The extremism that attracted Shamima Begum and others must be combatted with crucial legal reforms – and a robust political defence of our nation state
Ever since Shamima Begum was found in a Kurdish-run camp in northern Syria, the debate on whether she (and others) should be left overseas or brought back to face charges in the UK has raged unabated. The Sunday Times recently reported that police and UK intelligence agencies are looking to bring a number of charges against these so-called “Jihadi brides” when some of them attempt to return to the UK.
If they expect to be greeted as victims of radicalisation rather than criminals, they may be unpleasantly surprised. Public sentiment has turned significantly against these individuals, and the space for forgiveness has considerably narrowed.
Many communities in the UK have suffered from the encroachment of extremism and terrorism; many have been unable to access public services and now rely on foodbanks just to keep going. As far as these millions of people are concerned, they’ve been left behind both socially and financially even after following the rules of our country.