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Should Women Who Joined ISIS Be Allowed Back to the West?
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WalterBlack Offline

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Should Women Who Joined ISIS Be Allowed Back to the West?
What do you guys think?

[Image: Shamima-Begum-1088726.jpg?r=1550503792722]

Shamima Begum: 'I didn't want to be IS poster girl'

Quote:Shamima Begum - the schoolgirl who fled London to join the Islamic State group in Syria - has said she never wanted to be an IS "poster girl".

Ms Begum, who has just given birth, said she now wants the UK's forgiveness and supports "some British values"

She told the BBC while it was "wrong" innocent people died in the 2017 Manchester attack, it was "kind of retaliation" for attacks on IS.

The 19-year-old left Bethnal Green four years ago with two school friends.

There has been debate about Ms Begum's plight since she was found in a Syrian refugee camp by the Times newspaper last week after reportedly leaving Baghuz, IS's last stronghold in the country.

She gave birth to a baby boy last weekend, having previously lost two children, and named him after her first son.

While she told the BBC she would have let her late son become an IS fighter, she wants her new baby "to be British" and for her to return to the UK with him.

'No troops to rescue Britons'

In an interview with the BBC's Middle East correspondent Quentin Sommerville on Monday, Ms Begum said: "I don't actually agree with everything they've done.

"I actually do support some British values and I am willing to go back to the UK and settle back again and rehabilitate and that stuff."

Home Secretary Sajid Javid told MPs on Monday that he would not "hesitate to prevent" the return of Britons who travelled to Syria to join IS. While the UK cannot leave people stateless, under international law, he said any such Britons would be "questioned, investigated and potentially prosecuted".

No British troops would be used to help or rescue them, he said. He told MPs that more than 100 dual nationals have already lost their UK citizenship after travelling in support of terrorist groups.

"If you back terror, there must be consequences," he said. More than 900 people have left the UK to join the conflict in Syria, said Mr Javid, adding that those who join IS have "shown they hate our country and the values that we stand for".

Asked about the Manchester Arena attack in 2017 in which 22 people - some of them children - were killed in a bombing claimed by IS, she said: "I was shocked. I didn't know about the kids, actually. I do feel that is wrong. Innocent people did get killed."

She compared the attack to military assaults on Syria, saying: "It's one thing to kill a soldier, it's fine, it's self-defence. But to kill people like women and children just like the women and children in Baghuz who are being killed right now unjustly by the bombings - it's a two-way thing really because women and children are being killed back in the Islamic State right now.

"It's kind of retaliation. Their justification was that it was retaliation so I thought, okay, that is a fair justification."

Ms Begum said she was sorry for all the families who had lost people because of the attacks in the UK and other countries.

"That wasn't fair on them," she said. "They weren't fighting anyone. They weren't causing any harm. But neither was I and neither were other women who are being killed right now back in Baghuz."

'I want forgiveness'

When it was suggested that her going to Syria might have been a "propaganda victory" for IS, Ms Begum said: "I did hear a lot of people were encouraged to come after, but I wasn't the one who put myself on the news."

She added: "The poster girl thing was not my choice."

Ms Begum said she made the choice to go to Syria and could make her own decisions, despite being only 15 at the time. She said she was partly inspired by videos of fighters beheading hostages and also by videos showing "the good life" under IS.

She watched videos of the murders of British hostages, she told the BBC, but said she did not know the names of any of the victims.

Our correspondent said that "throughout the interview, Shamima Begum continued to espouse Islamic State philosophy." He added: "When I asked her about the enslavement, murder and rape of Yazidi women by IS, she said 'Shia do the same in Iraq'."

But she said: "I just want forgiveness really, from the UK. Everything I've been through, I didn't expect I would go through that.

"Losing my children the way I lost them, I don't want to lose this baby as well and this is really not a place to raise children, this camp."

Twelve more British women have arrived at the camp in Syria in the last week and more are expected, our correspondent added.

Earlier, the lawyer representing Ms Begum's family said she is "damaged" and will need mental health support. Tasnime Akunjee also said her family are prepared to raise her newborn baby away from "IS thinking".

He said Ms Begum - who is legally British - had still not been in contact with her family and the family are trying to get the government to provide travel documents for Ms Begum and her newborn son, who he said has a right to citizenship.

Ms Begum left the UK in February 2015 with two other schoolgirls, Kadiza Sultana and Amira Abase. Kadiza is thought to have died when a house was blown up, and the fate of Amira is unknown.

Mr Akunjee also called for an "urgent inquiry" into how Ms Begum and the other schoolgirls were able to travel to Syria.

[Image: _105639995_mediaitem105639994.jpg]

Previously, Ms Begum said she escaped from Baghuz, Islamic State's last stronghold in eastern Syria, two weeks ago.

Her husband, a Dutch convert to Islam, is thought to have surrendered to a group of Syrian fighters.

Under international law, the UK is obliged to let a Briton without the claim to another nationality return home.

But the government does not have consular staff in Syria, and says it will not risk any lives to help Britons who have joined a banned terrorist group.

If Ms Begum is able to reach a British consulate in a recognised country, it is thought security chiefs could "manage" her return.

Hoda Muthana 'deeply regrets' joining Isis and wants to return home

[Image: img?regionKey=O44CvZGCCbbNmouWJZqJuQ%3D%...;scale=100]

Quote:An American woman captured by Kurdish forces after fleeing the last pocket of land controlled by Islamic State says she “deeply regrets” travelling to Syria to join the terror group and has pleaded to be allowed to return to her family in Alabama.

Once one of Isis’s most prominent online agitators who took to social media to call for the blood of Americans to be spilled, Hoda Muthana, 24, claims to have made a “big mistake” when she left the US four years ago and says she was brainwashed into doing so online.

Speaking from al-Hawl refugee camp in northern Syria, while her 18-month-old son played at her feet, Muthana said she misunderstood her faith, and that friends she had at the time believed they were following Islamic tenets when they aligned themselves to Isis.

“We were basically in the time of ignorance […] and then became jihadi, if you like to describe it that way,” she said. “I thought I was doing things correctly for the sake of God.”

Muthana is the only American among an estimated 1,500 foreign women and children inside the sprawling camp of 39,000 people, which is situated about two hours from where a final battle to oust extremists is days from being completed.

Her experience in the so-called caliphate tracks the arc of Isis’s shocking rise and precipitous collapse over five brutal years. Muthana fled her home and took a flight to Turkey in November 2014 after several months of planning, which she kept secret from her family.

She settled into the Syrian city of Raqqa, then one of Isis’s two main hubs – the other being Mosul in Iraq – where she married an Australian jihadist, Suhan Rahman, the first of her three husbands.

Rahman was killed in the town of Kobanî, and soon afterwards Muthana angrily tweeted: “Americans wake up! Men and women altogether. You have much to do while you live under our greatest enemy, enough of your sleeping! Go on drivebys, and spill all of their blood, or rent a big truck and drive all over them. Veterans, Patriots, Memorial, etc day … Kill them.”

For many months in 2015, her Twitter feed was full of bloodcurdling incitement, and she says she remained a zealot until the following year. She now says her account was taken over by others.

Soon after, she married her second husband, a Tunisian fighter, with whom she had her son, Adam. Her husband was killed in Mosul, and Muthana retreated with dozens of other women deeper into Isis’s ever-shrinking land, where she briefly married a Syrian fighter last year.

Muthana says her family in Alabama were deeply conservative and placed restrictions on her movements and interactions, factors she claims contributed to her radicalisation. “You want to go out with your friends and I didn’t get any of that. I turned to my religion and went in too hard. I was self-taught and thought whatever I read, it was right.

“I look back now and I think I was very arrogant. Now I’m worried about my son’s future. In the end I didn’t have many friends left, because the more I talked about the oppression of Isis the more I lost friends. I was brainwashed once and my friends are still brainwashed.”

Six weeks ago, Muthana fled the village of Susa, not far from the current frontline in Baghuz. She said she slept in the desert for two nights with a group of Isis exiles. She was eventually captured by Kurdish forces who transferred her to al-Hawl, where she now mingles with wives and widows of fighters from around the world.

The women cannot leave the camp and are escorted to meetings by armed guards. They have access to food and some aid.

At al-Hawl, grudges from over the past four years have surfaced and new alliances and enmities have formed; the foreign women of the camp fall gang-like into three categories: Russians, Tunisians and other westerners, camp residents say.

“They [Russians and Tunisians] are making life hell for us,” said a Swedish detainee, Lisa Andersson. “If you go outside the tent without your burqa, or say something to the management, they beat you or your children up. They threaten to burn your tent.”

Andersson’s one-year-old daughter died in the camp a month ago, and she blames her death on substandard healthcare. Emphasising the desperate plight of some of the Isis children, Khadija Suleiman, a South African woman, has taken two German boys into her care. Their father is detained in a separate camp and their mother is dead. She is also caring for a French orphan.

Muthana describes her experience with Isis as “very mind-blowing”. “It was like a movie. You read one book and think you know everything. I’m really traumatised by my experience. We starved and we literally ate grass.”

Donald Trump on Sunday urged western countries to repatriate captured fighters, appearing to ignore the fact that his administration has shown little enthusiasm for doing so.

“The United States is asking Britain, France, Germany and other European allies to take back over 800 Isis fighters that we captured in Syria and put them on trial,” the US president said. “The caliphate is ready to fall. The alternative is not a good one in that we will be forced to release them ...”

Muthana said she had not been in contact with US officials since her capture. “I would tell them please forgive me for being so ignorant, and I was really young and ignorant and I was 19 when I decided to leave. I believe that America gives second chances. I want to return and I’ll never come back to the Middle East. America can take my passport and I wouldn’t mind.”
(This post was last modified: 02-19-2019 03:56 AM by WalterBlack.)
02-19-2019 03:48 AM
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Should Women Who Joined ISIS Be Allowed Back to the West? - WalterBlack - 02-19-2019 03:48 AM

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