The evil of Shamima Begum

The cultural elite’s sympathy for this wicked extremist is deeply disturbing.

Brendan O'Neill

Brendan O'Neill
Editor

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Topics Politics UK World

If you want to know how morally disorientated the cultural elite has become, just consider this: they have expressed more sympathy with the supposed ‘grooming victim’ Shamima Begum than they have with actual grooming victims in Manchester, Rochdale, Telford and other English cities and towns. When it comes to white working-class girls who really were groomed, in this case by largely Pakistani gangs, they are silent. But when it comes to Begum’s decision to join an Islamic death cult and to travel thousands of miles to assist a hysterical pseudo-state that was enslaving Yazidi women, crucifying Christians and executing homosexuals, they cry ‘grooming!’. They have shed more tears over a neo-fascist Islamic radical than they have over northern working-class girls.

Last week, Begum lost the first part of her appeal against Sajid Javid’s revocation of her British citizenship. Javid, when he was home secretary, stripped Begum of her citizenship in response to her depraved, treasonous abandonment of Britain in favour of the anti-Western death cult of ISIS. Begum, along with two friends, left London for the Islamic State in Syria in 2015. She was 15 years old then, she is 20 years old now. In 2019, after she was found by journalists in a Syrian refugee camp, the Home Office stripped her of her citizenship. Lawyers acting for her family appealed, and last week they lost the first stage, as the Special Immigration Appeals Commission decreed that she had not been left ‘stateless’, contrary to her legal team’s claims. It ruled that she has Bangladeshi citizenship by descent and can therefore apply for residency in Bangladesh. Naturally, Bangladesh, being deeply concerned about the scourge of Islamic radicalism, wants nothing to do with her.

There has been some uproar over this. Liberals, in particular, are concerned about the precedent potentially being set by the unilateral removal of a British citizen’s citizenship. Hard cases make for bad law, they argue, and it is possible that in our rush to punish Begum for her grotesque betrayal of Britain and its people we will denude British citizenship of its meaning and importance by making it conditional upon political belief and moral behaviour. These people raise very important points. One could argue (and I would argue this) that it was Ms Begum herself who renounced her British citizenship when she sided with a fascistic statelet that considered itself so thoroughly at war with Britain that it sanctioned the massacre of British children in Manchester in 2017 (an act of apocalyptic terror that Begum has expressed support for). But on the other hand, it is arguable that the UK should not lower itself to Begum’s standards. In rejecting her rejection of her citizenship, and keeping open the possibility that she could be tried for treason as a British citizen in Britain itself, the UK can demonstrate its commitment to enlightened, democratic values. This is a good argument, worthy of consideration.

But what is most striking in the public conversation over Begum and her citizenship is how much it is infused with sympathy and concern for Begum. Perversely, she is seen as a victim. This is increasingly how most Islamic radicals are viewed: as sad, corrupted individuals, led astray online, not really in charge of their own emotions and decisions, and in dire need of the therapeutic assistance of ‘deradicalisation’. This is in stark contrast to the way that white fascists are viewed. They, quite rightly, are seen as evil people, as conscious, willing enforcers of a wicked supremacist outlook. By contrast, radical Islamists – despite having carried out far greater murderous mayhem in the UK in recent years than traditional fascist groups have – are always seen as having been ‘groomed’, as having been ‘radicalised’ in a tragic, passive way that they cannot really control. So Begum is seen, not as the willing victimiser of Yazidis, Christians and others, but as a victim herself. As a victim of the internet, of online imams, of grooming.

‘This child was groomed and radicalised’, says a writer for the Guardian. Diane Abbott talks about Begum in teary-eyed tones, describing her as a ‘young woman who was groomed as a minor’. It is shocking that ‘society’ should blame ‘groomed young women for their fate’. In contrast, Ms Abbott’s silence on the young women who were actually groomed by gangs in various towns across the UK is deafening. Ash Sarkar, the woke doyenne of the middle-class left, said she almost cried when she found out that a shooting range in the north of England was using a picture of Shamima Begum for target practice. Whether she also almost cried over the Christian and Yazidi men, women and children who were literally shot by the death cult Begum joined and supported is unknown. So corrupting is the cult of identity politics on basic morality that Begum can be sympathised with because she is a Muslim, and therefore good, while the victims of the death cult she backed, whether it’s Yazidi women or girls in Manchester, can be subtly airbrushed from the public record.

Indeed, it is striking that the latest outpouring of perverse sympathy for Shamima should have taken place in the same week that the brother of the Manchester Arena bomber was put on trial for his alleged role in the massacre of those 22 concert attendees in 2017. Begum described the slaughter in Manchester as ‘justified’. And yet we hear more about Begum’s allegedly tragic predicament than we do about the men, women and children massacred in Manchester by one of Begum’s fellow neo-fascistic traitors. It is staggering, and depressing, how swiftly the Manchester atrocity, and the names and lives of the victims, was pushed out of the public arena, consigned to being an awkward moment we shouldn’t really talk about. In the identitarian era, being careful not to rattle the thin, fragile ‘multicultural’ consensus clearly takes precedence over commemorating the victims of an extremist who, like Begum, was convinced that Britain was a disgusting country that deserved punishment.

The sympathy for Shamima is important for two reasons. First, because it confirms that there are so many moral reprobates within the cultural elite today. So distant are these people from working-class communities in the UK that they can feel greater sympathy – or at least express greater sympathy – for an extremist traitor than they ever have for working-class girls groomed by Pakistani gangs or the good people massacred in the Manchester Arena. And secondly because it suggests that the debate over Begum’s citizenship isn’t really about citizenship – it’s about identity. In this case, the allegedly repressed, fragile identity of Muslimness in 21st-century Britain.

There is a serious, principled discussion to be had about the revocation of Begum’s citizenship. But that discussion should not be led by the kind of people who have no real attachment to the value of citizenship; by the kind of people who thought literally nothing of stripping British citizens of their most important right – the right to vote – by seeking to overthrow Brexit. No, it must be led by those of us who genuinely believe in people power, in democracy, and in citizenship as a key building block of public life. Maybe Begum should not have been stripped of her citizenship. Maybe she should be allowed back into the UK. But if she is, it should be as a traitor to citizenship, as someone suspected of the highest crime an individual can commit, and who should be subjected to the toughest punishment the law can deliver. If you believe in citizenship, you wouldn’t be weeping over Shamima – on the contrary, you would be furious with her treasonous support for the slaughter of the good citizens of this country.

Brendan O’Neill is editor of spiked and host of the spiked podcast, The Brendan O’Neill Show. Subscribe to the podcast here. And find Brendan on Instagram: @burntoakboy

Picture by: Getty.

To enquire about republishing spiked’s content, a right to reply or to request a correction, please contact the managing editor, Viv Regan.

Comments

Robin P Clarke

15th February 2020 at 4:59 pm

It is wrong to pass judgment on Shamima Begum before she has had a fair trial or even anything remotely like one. I believe in the principle of the rule of law. A wise person does not pass judgment until they have properly heard both sides of the case. Begum has never had the opportunity to present her case. No way could she speak her mind in that detention camp. In any case she had arguably been the victim of a brainwashing cult.

It is mistaken to treat the Islamic Jihad terrorists and their supporters as criminals (or at least not in the simple sense that are the millions of routinely lethally reckless drivers, speedophiles who kill far more children than pedophiles ever have). Rather those terrorists (many of whom kill themselves) are VICTIMS of an insane ideology. As one apostate tellingly named Ayesha rightly said, Islam makes good people do bad things.

Islam is more and more being recognised as what it is. The millions of free Qur’ans cannot be de-printed, and so this collapsing of Islam cannot be halted. Help it along its way by highlighting that the problem is Islam the Ideology, and not its confused murderous followers and supporters.

Aunty Podes

15th February 2020 at 3:21 am

Anybody and everybody who has undergone indoctrination into Islamic teachings has been so “groomed”.

Some do not openly express its more barbaric tenets but, make no mistake, when they achieve near majority, the will all be screeching for totally domination.

James E Shaw

14th February 2020 at 8:09 pm

I agree with Brendan O’Neill, there should be no question that Shamima Begum is evil.

But there is a legitimate debate to be held about her citizenship. It should not have been revoked.

No, not because she is a poor, manipulated individual worthy of our sympathy but because the best place for her is a British prison with a 20 to 30 year prison sentence over her head where she poses no threat to her country or to innocent people in the middle east.

Should she be allowed back there is no question she should face a long prison sentence dependant on her co-operation with the authorities. She may well have much information that may well be of use to the authorities, she should be allowed back on that condition.

Jasmin Cross

13th February 2020 at 5:53 pm

Why is it considered the right and proper course for this woman be returned to this country to answer for her crimes? She joined a group that attacked another country namely Syria. Surely any crimes she perpetrated should be answered for in the country she and her colleagues attacked. It is the nation of Syria she has wronged.

Robin P Clarke

12th February 2020 at 8:38 pm

Firstly please note that no one is more a hater of Islam (the ideology) than myself. But the IslamIC Jihad terrorists are not criminals (or at least not in the simple sense that are the millions of routinely lethally reckless drivers (including some hypocrites on this page). Rather those terrorists (MANY OF WHOM KILL THEMSELVES) are VICTIMS of an insane ideology. As one apostate tellingly named Ayesha rightly said, Islam makes good people do bad things.

I note Brendan O’Neill’s hostility to Shamima Begum. I have this to tell him. I believe in the principle of the rule of law. A wise person does not pass judgment until they have properly heard both sides of the case. Begum has never had the opportunity to present her case. Mr O’Neill brings disgrace on himself in his rush to judgment without bothering to have even the semblance of a trial first. So do his braying sheeple-herd on this page. I repeat that no-one hates the evil personality cult of an Arabian merchant-warmonger than myself. But you are not going to defeat it by breaching such fundamental principles in a haste to show off your inverted SJW credentials and emotional attitude and prejudice. Mr O’Neill is simply WRONG on this. From my experience such pre-opinionated people are incapable of acknowledging their error, but I hold out the hand of hope that Mr O’Neill will prove greater in intellect than that on reading my points here.

Jerry Owen

12th February 2020 at 10:51 pm

Begum has presented her case. She openly joined worked for and supported a terrorist organization.
Next?

Lesley Boss

13th February 2020 at 5:21 pm

One could argue that as soon as places like Auschwitz and Belsen were liberated the Nazis had presented their case. They were still given a trial (at Nuremberg.)

Jerry Owen

13th February 2020 at 11:14 pm

Lesley Boss
The Nazis weren’t proscribed.

Robin P Clarke

15th February 2020 at 5:07 pm

“Begum has presented her case.”

Some seriously curious concepts here of how a criminal prosecution should be conducted. I’m seriously glad* some of the people passing judgment by internet aren’t looking down on myself in a dock with any judicial authorisation. (*Better than being gladly serious I suppose.)

Alice Temple

13th February 2020 at 11:58 am

Nope. It gives bad people an outlet for their hate and aggression in a way which wins them plaudits and praise from many of their peers. Note most Syrians did not support Syrians and were forced to acquiesce to them only in the face of extreme, sadistic violence and brutal punishments. If ISIS had irresistible pull and power to corrupt good people, everyone who came into their orbit would be jihadis. But only a minority of complete b*****s are.

Bill Cecil

14th February 2020 at 4:20 pm

Ah I see, so you demand due process. Where pray tell ? Before you start you have no idea (and nor do I) what activities this woman got up to in Syria and/or Iraq. You have no ideas of what crimes she might have committed there, but it is for the Governments of Syria and Iraq to determine. She is, by her own admission, guilty of membership of ISIS which I believe Syria and Iraq regard as a crime, so she must be investigated and tried for any crimes she has committed there. They will probably hang her.

As to the UK she renounced her citizenship and declared her allegiance to ISIS, not to Queen Elizabeth. If you say that you do not accept that decision she made then I refer you to the Treason Act of 1351 which defines High Treason. Until quite recently being found guilty of that crime would also have got you hanged.

Robin P Clarke

15th February 2020 at 5:36 pm

“Ah I see, so you demand due process.”

Ah I see too. When you find yourself in the dock falsely accused of a serious crime (as many thousands are), be sure not to suddenly start insisting on “due process”.

Lesley Boss

12th February 2020 at 8:14 pm

More generally speaking I don’t understand why 15 year olds in Britain are not considered responsible enough to drive cars, have sex and become parents, purchase alcohol, manage their own finances, vote etc but can apparently be considered completely responsible for their actions when it comes to the criminal justice system. In the case of Shamina Begum there are also some who seem to think that at 15 you can be considered so mature and developed and set in your ways that you are beyond redemption.

Victor Cowen

12th February 2020 at 11:12 am

I don’t blame this Begum bitch she is an obvious lunatic. I blame the society we are now forced to live in by ALL Muslims. Don’t you find it amazing that the civilisation we thought we lived in can do nothing more about this bitch? Muslims pour money at lawyers like the treasonous Khan in London to protect the bitch. The only long term answer is another European war which is long overdue.

Mark Lambert

11th February 2020 at 9:14 pm

When covering the world wars in school as a child, I always wondered about three things, Nazi propaganda, apologism and appeasement. How could any of those things happen in Britain at such a time of war?

Fast forward to the current days and a different type of war, but a war nonetheless, I see it being played out in front of me. And this is often on TV programs where certain guests are invited, and hardly ever challenged.

Victor Cowen

12th February 2020 at 11:47 am

No it would not be that type of war. Thousands of troops on beach landings etc. forget that.
Think in terms of the crusades (for that is what it is)
IF we take no action the UK will be Islamic in very few years from now and we indigenous people only have ourselves to blame. This Begum bitch is simply symptomatic and a dreadful example of what is coming. I moved away from London (born and bred and educated) …32 years ago as I could see what was coming…it is now a ‘black’ city. I would not dream of ever returning.
The icing on the cake for me was the ‘election’ of Khan as mayor – mainly by voting fraud.

Robin P Clarke

12th February 2020 at 8:59 pm

>If we take no action the UK will be Islamic in very few years from now

I think you’ll find it is more complicated than that. Islam is now facing the most terrible challenge it has never faced in its previous 1400 years. That is because for the first time there are now millions of copies of “Allah’s'””perfect” Qur’an (along with accurate critiques on the web) and so for the first time the “Muslims” can read what they are supposed to be believing. And on doing that reading, a LOUD minority develop Sudden Jihad Syndrome, while a far larger number QUIETLY become secret EX-MUSLIMS. Never before in history have there been EX-MUSLIM groups. And CEMB founder Maryam Namazie is stil alive ten years on! Plus many more are just pretending to still believe (it’s even reckoned many hijab-wearers only wear it to hide their disbelief), AND even many are now coming out as EX-MUSLIM (the list is now to long to remember).

Islam is now the laughing-stock of the internet (so far as you can find humour in the things Islamic State do). We can see that Islam is on the back foot in India, in Iran, in Myanmar, in China. We even have “Islamophobes” in Downing Street and the White House. ISIS was the last gasp attempt at a Reformation back to the days of the Arabian Warlord, but that too has failed.

This terminal catastrophe for Islam cannot be stopped. If you think the prospect is dim for our Kuffar civilisation, please rest assured it’s far rosier than that of the cult that wasn’t even up to date when a camel-trade merchant invented it in Petra (yes Petra, Mecca didn’t even exist then!) 1400 years ago).

Islam’s strength is in violence, not least as its Jihadists don’t care about their own lives. You can’t defeat it with only force. Islam’s weakness is QUESTIONS and DISCUSSION, against which it is defenseless. FREE SPEECH will be the death of Islam. And sooner rather than later.

Helen Back

11th February 2020 at 7:29 pm

Send her a red cross parcel, tied to a jdam.

Robin P Clarke

12th February 2020 at 9:07 pm

What a nasty thing to say. Glad you don’t live round my way.

JP Edwards

11th February 2020 at 6:53 pm

The mitigating factor for me is that when she made this catastrophic decision she was just 15. Everything you say is true .. but because she was 15 – and there was no turning back once she had made the mistake – there is a case to be made for taking her back and allowing her to serve her time. I have an idea that she is being made an example of in order to deter any other inbetweeners who may be tempted to follow in her footsteps. I have a 15 year old daughter; it’s hard to think there could be no possible pathway to redemption for a young person who makes a profoundly wrong decision at such an age. I don’t regard that is weakness or hand wringing – on the contrary, it is a demonstration of strength in our society.

Alley Kat

11th February 2020 at 8:01 pm

I’m sure even you would raise an eyebrow if your 15 yo started throwing gay people from the top of buildings.
The age of criminal culpability in the uk is 10. She knew right from wrong. She went to extreme lengths to choose wrong.

You cannot fathom the depths of depravity that she actively participated in, as a holder of power over other humans….and that is why she should never be forgiven.

The only thing I pity is her poor attempts at trying to manipulate the narrative…when she got caught.

I save my thoughs and sympathies for working class girls who were trafficked, raped amd ignored over decades.

jessica christon

11th February 2020 at 9:19 pm

“I’m sure even you would raise an eyebrow if your 15 yo started throwing gay people from the top of buildings.”

Wonderfully well put.

Jerry Owen

11th February 2020 at 10:17 pm

JP
Absolutely.. how shocking to make an example of a terrorist who was happy to see decapitated bodies of westerners, to be happy at the Manchester arena carnage, to allie herself to a terrorist group, to wage war against a country that gave her everything.
How cruel to make an example of her indeed.
You are of course playing devil’s advocate, if not you are a fool.

Jerry Owen

11th February 2020 at 10:22 pm

Further.. you talk about a ‘demonstration of strength in our society’ … I presume that doesn’t include the bloody corpses splattered to pieces on walls and floors by these scum and their supporters like Begum?

Victor Cowen

12th February 2020 at 11:55 am

Mr. JP Edwards : Are we to assume you take responsibility for her future behaviour and in the meantime will pay for her upkeep in every way.
We will need a large sum (let’s say £200,000) as she’s only 20 but on deposit in escrow. Are you OK with that? I don’t want the money but it has to be deposited with one of the major banks NOT some Muslim fraud bank and distributed in small amounts monthly. A fixed sum no more no less. How are you doing, are you still OK with that?

Steve Roberts

11th February 2020 at 5:31 pm

Noteworthy that BON uses the term cultural elites rather than the “left” because this conundrum is affecting many leading academics , intellectuals , commentariat and political activists of all hues, some of whom denounce the failure to tackle the Islamist problem in Rotherham etc and yet are failing to take the necessary moral stance over Begum.
Also BON makes the point, as a possibility if Begum is allowed back that she be tried for treason to citizens, as i understand it treason is presently an act against the state not citizens , the two are different categories, politically socially and legally. It would necessarily mean that a new law be passed to accomodate treason to citizens and no doubt the claim will be made that this cannot be applied retrospectively as her undoubted crimes were committted prior to law been enacted.
Those effectively defending her, morally, at the moment would no doubt go into overdrive using the ECHR and Human rights law to prevent a successful prosecution.
What is forgotten in all the discussion around Begum and other Jihadists is the uniqueness of the threat they pose , act out and celebrate, this is not about restricting citizenship to any particular ” political belief , moral behaviour…” this is not about toleration of vastly different ideas , philosophies and political outlook, these people openly advocate and carry out the slaughter of citizens they see as infidels, they live among us and expect to be free and us allow them that level of tolerance to kill us. Madness.
That would go against enlightenment and democratic values that are based on an unbridled humanity, these people are deep misanthropes, a death cult,we would be giving up on our humanity to not tackle this moral issue, never before faced in advanced societies.
The question of not allowing the state to unilaterally revoke citizenship has to be addressed, there are a huge amount of issues that it would be prefereable for the state to not partake in as if they are acting in our interests, it is very problematic, i would prefer to not have to, for example, to use the police in certain matters knowing how they can act as the armed enforcers of the state, but in the absence of a peoples militia, if i have a personal issue i cannot deal with, there are times to call on the police, that’s just the reality we live in presently.
It does raise the point that the demos does not have control as citizens of the state , and we should, but we cannot ignore the threat we have, now, and choose to ignore this threat we face , we must not be cowardly, we must make a moral choice to deal with this unique threat.
Should we refuse to accept them back here thereby negating our responsibility as a society and passing the problem to another jurisdiction ? There is a case to say they made their beds so let them lie on it whatever the consequences.
Frankly as the protection of citizens must be paramount , and unless that can be guaranteed, as unsatisfactory as it is the above is an option that must be considered, they are responsible for this situation it is not of our making.
If these people are to be allowed back then it would have to be guaranteed that they cannot be free in our society, for the reasons above, certainly not for a very long time indeed, normal justice cannot be done or be seen to be done, it is impossible because of the circumstances, there will have to be laws enacted and unchallengable that guarantees their incarceration. If necessary take this to the public, us that are threatened with death, let us indicate democratically how safe we need to be.
These are exceptional, specific circumstances, needing moral leadership to defend our very humanity and enlightenment values, if the elites cannot protect us they must let us decide or they should go and be replaced by people who are prepared to trust our decision.

Say X

11th February 2020 at 4:28 pm

She’s been involved in evil acts but is she intrinsically evil? Looks brainwashed & dead inside to me.

The extremists who smile & act for the western MSM, whether ‘rebels’ or ‘activists’ are the real evil.
The narcissistic sociopaths who make films to support maniacs and turn up at the Oscars western dressed so they can profit and gain status from the suffering of others.These are the people you need to watch out for. The real manipulators who have no regard for anyone as long as they’re getting their narcissistic supply. This includes many ‘journalists’ in the MSM.

Don’t forget that the UK govt with other powers have been supporting sectarian extremists in Syria from the start. People involved in endless war crimes & persecution of other faiths or even Sunnis who don’t support their fanatacism. But they and their complicit media like to pretend they are moderates and use people like Begum to take the blame for all the crimes that they’ve otherwise tried to sweep under the carpet.

Jerry Owen

11th February 2020 at 3:54 pm

I assume having not heard otherwise that the country Begum lives in at present isn’t trying to expel her but that she wants to move back here.
Why can she not simply be left where she is?
Pakistan may not want her but do they have a lawful right to expel her? If not then leave it between wherever she is and Pakistan to deal with. If she is indeed exported to Pakistan they may even heaven forbid, deal with her the way our treason act used to work before it was changed by Blair so he could be sure he wouldn’t ever be strung up.
It’s sadly ironic that we can enforce gender neutral toilets which the vast majority of the public don’t support, but we can’t enforce the public’s view that Begum should never enter this country.
The problem with this country that has been a problem for decades is that we are run by the civil service and not government. The tory party caved in decades ago and it is so sad that with possibly the biggest cross country mandate ever given to them they cannot deal with a singular child terrorist. Don’t get me on the disgrace in Streatham where a terrorist is able to stab people whilst being watched by the so called security services.
Patel needs to sort out her part of the civil service and employ people that reflect the will of the people, Unless we reform the civil service nothing will change, liberalism will prevail.

Jerry Owen

11th February 2020 at 4:03 pm

I’m not a huge fan of Boris but clearly he has huge support, he has charisma, he comes across as a decent sort of chappie like Farage does, the kind of guys you could have a beer with. He could if he played his cards right be a PM for a very long time, but I fear now his tenure could be short lived. His stance on net zero emissions and support for HS2 have lost him my support ( I never voted for him btw).
If he doesn’t start to use the sphericals he was born with very soon he is doomed to failure, and that means Starmer and his motley crew in five years time running the country.
I sometimes wish the media were right and we did indeed have the most ‘far right tory party ever’, because by today’s standards that would be ‘Tory light’.

Jerry Owen

11th February 2020 at 4:20 pm

*Bangladesh* not Pakistan.

jessica christon

11th February 2020 at 9:00 pm

There’s no far right or even just plain old right wing government or major political party now, but in time there will be. I think that’s because the British public is very slow to anger – but when it does, they won’t know what’s hit them.

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John Le Huquet

11th February 2020 at 3:47 pm

However don’t lose heart begum. I see victim staus beckoning.

John Le Huquet

11th February 2020 at 3:45 pm

Right is wrong and wrong is right. The road to 1984.

Tony TonyToe

11th February 2020 at 3:26 pm

Euuugh. Another grim Brendan O’Neill in which he publicly cracks one off at the vilification of a teenager. The guy’s obsessed with Shamima Begum. It’s creepy.

Jerry Owen

11th February 2020 at 4:06 pm

Tony Tonytoe
Do you have a view on Begum.. do enlighten us?

Joseph Brown

11th February 2020 at 4:59 pm

Euuugh. Another terrorist a sympathiser. Woke idiots who make excuses for those who support and are actively involved in a murderous regime is just plain creepy.

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steven brook

11th February 2020 at 11:53 am

She hates Britain, our cultural elites hate Britain, Consequently it’s no wonder they have sympathy with this vile creature. Gather them all onto a small island and let’s see how they interact, hopefully it would quickly descend into Lord of the Flies. We could film it!

Alex Ander

11th February 2020 at 9:42 am

Just to split hairs very slightly here with the articles wording, Begum didn’t express support for the Manchester bombings – she said they were justified which is actually different to supported – meaning they were done for (in her opinion) a valid reason, rather than explicitly saying she personally agreed or approved of them.

Many people think war is justified under certain circumstances, but it doesn’t make them supportive of going to war – it’s just sometimes the only option countries & nations have to defend themselves…

Ven Oods

11th February 2020 at 12:00 pm

I think the term ‘hair-splitting’ would be giving your post the benefit of a huge doubt.
If a person says that the death by bombing of numerous innocent young people is ‘justified’ then that person is, by any normal definition of the word, expressing support. Anything other than outright condemnation of such acts must surely constitute support.
That this deluded young woman thinks she has rights, whereas those aimlessly-murdered youngsters somehow didn’t, suggests that her moral compass doesn’t even have a pointer of any sort. Let’s leave her to fester among her own kind.

Jim Lawrie

11th February 2020 at 12:51 pm

In the context of where she was and what she was doing at the time, then she did express support. You are not hair splitting, you are sittin on the fence.

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11th February 2020 at 9:08 am

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Mark Houghton

11th February 2020 at 8:49 am

It’s a curious thing about the left – they seem to think kids are mature enough to make their own decisions regarding their sexuality (transgender) yet somehow not mature enough to be held accountable for their actions if they join IS. But then I never expect consistency from the left.

nick hunt

11th February 2020 at 9:38 am

Their moral confusion and failure is consistent

In2 Minds

11th February 2020 at 2:12 pm

‘they seem to think kids are mature enough……’ Yes, and in some ways Greta Thunberg is even more dangerous as Shamima Begum.

T Zazoo

11th February 2020 at 6:11 pm

Way more dangerous. Begum is a sad-sack loser, the only argument is around whether she gets to return to the UK. No one is threatening to give her the Nobel Peace Prize.

Alley Kat

11th February 2020 at 8:05 pm

Great point Mark.

Stephen J

11th February 2020 at 8:46 am

I am not sure that I want to be a British citizen any more either…

Since the majority voted CONservative at the recent general election, it has been made absolutely clear that, we are the enemy.

Whether the CONservative government had any pretensions to conservatism is not clear, they did mention some conservative things in their manifesto?

We showed that by voting for democracy and against remaining, that we supported the idea of “home”, that we are a nation of “somewheres”.

So what does the victorious government do? It demonstrates that by being born here, regardless of whether you turn out to be a complete dud, you do not belong. There is no such place as home…

As we speak, there are a plane load of British people that for some administrative reason did not get British passports at the appropriate time, and so despite being born, grown, fattened and educated here, having paid duties on goods and therefore regardless of other taxes, paid lots of tax here, are being “deported” to a place they have never seen before?

And then we have this Begum woman…

And we have a fresh boatload of “new people” every day, the BBC proudly pronounced this Sunday as a record day for rescues of these poor refugees.

Well at least I have the somewhat dubious distinction of not voting for this bastard, I put my money where my mouth is and voted TBP.

Bella Donna

11th February 2020 at 10:23 am

If only we could pack up and leave we would do, but we are trapped now, it’s too late we’ve missed the bus! We have gone from feeling euthoric about winning Brexit to despair knowing Boris is just another wishy washy Blairite. There needs to be a Revolution in the UK because voting changes nothing.

Vadar’s Hate Child

11th February 2020 at 8:18 am

Remember in all this that you are criticising the decisions made by a child.

nick hunt

11th February 2020 at 9:43 am

The article attacks bigoted decisions by leftists about who should be defended or not. The Begum case summons their endless ‘compassion’ and outrage, but hundreds of thousands of cases of underage white girl victims of the racist rape gangs produces only deathly silence.

Vadar’s Hate Child

11th February 2020 at 1:24 pm

Much of the article criticizes her decision to join ISIS. It was a bad decision, but she was a child when she made it.

I don’t like stripping people of their citizenship. If she’s broken the laws of this land she should be brought back and tried according to those laws, and if found guilty punished according to them. If she’s not broken any laws of this land then she should be allowed back without punishment, though supervision would be desirable. Those of you arguing otherwise seem to want an extrajudicial punishment. Really? Is that what Spike stands for?

Chester Minnit

12th February 2020 at 1:54 pm

Children do not have babies. She ran away to sleep with the enemy to increase their numbers and, assuming that “War on Terror” means what it says, she should be treated as a traitor. In this context that’s someone who betrays their country.

Robin P Clarke

12th February 2020 at 9:13 pm

>>Those of you arguing otherwise seem to want an extrajudicial punishment. Really? Is that what Spike stands for?

Sadly, evidently yes. Unless Mr O’Neill has the capacity to recognise his error. Too many people are preoccupied with showing “what side they are on”. I would say the same judgment principles apply even if the Jihad-supporter was not a child – adults can be brainwashed too, especially when you have people in Downing Street constantly going on about the goodness of the “prophet” and the wonderfulness of his Qur’an. They have much blood-blame on their own hands.

Chester Minnit

11th February 2020 at 8:14 am

When I was in my early twenties I was an bleeding-hearted liberal. I would seize any opportunity to argue with older people, trying to make them see sense and understand that I knew better on so many issues. Now I look back with humility and the wisdom of middle age and I understand that I was a blinkered, narrow minded prick who just wanted to be admired. Nowadays of course I’d be called a Woke.

Time to blank the them all. The only way to stop them is to starve them of the attention they crave.

Roger Jago

11th February 2020 at 9:18 am

By contrast, on my 7th birthday UK declared war. We all grew up being proud of our country and it was this patriotism that won the war. Now I want to disown what my country has become. I’m trying other countries that respect their subjects and prevent woke self-seeking libs and alien believers from taking over.

Ven Oods

11th February 2020 at 12:04 pm

“I’m trying other countries that…”
You might have enlightened us as to which they are.

Jerry Owen

11th February 2020 at 4:13 pm

You must be my twin! I used to argue against the grownups as a student, but I soon cottoned on that my experience of life wasn’t as knowledgeable as the grownups. But I learnt how to win the debates eventually. I used to start calling them ‘fascists’ and of course ‘no free speech for fascists’..Ever so helpful when you know diddly squat.
‘Never again’ was a bit of a winner as well!

Dominic Straiton

11th February 2020 at 7:48 am

Spare a thought for all the young muslim girls from Bethnal green toiling away in misery in Pakistan because they became to Westernised. They become a regular feature of the place and then one day they are simply not there anymore. What about their citizenship rights?

L Strange

11th February 2020 at 4:03 am

The problem with trying Begum, or her ilk, for treason is that there is no longer any such crime on the statute books. You can thank Blair for that – he was, presumably, covering his own back. But then, he doesn’t believe in the concept of The Nation, so didn’t believe crimes can be committed against it.

If Begum is allowed back to Britain, she cannot be tried for anything she may have done whilst on her ghastly sojourn, the evidence for which would be nigh on impossible to gather even if she could be charged.

This country owes her nothing – she rejected her previous life and wouldn’t even be making these deceitful pleas if her Caliphate hadn’t fallen. Her only regret is that it didn’t all pan-out as she’d hoped when she left these shores.

Bill Cecil

14th February 2020 at 4:34 pm

Not so. The Treason Act of 1351 is still the Law. What the odious Blair did was to wrongly remove Sentence of Death for Treason so he could sign Protocol 13 of the ECHR. However, the Gallows at Wandsworth Prison (used for Lord Haw-Haw) were demolished in the 1990s.

Gordon T Gopher

11th February 2020 at 3:52 am

So this ‘cultural elite’ consists of Diane Abbott and a couple of attention seeking, Muslim, Grauniad bloggers?

Slow news day Brandon?

nick hunt

11th February 2020 at 9:55 am

Brendan means the entire leftist establishment and media, which, as he has documented so consistently and revealingly over the last few years, ignore the concerns and voices of ordinary Britons. So will Grauniad readers or Abbott be standing up anytime soon for the hundreds of thousands of underage white girls targeted by racist rape gangs over 40 years, and not just for a member of ISIS? Or will they continue to help the progressive establishment deny the problem exists, so destroying their own moral credibility?

Gordon T Gopher

11th February 2020 at 7:59 pm

If you go on the Grauniad you’ll find plenty of their readers disagree with the articles. In fact its got to the point these days where they’re unlikely to allow an article on this woman open for comment. Most articles to do with race, Islam and feminism in the Guardian aren’t open for comment because even left leaning people are getting fed up with their polarising version of identity politics. The Guardian most definitely is not the “leftist establishment”. I’m sure they’d like to think they’re influencing left think people but the truth is this so-called elite are just alienating themselves from everyone.

I really don’t think there’s much to worry about here. They’ll dig their own grave.

Alice Temple

11th February 2020 at 7:50 pm

Most of the media, large sections of the judiciary, almost all of academia, most of the civil service, most of the police, almost all senior policemen, a large cohort of politicians and their surrounding entourages, most actors, almost everyone involved in theatre, TV and film, activists, pressure groups, lobbyists, charities, publishing houses & agents. Not really insignificant or without influence.

Alley Kat

11th February 2020 at 8:09 pm

We’ve yet to hear more about the charges faced by DA’s delightful son…being fast tracked and groomed to take his hereditary seat in Hackney means mummy can afford super injunctions.

pete Corless

11th February 2020 at 2:53 am

The quality of mercy is not strained; it droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven’. So wrote the legendary Bard of Avon. Well sorry, Willy old son, but I’m afraid that there are certain instances where that quality most certainly IS strained, and I present the case of Shamima Begum.

Most of you will be no strangers to the ferret-faced traitor, who fled culturally enriched Bethnal Green to become a Jihadi bride in the self-styled Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Various sources have alleged that Begum served as a Kalashnikov flaunting member of IS’s ‘morality police’, an enforcer for the nutters’ repulsive code. She’s also been accused of stitching suicide bombers into explosive vests, so that they could not be removed without triggering detonation. A right little charmer, in other words. Begum was subsequently tracked to a refugee camp by a reporter from ‘The Times’, and told him that she did not regret her decision to join IS. She also stated that she was unfazed by the sight of a beheaded corpse, and that she had actually been ‘inspired’ to join IS after seeing videos of fighters beheading hostages.

Of course Begum was now a ‘refugee’ as things hadn’t gone at all well for IS in general, and for her in particular, as (then) Home Secretary Sajid Javid had stripped her of her UK citizenship. It’s now been announced that Begum has lost the first stage in a legal battle against the UK government to have her citizenship reinstated, although the appeal will no doubt be merely the first one of many. Ferret Face’s legal representatives are claiming that the appeal ‘will appear baffling to her’ (what a f**king shame that is), as she faces the possibility of ‘torture, inhuman or degrading treatment’, which is against the European Convention on Human Rights.
Human rights? What about the rights of the victims of IS? Oh yes, then there’s that ‘quality of mercy’ that those victims probably begged for as they were thrown off roofs, stoned to death, or beheaded. Funnily enough, Begum is now asking for some of that ‘mercy’ from the government for herself. She’s also graciously conceded that she’s ‘willing to change’. ‘Willing to change’? Are we to infer from these weasel words Shamima that you still, in fact, harbour the sentiments which drove you into the arms of IS to begin with?

‘Willing to change’. That’s mighty big of you. Now that things have gone tits up, I’m sure that you just can’t wait to get ‘home’ and be British again. There’ll be a house and benefits waiting for you, you’ll be thinking. Then there’ll likely be appearances on the telly, and the ‘My Life As A Jihadi Bride’ book deal, and interviews with the bleeding hearts at arsewipe rag ‘The Guardian’, who’ll be desperate to paint you as ‘vulnerable’ and a ‘victim’ in your sordid story. No, I bet you can’t wait to get back, just as we can’t wait to have you (NOT). Just kidding. We’ve really missed you, and all that enrichment you’ve brought into our lives. Allahu Akbar and stuff. Let’s forgive and forget.

Robin P Clarke

12th February 2020 at 9:24 pm

>>Most of you will be no strangers to the ferret-faced traitor,

Seriously ironic words considering that NONE OF THE PEOPLE writing on this page have EVER met her let alone listened to what she has to say to you. And yet “will be no strangers”. Hopefully you can recognise rubbish after you have written it. Cheers.

Noel Mac

17th February 2020 at 8:35 pm

I can certainly recognise rubbish , and its coming from a blowhard like you Clarke

Jonnie Henly

11th February 2020 at 2:44 am

“This is increasingly how most Islamic radicals are viewed: as sad, corrupted individuals, led astray online, not really in charge of their own emotions and decisions, and in dire need of the therapeutic assistance of ‘deradicalisation’. This is in stark contrast to the way that white fascists are viewed.”

Absolute rubbish. There is plenty of concern over the way young white males can potentially be “groomed” or “radicalised” online into fascist ideology.

We saw this kind of language used non stop surrounding the release of Joker, for example. We hear about mental health after every terror attack carried out by a white fascist perpetrator.

nick hunt

11th February 2020 at 10:07 am

Have you noted how lone Islamist terrorists so frequently act because of mental problems, rather than due to their religion of peace? That’s what the authorities say, anyway. Also noteworthy is the huge difference in frequency of terror attacks by white supremacists and Muslim supremacists: one group threatens virtually everyone everyday in our cities, while attacks by the other are extremely rare. But leftists only ever seem to fear and discuss the whites, which is both racist and irrational.

Jonnie Henly

11th February 2020 at 4:28 pm

“But leftists only ever seem to fear and discuss the whites, which is both racist and irrational.”

No they don’t. That’s a lie.

michael harris

11th February 2020 at 4:53 pm

Jonnie,

The ‘Joker’ is a fiction. S. Begum, unhappily, is not. Comments about whether the ‘Joker’ is or is not a ‘victim’ are just cultural w*nking. Of course lots of ‘culture’ these days is w*nking.

Alice Temple

11th February 2020 at 1:37 am

Begum believed that she only had British citizenship and was aware that she couldn’t be made stateless so thought the UK was obliged to take her back no matter how repugnant her views were or how offensive and inflammatory the things she said were. In her first interview she said she had no regrets about joining ISIS, didn’t care about seeing severed heads in bins and supported terror attacks on British soil aimed at children. She expressed continuing support for ISIS, said she regretted leaving the stronghold their soldiers were leaving and wished she had been ‘strong’ enough to stay and defend the caliphate. She boasted her child was named after a violent Islamic warlord. Her intent was clearly to return here and act as an agent provocateur, sowing hatred and division, frightening people and attempting to draw more young people into extremism. She also wanted to foment discontent amongst the British who would be angered by her return. She expressed no regret, no remorse and gave no conciliatory statements.

What she didn’t know is that the children of Bangladeshi nationals automatically have Bangladeshi citizenship until they turn 21 regardless of whether they apply for it or not. She was 19. Much to her shock and chagrin Sajid Javid promptly and legally stripped her British citizenship. She’s Bangladesh’s problem now, Bangladesh has previously agreed these arrangements in legally binding agreements with the UK.

As soon as she realised that she turned tail and sad she was a poor victim full of regret who had been exploited and groomed, rejected ISIS and wanted to return home. It’s all rubbish. I’m not even convinced she had any children let alone the three she claims died. What she said initially was clearly her true feelings and she is dissembling now so that gullible idiots like Abbott take up her case.

How would Syrian mothers in the camps feel if she was brought back here? Those women had no choice but to be caught in those hell holes through no fault of their own, many will have seen their homes destroyed, their children die, their families murdered, been enslaved, raped, brutalised, starved and faced disease, lost everything and are stuck in hellish camps with no current prospect of escape. How would they feel seeing the west come in and airlift their tormentor back to a comfy western life?

We give Bangladesh a lot of aid and have decent relations with them. Her father is there. My feeling is Bangladesh will give guarantees regarding her safety, and human rights in regards to torture and the death penalty and she’ll be sent there.

If money is to be spent bringing people from those camps to the UK, it should be the most vulnerable minoritiesike Yazidi and Christians, traumatised slavery victims and children with serious illnesses that cannot survive in those camps.

She can go swivel. I suspect if she was returned here she wouldn’t last long anyway. Bangladesh is the best place for her. I hear their jails are very comfortable once you get used to the roaches and lice.

ZENOBIA PALMYRA

11th February 2020 at 12:56 am

‘They have shed more tears over a neo-fascist Islamic radical than they have over northern working-class girls.’ — unfortunately, this is true. However, complicity with the Islamist bigots is not merely a phenomenon of the left, it can also be seen on the right. The political class is being held ransom, as we all are, by Islamic fanatics and so-called ‘moderate Muslims’ who have created a climate of fear in which no-one can speak out due to the very real prospect of physically attacked or killed. A Pew study a few years ago found that about a third of the Muslims interviewed supported terrorism of one kind or another, even if they would not commit such acts themselves. The fact is, there are hundreds of thousands of followers of the Arabian cult living in the UK whose ultimate loyalty to our civilised norms and freedoms is subordinate to their desire to spread their irrational and oppressive ideology. What is worse is that this oppressive ideology is being actively supported and nurtured by the British state.

nick hunt

11th February 2020 at 10:10 am

You forgot to mention which figures ‘on the right’ are helping leftists and Islamists create a climate of fear. Did you mean Boris and his burka joke?

ZENOBIA PALMYRA

11th February 2020 at 11:53 am

No, I meant the constant kowtowing by just about the entire Tory party and everybody else within the political class on the right to Islam. In common with Leftists, Rightists refuse to call out the violent and misogynistic tendencies of Islam (e.g. Pakistani p aedo r ape gangs, regular terrorist attacks) because they know that to do so could cost them their life – see what happened to the poor Ahmadiyya shopkeeper in Glasgow who was murdered by an Islamic fanatic for advocating tolerance and peace. Johnson, Patel, Gove, etc. are just as complicit as the Labour Party in this cultural act of cowardice.

Anna Bolick

11th February 2020 at 12:59 pm

Boris’s burqa joke was in defence of the right to wear it. I think he should have taken a different line. We should ban it because it is an instrument of oppression.

John Le Huquet

12th February 2020 at 8:37 pm

Some in this country want to ban any criticism of islam. In fact to make it unlawful. You wait and see.

Robin P Clarke

15th February 2020 at 4:40 pm

Zen, this terminology of left and right is no longer useful for understanding anything. Even Tony B.Liar agrees with me on this, which is saying something. A key thing to understand about politics is that the people who have least understanding of it are those who dominate it – because in practice they are the most fanatical and consequently least objective. And like fish don’t have a very good view of the map of the oceans.

Historically, “left” has meant either “for the poor people” or “for change from the status quo”. And “right” the converse. But now, “left” people are just about always pro-globalist (which is certainly not pro the people in Benefits Street) and pro-Big Corporate Capitalist. And AGAINST (“populist”) change from the current Globalist regime.

The useful terminology now is Greed-Globalist (identical with Political Correctness, though looking different as viewed from a different angle) versus Cooperative Local-Communityist. The latter is currently being demeaned as evil “racism”, “bigotry”, “parochialism”, “nimbyism”, “hate speech” and most latterly as “populism”. The former can be seen to be heavily preoccupied with money and “growth” (but never growth of green spaces or clean air or happiness).

Spiked here, being dominated by politically-enmeshed people, still doesn’t understand this correct concept-scape, and so it continues to muddle on about “left” and “right”, though in reality its writers are for the most part arguing against the Greed Globalism and for the Local Communityism.

The Greed Globalist (=PC) ideology has reigned supreme ever since it triumphed against LocalCommunityism in Berlin in 1945. And by brute force, not by any superiority on the intellectual side. This is reflected in the major criminalisations of free speech imposed ever since that time. Over the decades its collisions against reality have become ever greater, till now it is rapidly losing credibility and starting to go down the drain-tubes of history along with the famous globalising personality cult of an ancient camel merchant.

A key thing to understand in this confrontation is that Local Community (with its trust and trustworthiness) is the vital underpinning of all civilised existence. And Globalism destroys that social capital of trust and trustworthiness. You can see this in my own city where there are loads of inhumanly grand new office blocks, all with hi-tech security systems so that only pre-approved people can get in. Year ago in the same city you could just walk in to almost anywhere, and that didn’t matter because people were trustworthy anyway (due to being local).

Criminals soon come to a bad end in a remote genuinely local community because everyone knows who they are, with far more devastating consequences than mere prosecution. Meanwhile, in our current Globalist paradise, you need look no further than Ten Downing Street to see my point. Watch that space….

Danny Rees

11th February 2020 at 12:50 am

“If you want to know how morally disorientated the cultural elite has become, just consider this: they have expressed more sympathy with the supposed ‘grooming victim’ Shamima Begum than they have with actual grooming victims in Manchester, Rochdale, Telford and other English cities and towns. When it comes to white working-class girls who really were groomed, in this case by largely Pakistani gangs, they are silent. ”

https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/brendan-oneill/jimmy-savile-child-abuse_b_2017326.html

Alice Temple

11th February 2020 at 1:46 am

Yeah, you seem to be struggling with differentiating between crimes committed by a deceased man 40 years ago and crimes that are happening now or very recently, with the men who committed them still walking the streets and very much able to commit further offences. If O’Neill had advocated not investigating Savile’s crimes while he was alive, you might have a valid point, but he didn’t so you don’t.

Savile and grooming gangs are two sides of the same coin anyway. In the 70s and 80s middle aged white men who had a bit of cash and were well in with the establishment were societies favoured group. That allowed Savile to abuse with impunity, blind eyes were turned. The favoured group has changed now, Muslims are seen as a group deserving special treatment and licence in much the same way wealthy white men used to be. The same blind eyes are being turned.

You’re comparing apples and oranges saying historical crimes of a dead man, beyond justice, are in any way comparable to those who continue to offend to this day.

nick hunt

11th February 2020 at 10:15 am

Also, did Savile target only brown or black kids, because his Prophet and his holy book taught him that infidel women are whores who can rightfully be abused?

Jim Lawrie

11th February 2020 at 1:01 pm

A crime can be said to have been committed once it has been proved. It is easy grandstanding to put the dead on trial, but it does nothing for the living, and proves nothing.

Glenn Bell

11th February 2020 at 12:32 am

I agree 100% with Brendan O’Neil, bring her back, try her for treason and punish her, but Id go one step further, the Death Sentence should be used for all terrorists, traitors, child abusers and groomers. Maybe if that was the case Begum and her ilk would not want to return to our shores.

ZENOBIA PALMYRA

11th February 2020 at 12:40 am

Hang them all!

Linda Payne

11th February 2020 at 7:13 am

I’m a little confused as to why she can’t be tried for treason, Is it still on the statute or not? does it still hold the death penalty?

david rawson

11th February 2020 at 10:18 am

They return because they like the free money, health care & housing

Bella Donna

11th February 2020 at 10:25 am

I agree bring back the death penalty for treason.

Jim Lawrie

11th February 2020 at 12:58 pm

While I agree, the death sentence for those who have sex with minors increases the risk that the criminals will dispose of the evidence by killing the children, as already happens from time to time.

T Zazoo

11th February 2020 at 6:12 pm

Yes let’s hang a teenage girl. That should show our superiority over Iran.

SNJ Morgan

12th February 2020 at 2:51 am

We don’t need to ‘show our superiority over Iran’. That’s a given. What we need to do is protect our people from nutjobs like Begum.

Victor Cowen

12th February 2020 at 11:25 am

Duh !!!

Lesley Boss

13th February 2020 at 5:25 pm

I’m sure people back in the 1970s said the same about the Guildford Four and the Birmingham Six.

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