The death of Shamima Begum’s baby should be a moment for national reflection.
The home secretary, Savid Javid, who holds one of the most important offices of state, caved in to the hostility from the usual noisy quarters and stripped her of British citizenship. Within a few weeks of that decision, Shamima’s baby died in a refugee camp. This sad state of affairs speaks loudly about the sorry state of British politics.
Reasoned, considered debate, based on evidence and well-established values, has been all but lost. In its place is the “dog whistle” response, intended to polish political credentials with whichever faction will enhance your own career.
Radicalised in Britain, the country of her birth, Shamima Begum and two other friends left their families and flew out to join Isis. Begum was 15 when she ran away from home and went overseas. British law is very clear: anyone under the age of 16 is a child. Children lack the maturity to make important decisions – we deem them vulnerable and the state has a strict duty of care. Given she was off to join one of the most brutal and ruthless terrorist groups the world had ever seen, her actions should have caused great alarm.
Three years and three dead children later, Shamima wanted to come home. In interviews before and after giving birth to baby Jarrah, Shamima spoke to journalists, no doubt without any thought as to how her words would be received. Barely a soul had a scrap of sympathy for her situation and I’d include myself in that.
Categories: The Muslim Times