you have to accept the consequences.”
Source: News Hub