Should Begum Return?
We need to remember our place and responsibilities as a liberal democracy
The demands that Shamima Begum be prevented from returning to Britain or even killed are understandable. The treasonous Begum had capacity and was of age of legal responsibility when she got into bed with a dirty murdering terror state that exploited the turmoil in Syria and committed deadly attacks on innocent people, including videoed beheadings in a deprived setting. She tore up her citizenship of this great country all by herself.
However, a key part of a liberal country is the consistent upholding of the rule of law and gradual examination of evidence during a trial of a person well represented. This is one of the contrasts between this country and the barbaric twisted way to which Begum and many others flew. She should be allowed to return to this country to appeal any case and ruling within the law, but we must assume that Begum poses a threat to the country and should be detained in some way if allowed to return, enforcing security by disallowing some freedoms to an individual who is still too blasé towards atrocities committed by Isil. This will be to the ire of the taxpayer and reduce confidence in this country, seeing us go soft, especially in the context of a ridiculous cancel culture, snowflakery and headlines over face masks and the right distance from another human. This could result in more instability and she may have to be protected as well as detained.
The solution to the problem is our courts. Can solutions and answers be different? If the courts get it wrong, then yes. One thing we might have on our side is her location in Syria. If we take this as the norm for her, the default location, it may be the one to which we fall back if during the slog of law we lose zeal. But she is a young person tied to Britain as British. She is no other country’s responsibility – a nasty little prick in our side. The fear is that she will win our citizenship and place with little punishment. I hope to God she is kept elsewhere or at the very least punished severely for treason, but in the name of justice and the derivatives of the liberalism that make us so much better than Isil, we must admit that she should be allowed to return to make a legal appeal herself.