Maybe Shamima Begum is wearing Western clothes because she has renounced her “extremism.” Or maybe she is wearing them because she thinks she will better be able to play on the heartstrings of the British public by wearing them. Or maybe she is wearing them because the Islamic State (ISIS) told jihadis to wear Western clothing to appear “moderate” and secular, and then to strike when called upon to do so. In any case, it is clear that the British media truly, madly, deeply, wants her back in the country, and will not rest until she has returned. Given the state of Britain today, it is surprising that she isn’t back already, and she almost certainly will be soon. Then, if the British continue on their current path, she’ll be prime minister in no time.
“Shamima Begum hugs journalist and says ‘I was dumb kid when I joined Isis,’” by Elisa Menendez, Metro, June 15, 2021:
Former child bride Shamima Begum has insisted she was not a terrorist but ‘a dumb kid who made a mistake’ when she ran away to join Isis.
Speaking during a new interview from the Syrian al-Roj prison camp, where she is still being held, Ms Begum said she would ‘love’ to help rehabilitate other former terrorist recruits.
Ms Begum was 15 when she left her family home in Bethnal Green, east London, and flew to Syria with school friends to join the terror group in 2015.
The stateless 21-year-old told filmmaker Andrew Drury: ‘I don’t think I was a terrorist. I think I was just a dumb kid who made one mistake.
‘I personally don’t think that I need to be rehabilitated, but I would want to help other people be rehabilitated. I would love to help.’
At the end of the interview, a visibly emotional Ms Begum asks Mr Drury: ‘Can I have a hug?’
Ms Begum was dressed in a leather Nike baseball cap, skinny jeans and a white t-shirt with red painted nails during the interview for the upcoming documentary Danger Zone.
Explaining why she has stopped wearing traditional Islamic clothing, she said: ‘I wear these clothes, and I don’t wear a hijab, because it makes me happy.
‘And anything in this camp that makes me happy is like a lifesaver.’
Ms Begum pointed out the blue and white tent she lives in, as she told the journalist she likes listening to rapper Kanye West in the camp, has been following his divorce to Kim Kardashian, and watches re-runs of sitcom Friends.
Speaking of her early media interviews, when she said she did not regret her decision to go to Syria, Ms Begum said she was vulnerable and scared of condemning Isis.
She said: ‘People need to understand the situation I was in at the time when I was doing all those interviews.
‘I had just come out of a war zone, I’d just lost two kids, I was pregnant.
‘And I was afraid of all the women in the camp because I’d heard the stories about them killing people.’…
She said Isis recruiters preyed on the guilt the young girls felt at seeing muslims suffering in war-torn Syria, and offered them a chance to be a ‘part of something’ and help, reports the Telegraph.
Her British citizenship was revoked in 2019 and the Supreme Court ruled that she cannot return to the UK to appeal the decision on national security grounds.
Mr Drury said he had changed his opinion of Ms Begum after meeting her and did not believe she was a terrorist but a ‘vulnerable’ young woman, with the pair sharing an embrace after the hour-long talk.
He said: ‘We were about to say goodbye and I didn’t know the protocol because bear in mind she is there as a terrorist.
‘I went to shake her hand and she started to cry and said to me, “Can I have a hug?”
‘This girl is a vulnerable 21-year-old who did something unbelievably stupid. It was a childish mistake from a 15-year-old.’
When asked what she would say to people in the UK who do not believe she should be allowed to return, Ms Begum replied: ‘Can I come home please, pretty please?’