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Shamima Begum will never leave Britain The former ISIS bride has been allowed to appeal the decision to strip her of citizenship. But whatever happens, we lose

A picture of Shamima Begum being held by her sister. Credit: Laura Lean / PA

A picture of Shamima Begum being held by her sister. Credit: Laura Lean / PA


July 17, 2020   5 mins

There was always an oddity in the wars of the 21st century. It is not just their technological advances, or longevity, but (as the writer Mark Steyn first observed) the fact that if you were from one of the Western countries involved it seemed as though you had a choice: whether you would like to fight in the “home” or “away” team.

You could, of course, join the army of the state you were born in — the state which had given you an education, safety, sanctuary and freedom of religious worship, and whose armies aimed to expand those rights to others. Or you could choose to fight for the opposition and fight against people of your own age, from your own country, and to deny the rights you enjoyed to strangers in faraway lands. Either way, once the hostilities were over — or even before that, if you fancied — everyone from both sides could return back to their hometowns and call it quits.

For years we suffered the consequences of this curious historical anomaly. It started in the more complex battlefields of the Balkan in the 1990s, when western states like Britain and France weren’t so sure of what they were dealing with. Then people who had gone to fight with the mujahideen would come back, tell people in their home countries of what they had done and help to heroise and metastasise their growing ideological movement. It was a relatively novel movement, and there was not much that western governments could do.

During the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq the western nations came to learn the difficulties involved in dealing with this very modern problem. The Americans set up one option — Guantanamo Bay — which faltered from the start, not just because of bad PR but from the inadequacies of any justice system to deal with such people. How could you treat with members of an army who were not in uniform, representing non-state actors or states that didn’t formally exist?

As the Guantanamo trials dragged through their first and into their second decade the lawyers and human rights campaigners stressed the inhumanity of keeping people awaiting trial for so many years. But their own answers were always pat and inadequate, boiling down to “Why not just put them in front of a jury like any other criminal?”

The answers were many, but they all centred on issues of collecting evidence, putting such evidence in front of a jury and ensuring a fair trial. The difficulty of prosecuting people for fighting on a foreign battlefield were not a demonstration of western inhumanity. They were evidence — if anything — of an excess of that humanity, a desire to extend a principle even to its utmost extent. But what nobody wanted (other than supporters of the fighters themselves) was for hundreds or even thousands of people to be put through trials which failed and saw dangerous people back on the streets of their home country.

In these circumstances it is a striking failure of our political and legal systems that the case of Shamima Begum should ever have arisen. True there is one complicating factor, which is that she was 15 when she left the UK and headed to join the Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria. But that aside the case is in many ways very straightforward. Ms Begum — like hundreds of other young Muslims from the UK — heard the call of the “Caliphate” and in 2015 she went to join it.

Like many others the precise details of what she did there are opaque and different rumours and accounts circulate. By her own account she was merely a nice ISIS housewife; by the recollections of others she was involved in the darkest aspects of a group unparalleled in its depravity this century, helping to stitch suicide vests and more. Of course she and her lawyers present her as a victim, in the process once again demeaning the real victims of ISIS — the Yazidis, the Christians, the “wrong type of Muslims” and anyone else who failed to sign up to their fanatical sect.

This is all part of a very familiar pattern. Among the Westerners who went to join ISIS a great many come back saying that they didn’t really see anything, that they didn’t know what they were signing up to and that in any case they were the ones who suffered most.

All of this is impossible for any fair-minded person to believe. Even at the age of 15 nobody could have mistaken ISIS for a Butlin’s Holiday camp; nobody can believe that recruits were not involved in the day-to-day barbarism of the group. And nobody can have very much sympathy for people who knowingly went to join a head-hacking movement only to be disappointed to discover that it wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.

Begum did not help herself when she first spoke to media who had tracked her down after the Caliphate’s collapse. In an interview with The Times correspondent who found her in a refugee camp in northern Syria she said that she had not been much bothered by seeing a decapitated body because she knew that the person must have been “an enemy of Islam”.

The British public does not warm to such talk, strangely enough, but soon Begum had lawyers and PR support and they clearly realised that she needed to work on her public image. Begum may have personally renounced her British citizenship the moment she went to join the Islamic State, but these people argued that she was a British citizen whether Britain liked it or not, and that she should return.

In the period since The Times interview Begum and her supporters have been working on her public image. Not only has she started to say nice things about Britain, but she made sure that kitsch little touches entered the fray. For instance she had a cushion carefully scattered behind her which just happened to have the Union Jack flag on it.

By this point she had reason to be worried, since the-then Home Secretary Sajid Javid had revoked her British citizenship. Begum and her lawyers vowed to reverse this decision, and now indeed it seems she may be successful — for yesterday the Court of Appeal announced that in its opinion Begum had been denied a fair hearing in this matter because she could not make her case from the refugee camp she is in. The court’s judgement means that Begum may now be allowed to return to the UK to fight the Government’s decision to remove her citizenship.

Let me, then, make a prediction: if Begum steps foot back in Britain she will never again have to leave it. Once here it will not matter whether she wins her appeal or loses it, for even if she loses she will have appeal after appeal and these will be able to drag on until the end of her days.

Even if there is an order to remove her it will not be acted upon; her lawyers and the considerable lobby of people who like to argue on the grounds of human rights will make every possible argument in her defence. If Britain even thinks of keeping her citizenship revoked then it will have to send her somewhere, and every country in the world will be presented as too barbaric or inconvenient for Ms Begum to reside there. And so we will be stuck with her, and one of the strangest and most unjusts aspects of modern warfare will repeat itself.

The attraction of war was always the same. Men and women of violence could take what they wanted by force. If they were successful, then there was nothing in the world that they could not have.

But the most basic restraining mechanism on war throughout time has always been that the consequences of losing are so catastrophic. For if you lost then you could lose everything: your home, your loved ones, your life.

And that is why the case of people like Begum is so unsatisfactory. She and her cohorts waged war against this country and our allies; they lost, and by the most fundamental laws of justice and war they should have lost everything.

And yet they didn’t. They waged war and lost and countries like Britain still contemplated returning them to the status quo ante. So it isn’t just that you can sign up for the home or away team. You can sign up for the away team and if they lose you can demand to be treated with all the same rights and respect as though you were playing for the home team all the way along.

That is why the case of Begum rankles. It is not just against this or that article or law; it howls out against one of the most fundamental rules of human justice: the rule that the most terrible actions should have the most terrible consequences.


Douglas Murray is an author and journalist.

DouglasKMurray

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Andrew Shaughnessy
Andrew Shaughnessy
3 years ago

Has anyone else noticed that the political parties who say children in their mid-teens are too young to know ISIS is a Very Bad Thing also want to give those same children the vote?

jmitchell75
jmitchell75
3 years ago

I think Labour, if that’s one of the parties you’re talking about, want to reduce the voting age to 16. Begum was 15 when she was being groomed by ISIS. Technically still a minor, and in law that’s important.

When a paedophile grooms a minor, are you on the side of the paedophile, or the child? Or do you make the distinction only when it’s political, or the child is brown?

Ray Hall
Ray Hall
3 years ago
Reply to  jmitchell75

Think the paedophile argument is a red-herring. When she took her decision to become a traitor she was a juvenile , not an infant , ie she was above the age of criminal responsibility. She had a juvenile’s agency at the time of her actions
If , unfortunately , she does return to our country , despite her Bengali citizenship , and despite her father’s current presence in Bangladesh – then she must be charged with all the crimes for which there is any evidence of her involvement .It would be up to her lawyers to decide if there is any evidence of grooming and whether that amounts to mitigation .
But the whole affair is nauseating .
I also think that she is unwise and insensitive to want to come to a country where she is despised.

John Nutkins
John Nutkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Ray Hall

Well said. Nauseating indeed! This abominable creature planned and saved up to join ISIS – a wilful and deliberate decision when, at the time, the depravities and horrific murders perpetrated by monsters were well publicised and almost daily broadcast by the media. I weep from the consequences of our laws that enable this accomplice to goodness knows how many atrocities to return to our country. I loathe her, her father and her lawyers – on which note, who is paying the latter conducting the appeal?

Mark Gourley
Mark Gourley
3 years ago
Reply to  John Nutkins

I could not agree more – well said!

Pauline Rosslee
Pauline Rosslee
3 years ago
Reply to  Ray Hall

Yes despised, but her community/mosque will welcome her- BUT we forget that 3 of her babies were’lost’ – died. This should also be investigated by the police as 3 out of 3 died and I suspect that this cold hearted woman cared nothing for them either.
Odd how we have changed – Lord Haw-Haw was hanged- probably on a technicality, but I do doubt that this awful woman will be punished.
Sad she survived to return and sad too that the subsequent costs-of the trial, incarceration (please!), costs to police and watch her and then a lifetime on benefit will be huge- paid for by those she would have cared nothing for when seeing their heads in bins!.
She is a loathsome woman – our country deserves better. .

Betty Fyffe
Betty Fyffe
3 years ago
Reply to  Ray Hall

She is certainly insensitive, by all accounts. Plus trying, through lawyers who are raking in money through legally-aided immigration appeals – that we pay for – to assert that she has “rights” to “justice” that eclipse those of the ordinary folk of the UK.

We have the right that someone like her, who has no remorse (I don’t care what she might pretend in order to get in and stay in this country), does NOT live here. Paid for by us, and a danger to us.

Betty Fyffe
Betty Fyffe
3 years ago
Reply to  Ray Hall

Now what – I am on hold for something – some wrong word. Try again:

She is certainly insensitive, by all accounts. Plus trying, through lawyers who are raking in money – that we pay for – to assert that she has “rights” to “justice” that eclipse those of the ordinary folk of the UK.

We have the right that someone like her, who has no remorse (I don’t care what she might pretend in order to get in and stay in this country), does NOT live here. Paid for by us.

Ted Ditchburn
Ted Ditchburn
3 years ago
Reply to  Betty Fyffe

There was that Shiner..or whatever his name was..the lawyer who confected cases against our troops undermining our entire armed forces, just for his own profit, and those working with him.
It is a massive problem but I do feel we need to try and define restraints on ambulance chasing (or as here camp followers of tryrannies) lawyers. Always ready to play the usual cards about everyone having representation, always ready to line their own pockets…or use pro bono as PR, and via professional and media profile raising to get the money in another way.

The worst of people should have representation, but the fact is she isn’t being charged with anything by Britain that needs representation… she has just decided as the article says, to try and have a reset on her life and come back to the UK she despised when she left…It is very difficult but the fact is there is a problem here that should at least try to be addressed….MY own tuppence worth is to toughen traitor/war crime laws and make one that if you go you face 10 years or whatever for that…that might weed out this kind of situation a little, if on return and winning citizenship she faces an almost automatic 10 year sentence.

Betty Fyffe
Betty Fyffe
3 years ago
Reply to  Ray Hall

Third time, I am cutting down again until I find out what the word/s are.

She is certainly insensitive, by all accounts. Plus trying, to assert that she has rights that eclipse those of the ordinary folk of the UK.

We have the right that someone like her does not live here. Particularly not paid for by us.

Betty Fyffe
Betty Fyffe
3 years ago
Reply to  Ray Hall

I have now had 3 goes at posting. All now pending.

Gudrun Smith
Gudrun Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Ray Hall

Well I daresay she wouldn’t be despised in the part of London from where she left.
Yes. I do know the area well.

David Probert
David Probert
3 years ago
Reply to  jmitchell75

Surely the distinction we ought to be worried about is when the paedophile is brown?

John Private
John Private
3 years ago
Reply to  jmitchell75

I believe a greater level of intense anger would be evident if instead of Begum we were talking about a white guy from Manchester whose family went back to the time of the Norman invasion. Suggesting racism is a ‘red herring’. Incidentally you refer to her as a child but she willingly went into a marriage and had three children.

David Bell
David Bell
3 years ago
Reply to  jmitchell75

The difference here is Begum committed a criminal offence when she went to join ISIS and the age of criminal responsibility is 12. At 15 she should be old enough to realise that what ISIS stood for was fundamentally wrong.

The real issue now is that at 20 years of age she still appears to think what they did was OK.

Phil Rees
Phil Rees
3 years ago
Reply to  jmitchell75

Simple reply, a 15 your old capable of leaving UK for the caliphate is not a child.

Julia H
Julia H
3 years ago
Reply to  jmitchell75

The case that she was groomed still needs to be made. If she was groomed then the role of her family needs to be examined, particularly her father who is reported to have brought her along to Islamist rallies he attended.The rush to claim that she was failed by the UK safeguarding structures, rather than corrupted by the warped values of her family, should be resisted.

Paul Blakemore
Paul Blakemore
3 years ago
Reply to  jmitchell75

On a different issue; but the grooming issue is interesting to consider at a time when we have teachers, ‘advocacy groups’ and the mainstream media adopting views that encourage children aged 15 and much younger to take body-altering drugs that can change their lives forever and irreversibly. Is this grooming?

Linda Baddeley
Linda Baddeley
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Blakemore

It’s child abuse.

Derek M
Derek M
3 years ago
Reply to  jmitchell75

That’s a morally disgusting argument and grossly insulting to victims of child abuse. A 15 year old who is raped by adults is different from a 15 year old who voluntarily joins an organisation dedicated to murder, torture, slavery and indeed mass rape (including of children). All these things were well known about ISIS when Begum joined them.

Paul Blakemore
Paul Blakemore
3 years ago

I think it has been obvious to many people for a long time that Human Rights laws are simply a rogues’ charter; giving criminals protections they do not deserve and putting the wider, law-abiding community in greater danger. Like the concept of ‘social progress’, the concept of ‘Human Rights’ is a difficult one to challenge because it seems so self-evidently ‘right’; but has there ever been a thorough assessment of the actual real-life impacts and consequences of these laws? You can stick a label saying ‘Human Rights’ on a tin of beans, but it is still a tin of beans.
The asylum laws are another example of laws that need complete reform: it is simply not possible to offer the right of sanctuary to everybody on the planet who is oppressed; there are simply too many. Again, I am certain that a ‘quiet majority’ of people in this country are aware that these laws have been abused for decades, simply providing another migration route, but often offering benefits to the recipients that native Britons are denied; such as a guaranteed right to housing and the largesse and care of local authorities and charities. It seems to me a sensible system would limit asylum offers to a number of people who can be reasonably accommodated; chosen by the UK state, not self-selected.

David Probert
David Probert
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Blakemore

Total agreement!

Jasper Carrot
Jasper Carrot
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Blakemore

You’re correct in your views. This individual knew what she was undertaking & it can be reasonably presumed that her friends were similarly aware of their conscious act to circumnavigate the legitimate & more usual method of travel. The Human Rights aspect of UK law, intimately linked to the ECHR, is no longer fit-for-purpose – as you stated; it is of importance for the UK to re-balance her out dated perception & laws, especially in respect to the HRA. I believe in rights but not for anyone who has clearly ignored the rights of others whilst undertaking heinous crime(s) or pronounced illegal behaviour.
Human Rights, in this particular case, are being used retrospectively for someone who happens to be on the much hated & despised ‘losing side’ – had she not been ‘found’, it is perfectly reasonable to presume that she would have continued to be inclusive to the Caliphate’s dream. The Court of Appeal’s verdict should be contested but Begum should not be allowed back to the UK & no public money should be provided for her.

Alison Houston
Alison Houston
3 years ago

We are subjects, not citizens. Our sovereignty is no longer pooled, it was fully restored to us on January 31, this year. As subjects we are entitled to justice and protection from the Crown and constitution, in exchange for our loyalty. When we renounce our loyalty to the Crown, we commit treason, and are no longer entitled to the protections and justice offered by the Crown and constitution. All justice flows from the crown.

Our written constitution has not and cannot be revoked.

All the political measures designed to modernise it in line with EU membership, from the introduction of this nonsense about citizenship, the Blair changes to the Treason laws, the introduction of The Supreme Court etc. have the disadvantage of being easily ripped apart by political activists within the legal profession, but the advantage of being merely political measures, capable of being revoked by actual politicians.

All the unnecessary changes to our constitution should be overturned. We are a Sovereign nation once again and the Constitution which served us so beautifully from 1689 until we supposedly ‘pooled our Sovereignty’ in the 70s should be publicly acknowledged and reinforced. This should of course include the traditional ideas about treason.

williamritchie2001
williamritchie2001
3 years ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

Well before the EU well placed Brits have engaged in dubious foreign enterprises- George Orwell fighting for the Communists in Spain, Diana Mitford promoting Nazi Germany from the Reich. Those and others ultimately avoided estrangement from their British identity. Begum has unquestionably done horrific things and should probably forfeit her liberty for a very long time but it is consistent with the hope of amendment and correction implicit in British law to offer a chance of redemption.

Edward Paul Campbell
Edward Paul Campbell
3 years ago

However William, I humbly submit that, as jihad is one of the 5 pillars of Islam (however I may be interpreted by them, or us for that matter) it is incumbent on us to recognise that violence, coercion, and conversion by the sword has been an inseparable part of Islam since its bloody inception, as we were courteously reminded of by Mr Murry. However, as you know, the powers in this country insist that Islam is a Religion of Peace. Such ‘peaceful’ claims were made by Adolf Hitler even after he invaded Sudetenland, Czechoslovakia, as he started in 1938, while building up Germany to become a war fighting nation that for 6 years ravaged Europe, Scandinavia, Russia, and North Africa; and slaughtered millions of innocent civilians on an industrial scale, in the name of racial purity.

“It’s hard walking on this stuff”, says Porky Pine,”Yep, son we have met the enemy and he is us”, Pogo. Said after the two cartoon characters, an opossum and a porcupine, were shown sitting at the edge of a clearing, on Earth Day, looking out on a forest strewn with refuse from fly tippers. From a heroic cartoon by Walt Kelly.

Likewise, we have imported the means of our own demise. And with little search we can find countless instances of trojan horse activities in this country by the Emissaries of Peace, which is registered by their filling 3 times as many prison places as any other demographic, to which I would respectfully respond, ‘Pakistani Child Rape Gangs Matter’. Like Sarah Champion who mentioned this, and which resulted in her being ejected from the Labour front bench, to be replaced by “White girl victims of PCRGs should shut their mouths for the sake of diversity”, Naz Shah (a politically acceptable, cultural Muslim of course).

In that regard, and with our education, institutions, police and democratic systems being constantly undermined:

(See, anti-LGBT education protests by Muslims in Birmingham, organised by the same fanatical Islamic crew members who gave us the original Trojan Horse education scandal: https://www.theguardian.com

In the name of ‘community cohesion and cultural enrichment’ (theirs, not ours) I can only see this country slipping further towards the edge of a metaphysical Beachy Head. Exemplified by the Stockholm Syndrome contingent in this country who are suicidally drawn to the very agents who would happily give them a free flying lesson over Beachy Head, once in power., Insha’Allah. Especially if they are gay: In which case it would be followed by a rock concert and a barbeque as we saw in Syria, and Gaza.

Jack Henry
Jack Henry
3 years ago

Jihad isn’t actually one of the five pillars: https://en.wikipedia.org/wi

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

We should certainly attempt to to that. But the current govt is, arguably, even more ‘progressive’ than New Labour. And any attempt to restore any form of reason or justice will be bitterly resisted by all the other political parties, the BBC, the human rights brigade, all the charities, Amnesty International (and to think I was once a member of that racket…) and pretty much everyone you can think of except normal, working people.

Bill Brookman
Bill Brookman
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

I grew out of Amnestey International as well…

Andrew Shaughnessy
Andrew Shaughnessy
3 years ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

I wasn’t aware that we even had a written constitution. When was that drawn up?

A Spetzari
A Spetzari
3 years ago

I believe Alison is referring to the Bill of Rights 1689

Which is one of the many documents that make up the constitution of the UK. Whilst we have not put the constitution into one document, there are lots of parts to it and it does ‘exist’.

S H
S H
3 years ago
Reply to  A Spetzari

Yes, it does exist. However, I don’t believe there is a consensus as to exactly what is or is not included in it. This is a disadvantage of it not being written.

tim.doherty101
tim.doherty101
3 years ago
Reply to  S H

It is rather simplistic to call this a disadvantage. Many informed judges consider it a great advantage.

A Spetzari
A Spetzari
3 years ago
Reply to  S H

There is literally a consensus – if you click on the word “Bill of Rights” above, there is a link to the UK Legislation governmental website which lists all the active legislation in force in the UK.

Granted you would have to read through it all to have some idea of what still stands and doesn’t. However there are advantages of a living changeable constitution as it can remain relevant and up to date. We don’t have nonsense about arming bears or something for example 😉

George Parr
George Parr
3 years ago
Reply to  A Spetzari

The Bill of rights is one of many documents that make up the constitution of the UK. The grey area is exactly what those documents are.

George Parr
George Parr
3 years ago
Reply to  S H

Correct

RJ LONG
RJ LONG
3 years ago
Reply to  A Spetzari

It’s better to say the UK constitution is not solely written, Also consist ing of common law and conventions.

Janice Mermikli
Janice Mermikli
3 years ago

Magna Carta (1215), the Bill of Rights (1689), and other pieces of legislation. Our constitution is uncoded, rather than unwritten.

James Buchan
James Buchan
3 years ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

No, no and thrice times no!
” As subjects we are entitled to justice and protection from the Crown and constitution, in exchange for our loyalty. When we renounce our loyalty to the Crown, we commit treason, and are no longer entitled to the protections and justice offered by the Crown and constitution”
Just think through what you have said. What you propose makes the belief in a republic illegal, or the belief in Scottish secession illegal. Thankfully UK legislators have been more reasonable and took treason to essentially mean kill or violate the monarch, partner or heir, to engage in war against the monarch and their government, or to kill certain government ministers.
Now regarding your point on the Constitution serving from 1689 until the 70’s might I suggest that the UK didn’t come into being until 1707 so the Constitution couldn’t serve for this period.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

Although I share your sympathies, there maybe a slight problem with implementing “traditional ideas about treason”.
Under the old rules, if convicted Begum would have to be ‘ burnt alive’, as even ‘we’ were a little squeamish about how to hang, draw and quarter a woman, not to mention the problem of castration.

David Probert
David Probert
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Corby

I think we managed without all that drama for William Joyce.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  David Probert

Sadly he wasn’t a British Citizen/Subject although, crucially his wife was.
Besides, did not Alison Houston say “traditional ideas about treason”?

George Parr
George Parr
3 years ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

We haven’t got a written constitution

Hugh Clark
Hugh Clark
3 years ago
Reply to  George Parr

Has Magna Carta been suspended or cancelled?

RJ LONG
RJ LONG
3 years ago
Reply to  Hugh Clark

Yes pretty much. The King John revoked the original and the later version has effectively been superseded with in law and principal by Parliamentary Statues. The clause concern ing the rights of the City of London is about the only part still enforced.

The UK constitution is not solely written might be a more correct way of staying we lack one document that is the foundation of our law.

NIGEL PASSMORE
NIGEL PASSMORE
3 years ago
Reply to  Hugh Clark

Constitutions arround the world are classed as Codified or Uncodified. A codified constitution, such as the US, is typically consolidated in a single written document. Uncodified constitutionsd such as the UK derive their legitimacy from various different acts, conventions (soverignty etc), statues and common law. There is no single source of constitution in the UK. So we don’t have a written constitution in the codified sense, but yes Magna Carta is part of our constituion.

Regards

NHP

Jasper Carrot
Jasper Carrot
3 years ago
Reply to  Hugh Clark

We, the UK – formerly Great Britain/Britain etc, tend not to revoke laws but allow Century’s old laws to continue to serve a purpose. Magna Carta was the bench mark for many other written ‘western’ constitutions, as I recall.

George Parr
George Parr
3 years ago
Reply to  Hugh Clark

Magma Carta is not a constitution

David Probert
David Probert
3 years ago
Reply to  George Parr

We used to have a Judiciary that could be relied upon to interpret it in the spirit of the ages – alas no longer.

Now its weaknesses and deliberately ‘grey areas’ left for wise interpretation are merely exploited for personal and political agendas.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  David Probert

“A Judiciary that could be relied upon”.

That sadly ended in 1998 when Lord Justice of Appeal in Ordinary, Lennie Hoffman, decided to sit on the Appeal of General Pinochet, knowing full well he was not entitled to do so.

By this monstrous act, he sullied the name of Judicial impartiality, that had been associated with British Justice for centuries.

As far as the public could see, he remained unpunished for this heinous behaviour. A very black day indeed for British Justice.

Janice Mermikli
Janice Mermikli
3 years ago
Reply to  George Parr

We have. because it is enshrined in Magna Carta (1215), in the Bill of Rights (1689) and in other legislation. Our constitution is uncodified, not unwritten.

George Parr
George Parr
3 years ago

It is written, but there is not a definitive collection of documents we can objectively label a “constitution”, unlike out American cousins.

Jasper Carrot
Jasper Carrot
3 years ago
Reply to  George Parr

Well said.

darren
darren
3 years ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

Actually, we are citizens.

https://www.legislation.gov

corfield.john
corfield.john
3 years ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

As usual incorrect facts are spuriously banded about such as your opening sentence :
We are subjects, not citizens.
The true state of the British is :
The term ‘British subject’ currently refers, in British nationality law, to a limited class of people defined by Part IV of the British Nationality Act 1981.
Currently, it refers to people possessing a class of British nationality largely granted under limited circumstances to those connected with Ireland or British India born before 1949. Individuals with this nationality are British nationals and Commonwealth citizens, but not British citizens.
Note we indigenous British have been classed by the UK government since 1949 as citizens not subjects.

Giulia Khawaja
Giulia Khawaja
3 years ago
Reply to  corfield.john

Thanks. I was going to say that my passport says “citizen”

David Probert
David Probert
3 years ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

Totally agree! It needs to be pushed forward at speed.

yessarian
yessarian
3 years ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

Ok

Howard Gleave
Howard Gleave
3 years ago

Begum has never shown remorse, far from it. She considers the Manchester bombing justified. She has been given a soft focus makeover to make her appear “a Bethnal Green girtl.” She is no such thing. She is a Jihadi who loathes everythung that makes Britain a country worth living in. I am reminded of a line from Enoch Powell’s speech, the one that got him fired, that we must be quite literally mad to allow someone who will harm us all at the first opportunity to return to the UK, which she despises. If this wannabe killer returns. we can expect the rest of this fanatical hord and its progeny to return. They will then need to be kept under permanent surveillance, taking hundreds of people to do so, and distracting from other would be killers.

Any sane country would refuse Begum leave to return to argue against the revoking of the citizenship she rejected.

Jasper Carrot
Jasper Carrot
3 years ago
Reply to  Howard Gleave

Agreed. The changes to the world, especially in the more recent past decades, were never anticipated by the law-makers of the UK. We oft forget that our laws are made by parliament & pass through the second unelected Upper House. Many of those in parliament have limited broad experience of life beyond politics & in some cases a limited depth of experience of life’s imperfections.

Julia H
Julia H
3 years ago
Reply to  Jasper Carrot

Indeed. One of the new Labour MPs is just 23 years old. She has not lived long enough to have any useful experience of anything much.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

A great piece from Douglas as always,. And yes, we all know that once back on British soil she will never leave and will almost certainly spend her life living off the tax payer. But this is the system that our politicians, lawyers and officials etc have created, and there is nothing you can except to express your contempt for them all as often as possible.

Robin P
Robin P
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

My own comments make clear that it is very far from a great piece. I posted my comments nearly six hours ago and yet they haven’t appeared yet. Maybe they weren’t in accordance with the herd view round here? Mentioned some “unmentionables” perhaps. Anyway, back now to the Kumbaya world of your “great piece”……

Giulia Khawaja
Giulia Khawaja
3 years ago
Reply to  Robin P

Would you like to say exactly how it falls short of your expectations?

Robin P
Robin P
3 years ago
Reply to  Giulia Khawaja

exactly how it falls short of your expectations?

Thanks for your enquiry. You should be able to now read my explanations in two comments near the top here. This link may work:

D.C.S Turner
D.C.S Turner
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Amusing to hear right wingers in the UK going on about how we need the power to deport foreign criminals, and then when a foreign criminal in Syria is to be returned to her own country, jumping up and down and complaining about it.

John Nutkins
John Nutkins
3 years ago
Reply to  D.C.S Turner

You find the matter ‘amusing’? You bloody idiot! And your moronic assertion that it is ‘right wingers’ going on about it clearly indicates to me that you have no moral compass.

George Parr
George Parr
3 years ago
Reply to  D.C.S Turner

She voluntarily left the UK to take up arms with her enemy. That alone should absolve her of her citizen status.

Her father is Bangladeshi- she will be better off there.

Tom Hawk
Tom Hawk
3 years ago

Inciting racial hatred is a crime under UK law.

IS sought to separate followers from non followers by treating any non follower as a second (third?) class and happily murdering them with graphic videos posted on the internet.

Anyone joining such an organisation was acting to promote racial hatred and separation. Ms Begum is one. She has used the media to promote herself and judging by the reaction to the recent court case has caused a huge amount of controversy.

I would like to see her charged with incitement to racial hatred and treated with the full harshness of the law reservd for others who incite racial hatred such white suprematists.

Robin P
Robin P
3 years ago
Reply to  Tom Hawk

You rather obviously have not read the Qur’an, the most hate-filled (in content) and violence-inciting (in very clear practice) document in history. So if you reckon people should be prosecuted for promoting hatred, then you should ask for all those Dawah stalls to be prosecuted for handing out that hate-manual and declaring it to be God’s noble and glorious message.

Personally I reckon we should be free to read Allah’s message of hate. And so free speech has to include freedom to “incite hatred”. But you prefer that we are banned from buying Qur’ans? You can’t have it both ways. Cheers.

Stewart Ware
Stewart Ware
3 years ago

When she returns to the UK, we can relax, and celebrate the increase in diversity that she brings.

Giulia Khawaja
Giulia Khawaja
3 years ago
Reply to  Stewart Ware

I do hope that the 10 people who agree also treat it as sarcasm

Daniel Goldstein
Daniel Goldstein
3 years ago
Reply to  Giulia Khawaja

I would be surprised if they seriously agree.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  Stewart Ware

As long as she is wearing a mask.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Stewart Ware

Sarcasm..The lowest form of….

David Bell
David Bell
3 years ago

Unfortunately it was a racing certainty that our judges would use the HR Act to allow her return. It seems to have become a badge of honour for the judiciary to overturn decisions by ministers and ignore legislation passed by Parliament. I will be surprised if the Supreme Court do not back the Court of Appeal decision.

So what should the government do now? My suggestions are:

1. ISIS is similar to the SS. Declare anyone who joined them as an “enemy combatant” and intern them without trial for the duration of the ISIS campaign, where every it is.
2. Pass a new law on “Joint enterprise” and create an offence of “joint enterprise in genocide”. The burden of proof has already been met under international law. All that has to be proved is that the person entered the so called “caliphate” to be guilty of this offence. Conviction should mean life, without parole.
3. Make a change to the HR Act that states a judge must take into account the actions of the applicant when assessing their case. So if an applicant has knowingly and wilfully participated in suppressing the human rights of others their rights need to be tempered. In other words Begum should not benefit from rights she helped deny to Yazidis, Christians, etc.

This case shows the failure of our current human rights structure. The rights disproportionately benefit those who abuse others then run to court to protect themselves and that is against the fundamental principles of justice!

P C
P C
3 years ago

An excellent summary, but unfinished. The consequences of the decision by the Supreme Court go far beyond Begum’s own circumstances. There are many other such potential destroyers of our society in Kurdish prisons who could form a circle of Martyrs for other equally sinister organisations here in the UK, if not merely an enormous drain on the resources of our security services. I’m sure that ‘BLM’ are looking at her with interest, and the hard left are certainly fond of her. Expect much rationalising, much ‘sympathy’, much erasure of the past in times to come. ‘Yazidis’? Who?

Janice Mermikli
Janice Mermikli
3 years ago
Reply to  P C

The hard left astonish me with this attitude. Don’t they know what the aims of Begum and her companions are?

ms030960
ms030960
3 years ago

They know; they just don’t care, that’s all…

A Spetzari
A Spetzari
3 years ago

What also baffles me is the mindset of the lawyers defending individuals such as Ms Begum. What makes them think “this is a worthy cause to fight for!”?!

To the wider point, there’s a good reason (right or wrong) that Obama conducted 10 x more drone strikes than his predecessor. It’s because, somewhat perversely, killing our estranged radicalised former citizens in place is by far an easier answer than attempting to catch them and then go through the complications of detention and due legal process.

Sharon Overy
Sharon Overy
3 years ago
Reply to  A Spetzari

I also wonder who is paying for her lawyers. I’ve got a horrible feeling it’s the British taxpayer, which is tantamount to jeering at us!

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Sharon Overy

Exactly. If you want to know who is paying her lawyers, simply look in the mirror.

Stewart Ware
Stewart Ware
3 years ago
Reply to  A Spetzari

The mindset of lawyers is how much money they can make from it.

David Probert
David Probert
3 years ago
Reply to  Stewart Ware

Unless they have a burningly virtous personal moral agenda ( always cooled by money of course ).

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  A Spetzari

Lawyers will defend anybody in return for money. That is their job.

A Spetzari
A Spetzari
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

There must me more lucrative jobs out there than an estranged girl in a refugee camp – even considering the fees that might be won from a successful case. Not convinced it’s just money and they’re ‘just’ doing their job

Edit: unintentionally sounds a bit conspiracy theorist. Guess I am questioning the ethics of a firm deciding to support this.

David Bell
David Bell
3 years ago
Reply to  A Spetzari

Legal aid and publicity are remarkable things.

Keir Starmer started doing things like this

George Parr
George Parr
3 years ago
Reply to  A Spetzari

It’s a case with national press interest – lawyer will make a name for himself

Juilan Bonmottier
Juilan Bonmottier
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

and their duty too.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

“Kill all the Lawyers”.
Henry VI Part2, Act IV Scene 2.

matthewcfrost
matthewcfrost
3 years ago

And after her there are many more waiting.

CJ Bloom
CJ Bloom
3 years ago

Would that the ill-informed Millenials were more willing to read such compelling journalism.

darren
darren
3 years ago

This is horrifically simplistic

The first paragraph does not start auspiciously. The notion that wars are fought by well-ordered rules according to rigidly defined lines of statehood is not a hugely old one. Historically, if we’re going to be picky you might even include one very obvious medieval example of that, which if you recall had a certain overtone of religion in it.

She is a British citizen. She is subject to International and English Law. If she stands trial here, and is convicted, which seems more than likely, it is our responsibility to hold her. Partly for our own protection (and hers), but also as a part of our wider responsibility to the international community, to protect them from her.

Sometimes it’s not just black and white. Sometimes we have to accept the responsibility to do things we have obligations to do, even if we don’t like it, because it’s the right thing.

Juilan Bonmottier
Juilan Bonmottier
3 years ago
Reply to  darren

Completely agree -unusually for this website there is a sense of mob justice taking hold in relation to this case -not surprising it should stir up such strong sentiment -but in not trying, sentencing, punishing by imprisonment and (perhaps) rehabilitating her we are effectively abdicating our moral authority and sovereignty over our own citizens, and however irksome it may feel to deal with her, we lose a lot more by relinquishing this responsibility.

Robin P
Robin P
3 years ago

It appears that regrettably on this issue most voices settle into the silly dichotomy of “left” vs “right”. And the “right” feel they have to disagree with the “left” about everything. So even Douglas (of whom I had hoped better) ends up trotting with the “correct” herd on this matter. As do too many others.

Juilan Bonmottier
Juilan Bonmottier
3 years ago

Well I’ll try not to ramble…

Responsibility is the state or fact of having a duty to deal with something or of having control over someone.

Ms Begum is a British citizen -whether we like it or not -she cannot renounce her citizenship -she is under 18.

This government is ultimately responsible for dealing with her. No one else.

If you relinquish responsibility, you don’t take up your duty and you lose your authority.

I might add that the more responsibility you are prepared to shoulder the more authority you accrue.

Not a good place to be for a government.

David Probert
David Probert
3 years ago

It seems all our Institutions are no longer fit the dangerous and manipulative world we now find ourselves in.

The liberal/ Left Globalist focused ” international Human Rights” obsessed Courts ,established /staffed under Blair’s anti-Conservative purges are at odds with public opinion and Governments in their interpretation of the law. They are no longer concerned with the best interests or even the wishes of the people of this country but are busy pushing their own global and personal political agendas while seeking virtue rewards and praise in world forums. including the UN and the ECJ.

Clearly the Government has to act on the whole Judicial Review process which has become overtly political and is primarily used by courts to overturn Government policies and decisions – in this case possibly involving future national security. Fanatical Islamist females are as likely to be suicide bombers as males.

The law can and must be changed by Government with the mandate of an 80 seat majority and this politicised judiciary curbed. It seems the Supreme Court is not our only problem.

Sadly Johnson’s obsession and preoccupation continues to be with reacting to and enacting PHE ‘Project Fear’ (Covid Model) rather than delivering his mandate. Meanwhile, Time Marches On!

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  David Probert

All true, but the fact is that our institutions have not been fit for purpose since, probably, the 1960s. Yes, New Labour utterly destroyed them, but they had been in decline for some time.

protheroralph
protheroralph
3 years ago

Are those judges part of the modern world? Haven’t they heard of the internet and video links? They say that Shamima Begum cannot argue her case in a British court because she is in Syria, but haven’t they heard of Zoom and other media channels offering face to face interviewing ? Her jailors are Kurds, they have plenty of internet access offering Zoom and the rest. Many prisoners give evidence in British courts by video link. The appeal judges’ claim that she is unable to give evidence in court is ridiculous.

Kathryn Richards
Kathryn Richards
3 years ago
Reply to  protheroralph

Our Parliament managed to work (of a fashion) using the internet. Even Brexit negotiations continued via the internet. I would have thought that a case like this could easily be carried out via the internet.

Seb Dakin
Seb Dakin
3 years ago

Some of the author’s points about Guantanamo are troubling. To dismiss the question ‘Why not put them in front of a jury like any other criminal?’ as ‘pat’ since it’s just too hard to get evidence or ensure a fair trial is a very dangerous path down which to go. Much about how Guantanamo operates is troubling.. Torturing people, unlimited detention, no trial because it’s too hard to get evidence? The right to a trial, the need for decent evidence to convict someone as a criminal, that this evidence cannot be obtained by torture, that there are limits on the state’s power to detain…these very things are the values of the West that are superior to those elsewhere. They are the legacy of the Enlightenment, they were bought very dearly by brave and committed men and women over hundreds of years, and to sell them cheap to get at terrorists in the short term is a poor trade.

D Glover
D Glover
3 years ago
Reply to  Seb Dakin

Do we regard ISIS volunteers as ‘criminal’; to be dealt with in court using the rules of evidence, or as ‘enemy soldiers’?
Enemy soldiers are not arrested on the battlefield, for later trial. They are shot in combat, or captured for the duration of the war.
The confusing thing about Guantanamo is that it doesn’t fit the model of a prison, but it’s not a POW camp either. No fair trials, but no declared war against a sovereign state.
Is Begum a criminal, or is she a soldier of an enemy power? If she is the latter we can’t let her live freely among us until the war is over. The war has already lasted 1300 years.

Janice Mermikli
Janice Mermikli
3 years ago
Reply to  D Glover

Good post. A propos of your last sentence, It has indeed, and even slightly more if we count from A.D.710. And it is far from over.

Seb Dakin
Seb Dakin
3 years ago
Reply to  D Glover

Guantanamo is a very tricky, since as you say there’s no declared war against a sovereign state. When does such a war ‘end’, and what are the conditions of surrender, and who would agree them with who? If a soldier fighting for a country has not committed war crimes as such, then he’d be free to go at the end of the way, but if he’s not fighting for an identifiable state, then is he per se a criminal the moment he engages in violence?
Being insufficiently familiar with the law, or indeed the details of Begum’s case, it is doubly hard to say how to proceed. If as a British citizen she was aiding and abetting an enemy, would that not be treason? Would there have to be a declared war? I honestly don’t know.

D Glover
D Glover
3 years ago
Reply to  Seb Dakin

Take another example; Northern Ireland. Mrs Thatcher insisted that PIRA were criminals; they insisted they were not. They wouldn’t wear prison blues; hence the blanket protest, the dirty protest, the hunger strike.
So, were the PIRA criminals or soldiers of a state that doesn’t yet exist? Tough one.

Chris Jayne
Chris Jayne
3 years ago
Reply to  Seb Dakin

Agree Seb. You protect civil liberties at the fringes, and that quite often means you defend bad people to defend good principles.

Trishia A
Trishia A
3 years ago
Reply to  Seb Dakin

Islam is the second largest faith in the world and the fastest growing. We need to stop applying the words “oppressed minority” to this faith. She chose to fight with the enemy. Done.

cjhartnett1
cjhartnett1
3 years ago

A country that welcomes back it’s traitors as vanquishing victims really has lost its mind, its will to live. To exist at all.
We have enough traitors and a mob of incorrigible enemies within, and can well do without this evil piece of work.
The Times has done the work of the enemy in telling us about her plight. Who gives a damn? Maybe the Czechs should make sure that Heydrich’s grandkids will always have free piano lessons….this would confirm the national wish to disembowel itself, much like letting Begum in to stitch suicide vests , or play hockey with the severed heads that her friends left lying around in the recycling bins…..

John Alyson
John Alyson
3 years ago

Stripping people of their nationality isn’t the solution – is Begum really Bangladesh’s problem? I think she is ours whether we like it or not. The basic problem here is the loss of “treason” as a crime. We dont want it because we are so individualistic we dont want concepts of loyalty, belonging, community, obligation to be part of law. And so here we are tying ourselves up in knots and prosecuting people who were even fighting against IS.

It should be simple:

– Reinstate treason as a crime.
– Is a British citizen siding with IS treason? probably yes – the prosecution makes the case.
-Is a British citizen fighting in the Spanish civil war, for Assad, or even Islamic groups concerned only with Syria an act of treason? probably not – but if in doubt then bring a prosecution.
– Has a British citizen committed a war crime independent of who they have been fighting for? Then Prosecute on that basis.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
3 years ago

I have little sympathy for Ms Begum and do not feel any particular duty to help her out of the hole she chose to put herself in. But she is a Btritish citizen, with whatever rights that gives her. She was one, and she remains one until she gets another citizenship. Which she has not got. Much as I dislike her, it is immoral and surely illegal to make her stateless on the spurious grounds that maybe, possibly, she might be able to get a Pakistani passport. By all means find another way to treat her as she deserves but, like it or not, we are stuck with her.

A Spetzari
A Spetzari
3 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Interesting points – and it’s the crux of the issue. But I disagree.

I believe she effectively renounced her citizenship by deciding to join a fundamentalist religious death cult/state. I think UK law needs to catch up with this – as currently it’s out of date.

That state no longer exists but was carved out of former Syrian and Iraqi lands (with underlying Kurdish/Arabic etc tribal sub divisions also).

To that end she should face justice in those countries which she was part of the oppressing/invading group that she joined.

Juilan Bonmottier
Juilan Bonmottier
3 years ago
Reply to  A Spetzari

I’m not sure you can renounce your citizenship in any meaningful, or legal, way by announcing you have become a citizen of a state that does not legally exist anywhere in the world. It may well be the case that Syria was the land in which she ended up, but she cannot be said to have become a Syrian citizen -they would be perfectly justified in saying she never acquired such citizenship as an illegal entrant. With respect to your last point, it is very common for offenders to be extradited back to their country of origin to serve sentences.

Alan Matthes
Alan Matthes
3 years ago

Could she not face justice in the country where she commited the offence?

Juilan Bonmottier
Juilan Bonmottier
3 years ago
Reply to  Alan Matthes

I’m sure she could -but that country does not seem to be in any state to administer it.

A Spetzari
A Spetzari
3 years ago

No that’s sort of my point. The current legislation, unsurprisingly doesn’t cover this issue, as until recently it wasn’t one.

As for recognition/legal status of a state – that’s a bit of a moot point as there is not an international consensus on the existence of states. Israel, Palestine, Taiwan – to name a few obvious ones that do not exist in the eyes of some, despite literally existing in state form.

Yes extradition is common – but only in the case that the non-revoking of citizenship is a given, which was my first point so it follows

See Jack Letts for a similar scenario.

David Bell
David Bell
3 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

She has Bangladeshi citizenship

jamessykes3011
jamessykes3011
3 years ago
Reply to  David Bell

No she doesn’t , I believe in theory ,through descendancy she could be entitled to Bangladeshi citizenship,I doubt they would want her and who could blame them.

David Bell
David Bell
3 years ago
Reply to  jamessykes3011

It has been reported that she does have full Bangladeshi citizenship but has destroyed the documents. Anyone under the age of 21 born to a Bangladeshi father has dual citizenship

Giulia Khawaja
Giulia Khawaja
3 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Her family are not from Pakistan, her parents are from Bangladesh. Even if they were from Pakistan she and others like her would get short shrift on their return. Hanging is the more likely welcome.

Mark Lambert
Mark Lambert
3 years ago

I will have to re-visit one of her earlier interviews. I’m certain that she said that ISIS were not doing what they had promised, and clarified that by saying they killed Muslims too. So what she meant was that ISIS didn’t only kill non-Muslims as was what was apparently on the tin.

This was used by certain activists who said that she was disillusioned by ISIS because she didn’t believe in their ideology. They missed out her clarification of course.

Surely if she comes here, one nailed-on conviction would be joining a proscribed terrorist organisation, although I’m not sure if she will need citizenship re-applied to secure that conviction. But that may only get a seven year sentence and out in four.

At the moment, and possibly in the future, it is interesting who is offering some sort of support, even tacitly. Her return might open wide the almost forgotten range and scope of support for Islamists.

Janice Mermikli
Janice Mermikli
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Lambert

There are plenty of ways to offer covert support for their cause, and this doesn’t just have to be good old-fashioned “deceit” (“taqiyya” for Shias and “muda’rat” for Sunnis). It could be “kitman” , which is deceit by omission, or “tawriya”, deceit by ambiguity. Then there is “taysir”, which is deceit through facilitation, or not having to observe all the tenets of Sharia. Another one is darura, or deceit through necessity, when someone has to engage in something “haram”, or forbidden. Laslty, there is “muruna”, the temporary suspension of Sharia to make someone appear more “moderate.”

So lots to choose from.

anthonymargiocchi
anthonymargiocchi
3 years ago

So, what gives a court, the right to put an entire nation at risk of further terrorism? Those who support Begum will clearly be looking to bring even more deadly terrorists back to the UK. We, the public, have a right to peace and safety, no court has jurisdiction over that. That is for Parliament alone and our security services.

Ian McGregor
Ian McGregor
3 years ago

I feel so utterly disenfranchised. Woke government after woke government has diluted or demeaned our identity with absolutely no direct mandate from the people.

Johnson, apart from his opportunistic Brexit credentials, has proven to be as treacherous to the wishes of the people of this country as the colossally damaging and useless Theresa May. He is as Liberal as his father or sister and just wants a continuation of liberal elitist policies which deride and deny the needs of the indigenous majority.

Eventually this ideology will be toppled but through the efforts of the liberal elite it might be of a much more authoritarian and feudal nature.

Christopher Barclay
Christopher Barclay
3 years ago

‘She and her cohorts waged war against this country and our allies;’ Really?

‘She and her cohorts’ waged war against Assad’s government. Since when has Assad been our ally? Not since he refused to let Qatar run a pipeline through his country and his torturers stopped doing our dirty work for us. That is the problem. Because we do not recognise the legitimate government of Syria, as determined by international law (and not morality), we cannot leave the Syrian justice system charge Begum for any crimes she has committed.

Kathryn Richards
Kathryn Richards
3 years ago

I think it fair to say her cohorts waged war against this country and our allies. Or perhaps you consider all the IS attacks perpetrated in Europe, including Manchester, are somehow completely separate from the IS she joined. How about beheading British aid workers?
She should, of course, be tried in the country where she (allegedly) committed any crimes.

Alan Stewart
Alan Stewart
3 years ago

Most of this afternoon’s contributors, myself included, sign in with rather ‘waspish’ sounding names. Would it not be appropriate to hear opinion from representatives of the community within which Ms Begum was raised? It would be most interesting to hear the conflict that might be arise between the ‘culture’ and the interpretation of the ‘religious belief’ of such a community. At the moment we all seem to be looking at this situation from the ‘outside’. May we have some wider points of view?

Peter Scammell
Peter Scammell
3 years ago

You gloss over the fact that she was 15 when she left as if it were a minor detail. Likewise the fact that depriving her of her citizenship is illegal under international law. Her claim to Bangladeshi citizenship is very dubious and she therefore risks being deemed stateless. She should certainly face prosecution in the UK and we need to act responsibly in this regard as have our European partners in similar situations.

George Parr
George Parr
3 years ago
Reply to  Peter Scammell

We had a 15 year old lecturing grown adults on climate change not so long ago. Is being 15 years old an impediment to wisdom or isn’t it?

Peter Scammell
Peter Scammell
3 years ago
Reply to  George Parr

Some 15 year olds have greater maturity and intellect than others. It’s not an impediment to wisdom granted a favourable background but it is defined in law as being childhood and rightly so. I spent 36 years teaching 15 year old children and the vast majority were extremely immature young people still finding their way in life.

KJ PETERSEN
KJ PETERSEN
3 years ago

Correct. Begum will not leave Britain because she does not currently have citizenship of another country entitling her to live there. Sayyid Javid was always on shaky ground in alleging that she could go to Bangladesh (if she applied, and if they were willing to take her). Current dual citizenship, (not sort of, maybe, or possibly future dual citizenship) is an absolute prerequisite for deprivation of citizenship, in order to avoid the creation of a stateless person, which would be a breach of international law. Like it or not, that’s the situation. Welcome home, Ms. Begum, you’re now under arrest.

Nicholas Taylor
Nicholas Taylor
3 years ago

None of this is any use unless Europe recovers its moral composure and reconnects its roots.

Caroline Martin
Caroline Martin
3 years ago

Yes, she will stay and whatever laws that allow this should be repealed. We should be stronger and be able to say no. By being so soft we encourage others to join such hideous groups and know they can just come back when they want to.

Peter KE
Peter KE
3 years ago

Good article. A true failure of natural law. Begum and all others who decided to act against the UK are treasonous terrorists and should be treated harshly with no mercy. The judiciary, civil service and politicians have again failed the British people, we need a removal of the left wing liberals in the judiciary and civil service and a rework of the treason laws to ensure all that commit treason automatically loose any claim to the UK. The HR act should be struck out and the rulings of the ECH, ECJ should be irrelevant.

Robin P
Robin P
3 years ago

For the first time I have to disagree, totally, with Douglas Murray. He fails to grasp the point that this war is different. Because it is a continuation of the jihad started by an Arabian warlord 14 centuries ago. As part of the biggest hoax in history.

Here is a little education for Mr Murray, which they probably forgot to mention at Oxford. Our civilisation, Western Christendom, was founded on Christianity. A most fundamental tenet of which is: “Forgive your enemies because they do not know what they do”. And I don’t propose to reckon to know better than 2000-year-old wisdom.

Some people like to be nasty. They kick you for their amusement. They are criminals.

But the Jihadists are not criminals. They are deluded. Their delusion is that the Islam hoax started by the Arabian warlord is the one true good religion.

These terrorists and other jihadists do not need punishment. They need therapy. In particular, they need telling the truth about Islam, that it is a hoax invented by a greedy man to enrich himself.

All those who collude with Islam in baselessly asserting that Islam is a peaceful and noble faith, including pretending to be “Professor of Islamic studies”, while doing nothing to expose the exceptionally hateful violence-inciting nature of the Qur’an, are themselves complicit in the huge record of nasty things that have been done and still are being done in the name of this ideology unfit for humans.

Shamima Begum is a victim. A victim of all those who defend Islam as something to be respected. And there are too many of those in high places in this country, not least so-called Lord ****, whose only response to my pointing out to him the facts about Islam was to report my “offence” to the police (so much for his asserted tolerance of divergent views). And Baroness *****, who repeatedly asserted that the terrorists were not the real Islam, yet could never be bothered to engage with the clear evidence that they are. The blood is on such people’s hands, whether they intended it or not. But again, “forgive them because they know not what they do”.

Less hostile intolerant punishment, more understanding and honest telling of the necessary truths. We are at war not with guns, but with deluded beliefs. No amount of imprisonment and punishment is going to defeat those beliefs. Meanwhile Islam is already in crisis from everyone now being able to read its reportedly perfect Qur’an and many courageous people telling the truth about it. More of those voices, and an end to all the persecution and censorship against pretended “Islamophobia” is what is needed.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  Robin P

This is a ‘wind up’, that we have patiently waited six hours for? Or a somewhat jaundiced polemic on Islam? Either way do you seriously believe that “our civilisation was founded on Christianity”?

Christianity was/is a parvenu, and somewhat unwelcome addition to the vast corpus of achievement produced by the Classical World, which predates it by more than a thousand years, as you well know.

Mr Murray is to be congratulated for articulating so clearly, what many of us feel about this vexed issue.

Hosias Kermode
Hosias Kermode
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Corby

May I recommend some summer reading for you in the shape of Tom Holland’s Dominion: The Making of the Western Mind”

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  Hosias Kermode

Many thanks.
In fact I have already read it, and felt that Tom Holland rather overstated his case.

The evidence is clear enough, and although Christianity was a powerful, not to say pernicious force, civilisation was well established, before its unfortunate arrival.

Giulia Khawaja
Giulia Khawaja
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Corby

Civilisation was not established in Western countries before Christianity’s “unfortunate arrival”.
True, the Iron Age people’s had a civilisation and it would be interesting to know how that would have evolved had the Romans not diverted it. However there are examples of people who transgressed being buried alive so their level of civilisation may be judged from that. The Romans certainly had a Classical civilisation but there was probably only a veneer up on Hadrian’s Wall with a bit more in Eburacum, Londinium etc. However, when the Romans left so did their civilisation.
The following few hundred years did produce some beautiful artefacts both Pagan and Christian but but ultimately the centres of learning and scholarship were the monasteries. The Christian monasteries produced art and writing in the illustrated manuscripts, taught writing and reading, cared for the sick and infirm and generally laid the foundations of western society.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  Giulia Khawaja

Civilisation goes back at least three thousand years before the birth of your Redeemer. What on Earth do you think was going on in the Nile Valley, Mesopotamia, the Indus Valley and the Yellow River Valley?

Eboracum (sic) and Roman Britain are irrelevant to this discussion.

The Monasteries certainly preserved what they thought useful, but nothing else. Otherwise they were a parasitic menace, correctly destroyed by Thomas Cromwell between 1536-40.
Unfortunately their colleagues, the Mendicants, who did sterling work, were also destroyed at the same time.

Robin P
Robin P
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Corby

civilisation was well established,

Certainly not in Dark Ages Britain, which is precisely why it appears as a huge dark period in the archeological record. I do have to wonder which school you went to. If I have any children I’ll know where to avoid! Cheers.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  Robin P

I am not certain, from your ill tempered rant, if you fully understand the term “Dark Age(s) Britain”.

Either way it is completely irrelevant to my point, that Christianity was a parvenu addition to civilisation.

As a child I was taught “not to mock the afflicted”. However in your case I shall make an exception. Your total ignorance of basic historical facts is truly alarming and is no doubt a terrible indictment of state education.

In the unfortunate event that you are blessed with children, do everything you can to send them to somewhere like Eton. You will not regret it.

.

Robin P
Robin P
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Corby

Your total ignorance of basic historical facts

Well, coming from yourself, such an evaluation must count highly! You appear to have a fundamental misunderstanding, understandable given the lamentable education we get anywhere in Ukland over the last half-century. What you don’t understand is that “civilisation” is not some thing which began in year xyz and has continued ever since. Rather there have been discrete Civilisations. Note that S on the end of that word.

CivilisationS are societies characterised by large-scale organisation. Whether they have nice culture and morals is irrelevant to the definition.

Toynbee (whom you obviously haven’t read) lists about 26, though probably more are known now. The Hellenic Civilisation (which produced the Roman Empire as its Universal State) ENDED (at least except for what remained in Byzantium) around 450 AD. In Western Europe and Britain there was no civilisation for the next few hundred years.

Meanwhile there was the preservation of culture in the Monasteries. As Toynbee would have explained to you if you had read his book, the flame of learning is carried from a parent civilisation to a child civilisation via a “church”, in our case the Catholic Church (and Celtic Church).

Then there was the invasion of the Religion of Peace, which brought the tribes together to win the Battle of Tours in 732. Subsequently a guy named Charlemagne decided to learn to read and promoted literacy among his subjects and that was the beginning of our present civilisation called Western Christendom.

By the way, I was not taught any of this in my schooldays! Cheers anyway.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  Robin P

Oh dear, not Toynbee! Given my age one could hardly avoid his pernicious influence. His sister, Jocelyn, was a far greater scholar.

Presumably by osmosis, you have become a disciple of Toynbee, which may explain your rather warped view of the historical record. However “each to his own”.

You seem unimpressed, which is not surprising, with state education. May I again suggest that any offspring you may produce are educated at Douglas’s Alma Mater, Eton?

Robin P
Robin P
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Corby

In fact I have already read it,

I think this may be a cause of a problem for many people. They spend much time reading all the books, particularly the famous books. And that takes up so much time and energy, even though they are speeding through rather than unpicking them, that they do not find the time for other essentials of sound studying. They do not stop to pick apart the gaps, to query the assumptions by studying the original materials (such as the Qur’an itself rather than what some “professor” says about it). They assume that having read a book about xyz, they must now “know” about it.

Well, I have news for you! Among the source material I have read is ISIS’s own magazine, Dabiq, which made everything clear in their “Why we hate you” article, and no nothing to do with invading their land, just being a non-Muslim is the greatest of crimes in the eyes of Allah. “Those who disbelieve are the vilest of animals.”

They make absolutely clear that their ideology is entirely founded on the Qur’an, as they are after all the authentic original Islam. But meanwhile….

I have encountered FIVE books at the front of Waterstones, all “about” ISIS. Not one of these books contained even one quotation from the Qur’an. All five of those “best-selling” books are not only seriously uninforming, but they are actively disinforming. Their readers end up with a delusion that they now know about ISIS when in reality they have just been brainwashed into incurable ignorance about it.

So I can well understand how a book reader can end up hopelessly confused. Cheers.

Janice Mermikli
Janice Mermikli
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Corby

And you are probably as deluded about Islam as is Pope Francis.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago

I have no view on Islam except. that it seems to have stopped thinking since
Al-Ghazali.

Robin P
Robin P
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Corby

I beg to suggest that the thinking stopped when its founding warlord started chopping off the heads of any whose thinking deviated from the approved script. There’s plenty of documentation of this head-chopping in the Qur’an and the Hadiths. Someone please remind me how many heads were chopped off by that Christ fellow.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  Robin P

Try educating yourself on Al-Ghazali and his near contemporaries. You may find it quite enlightening. It certainly explains why Islam so notably ‘failed’ in subsequent centuries.

Robin P
Robin P
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Corby

This is a ‘wind up’, that we have patiently waited six hours for?

No, the problem is that overdeveloped assumptions prevent people from recognising competent sense even when it is presented to them.

Or a somewhat jaundiced polemic on Islam?

No, just some accurate facts about Islam from someone who has taken the trouble to actually study it rather than just assume they can get their learning second-hand from journalists such as DM here (or far worse, other journalists than DM). You notably fail to actually raise any challenge to any of the facts stated. Which I humbly beg to suggest is characteristic of a less than excellent orientation to intellectual matters.

Either way do you seriously believe that “our civilisation was founded on Christianity”?

If you seriously believe that our civilisation, rightly called “Western Christendom”, was NOT founded on Christianity, then you must be profoundly ignorant and proud of it too. How else do you think we got our civilisation. Via some time-machine? The Vikings and Vandals brought it to us? No, the learning was preserved in the Monasteries, and only in the Monasteries.

You do not come over as a very willing student of reality, but just to give you a fair chance, I will mention some more things that poor old Douglas apparently hasn’t learnt yet (“…and some have greatness thrust upon them….”).

Douglas’s limited education shows starkly in his writing books about social breakdown without ever once using the key word decadence. Read Toynbee’s A Study of History (abridged at least). Civilisations breakdown into “universal states” such as the Roman Empire. Subsequently, child civilisations can arise from the ashes of a parent civilisation. Toynbee refers to the intermediating linking organisations as “churches”, with very good reason.

Consider the great geniuses of science. With the sole exception of lapsed Jew Einstein, they were all devout Christians. Darwin, Copernicus, and Mendel were even Christian Ministers, for etc’s sake. And then all the great composers, all put religious music as their best works. Even the rather immoral Wagner and Liszt.

Hopefully this comment has brought a little enlightenment at not too great a cost of bruised egos and proudly-grasped ignorances. Douglas is a great guy. He isn’t a Great Scholar (much as I hope he will become so).
Cheers.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  Robin P

Oh dear, are you on any medication? If not seek help while you still have time.

Your diatribe is unworthy of response. You must, and can do better.

Chris Taylor
Chris Taylor
3 years ago
Reply to  Robin P

I have read this post four times now to make sure that I am not missing something, and now don’t know whether to laugh or cry. I’ve decided to laugh. It’s definitely comedy just not very good comedy.

Robin P
Robin P
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris Taylor

I have to sympathise with you. I could try to explain that you are confused because you have had your brain pre-filled with ignorances, but whether that will enable any more progress is not a sure bet. The fact that you make no attempt to challenge any of the stated facts rings a loud bell.
Thanks anyway for your feedback.

Dave Lowery
Dave Lowery
3 years ago
Reply to  Robin P

I suggest you find and listen to Sam Harris’s podcast “What Do Jihadists Really Want?” There is no need to guess, and after listening to the Jihadists explaining why they hate us and why they fight us, there will be no doubt. The crisis is all around, and we ignore it at our peril. “Jihadists are not criminals” is nonsense. Manchester Arena.

Robin P
Robin P
3 years ago
Reply to  Dave Lowery

I do not need secondhand sources such as someone’s podcast. I have read ISIS’s own magazine article titled “why we hate you”. I have numerous copies of Allah’s perfect final testament right by my elbow as I type this. None of this material needs any “interpretation”. Kill does mean kill.

“Manchester arena” – so what? It remains the case that these people, especially suicide bombers, are victims of a delusion that the Arabian hoax is a genuine worthy religion. You have not presented a shred of evidence to the contrary. Just named one very small blip in the huge galaxy of 1400 years of constant Jihad warfare and Dhimmi oppression. Which surely speaks volumes about your lack of the wider perspective? Cheers anyway.

Giulia Khawaja
Giulia Khawaja
3 years ago
Reply to  Robin P

The “Arabian War Lord” and his followers were living in their own part of the world. The Crusades were started by the Christians who wanted Jerusalem etc. because it was in the Holy Land.

Robin P
Robin P
3 years ago
Reply to  Giulia Khawaja

The “Arabian War Lord” and his followers were living in their own part of the world. The Crusades were started by the Christians who wanted Jerusalem etc

Really? Who told you all that? Why should I believe you, when it is so well documented that Islam spread by huge terrorising conquests started by the Arabian warlord (with no need for “…..”) and his successors following the many hate-commands in the Qur’an. And this Jihad is still going on around the world and yet you have blind eyes about it.
The Crusades were only started 400 years after the Jihadists conquered the Christian heartlands. It was defensive to protect pilgrims from the terrorisation which Muslims (not all) impose on non-Muslims everywhere (which is the reason WHY Muslims are hated all round the world).
Some more understanding can be gained from this scholarly presentation here:Jihad vs Crusades
Cheers.

Brian Dorsley
Brian Dorsley
3 years ago
Reply to  Giulia Khawaja

No, the Crusades were a reaction to Moorish incursions into France, Italy, Greece and Spain. Islamic slave ships were also carrying off Europeans from as far north as the Irish coast.

Robin P
Robin P
3 years ago
Reply to  Robin P

Thanks for your feedback but I do have enough life-experience to know that (selfish/nasty) criminals cannot be cutely persuaded to magically turn into nice people. However, you appear to have failed to get the point that these people are different from sadists and bank-robbers. They risk their lives to obey the commands of their Allah god. They are deluded. That is a categoric difference from people who do not care whether they are evil or not.

Do you really think that Islamic fundamentalists will listen when you tell them it has all been one big hoax?

Probably unlike you I have talked with numerous Muslims about their faith, and studied the subject more widely. There is a huge growth of EX-Muslim groups, and ex-Muslims condemning Islam. This has never happened before. It is happening because for the first time there are millions of copies of the Qur’an, plus the internet, and so people can now read what they supposedly believe. (Even courageous Douglas here has done his bit.)

And when they read it, a noisy few develop Sudden Jihad Syndrome, while a much larger many quietly pretend to be still believing (including many still wearing hijab).

When you challenge Muslims/”Muslims” about their faith, they mostly get very bothered. At best they come up with the most ridiculous rationalisations. More often they get hot and bothered, they say “why not ask an Imam instead”, or “it’s so complicated I don’t have time to explain”, or “you have to be willing to learn” (i.e. just parrot what you’re told).

This is not the characteristic of a thriving religion. Islam is dying as we speak, because its hoax nature is now laid bare for all to see. Having spoken with many, I can confirm others’ observations that the majority of “Muslims” have no real knowledge of Islam, and that most of the rest are just pretending for fear of being condemned for their apostasy. Islam is a facade heading for collapse quite soon. ISIS was its last attempt at a Reformation, but has failed. All round the “Islamic” world, Islam is in reverse, with the principles from Western Christendom increasingly prevailing, despite persecutions.

And we owe it to the 250 million murdered by Islamic Jihad, in addition to the countless millions more merely oppressed, we owe it to their memory to tell the truth about Islam and not pretend it away or hope that just saying enough Kumbaya things will heal a wound that has been slashing at the body Homo Sapiens for 1400 centuries and still ongoing.

Islam’s strong point is violence, from people who value death more than they value life. Its weak point is questioning of its supposed truths. it cannot cope with free speech which is precisely why it is making such a desperate fuss about “Islamophobia”. That is the squealing of a cornered mouse you are hearing there. Cheers.

Trishia A
Trishia A
3 years ago
Reply to  Robin P

Abrahamic founds have their early foundations in the faiths of early India, several thousands of years ago.
The sin is faith itself, some faiths are slightly more belligerent than others, but they all have the same ridiculous foundations.

Trishia A
Trishia A
3 years ago
Reply to  Robin P

detele

Stephen Lloyd
Stephen Lloyd
3 years ago

Whoever was responsible for supposedly editing this article should be sacked. I have no doubt Douglas Murray was appalled when he saw the finished article in print. It used to be only the Grauniad that committed this sort of wholesale war on English spelling and grammar: nowadays it seems the entire British media is guilty of the same.

Giulia Khawaja
Giulia Khawaja
3 years ago
Reply to  Stephen Lloyd

Would you like to highlight the spelling and grammatical errors you have found in the article?

Daniel Goldstein
Daniel Goldstein
3 years ago
Reply to  Giulia Khawaja

There are several, UnHerd needs a proofreader.

Jonathan da Silva
Jonathan da Silva
3 years ago

“Let me, then, make a prediction: if Begum steps foot back in Britain she will never again have to leave it.”

Well where else? Dump her on the Syrians? Or Turkey headed to bankruptcy? Bangladesh? Inflict such scum on some poor country? Javid well knew this would happen but decided some people would be too stupid to realise he was doing this for votes.

I see this as dog-whistling instead of justified anger at the resources wasted by Govt. Like May v Qatada whatever one’s view of such scum it’s weak politicians creating space for the likes of Murray to wax on rather than whine at incompetent/cynical wasting 10s of million to play politics in court. We take back mercenaries like Simon Mann say without any court cases or the guys who trainer the Kymer Rouge etc.

My point even if you think this is wrong legally the Govt knew all along they would have to accept her back here. They’ve wasted millions cos they think people are stupid. Hoping to dump our potentially dangerous garbage on poor countries not a good look either.

Giulia Khawaja
Giulia Khawaja
3 years ago

Javid didn’t need to do it for votes.

Alan Osband
Alan Osband
3 years ago

Bringing in poor countries ‘potentially dangerous garbage’ wasn’t a great policy either ,never mind the ‘look’

repper
repper
3 years ago

Oh do your worst Progressive Establishment. Use your topsy-turvy sophistic jurisprudence to prove whatever your virtuous values compel you to prove. I am now an indifferent citizen of your jurisdiction and will no longer contribute anything to it bar my mandatory taxes.

K Sheedy
K Sheedy
3 years ago

Yes. She is the embodiment of dumb, vicious, intolerance. And she deserves to to be shamed and ostracized.
The problem here is International Law. You can’t choose which laws to follow and when. Making someone a citizen of nowhere happened to the Armenians, the Kurds, the Jews, and more recently the Rohinga and the muslims in India.
When Sajvid made her stateless he acted illegally. There was bound to be problems.
She is a british citizen and therefore is our problem.
When crimes are proven against her in the UK, like aiding and abetting genocide – which she has confessed to on air. She should pay the price in jail time.
Her complete lack of empathy and intolerance of others make it very un-likely that she will ever change. But to be allowed back into Society she should be required to renounce her actions and ISIS and be required to work full time for the rest of her life in a charity that supports ISIS victims on minimum wage. Any slips up, straight back to jail.

Edward Paul Campbell
Edward Paul Campbell
3 years ago

I humbly submit that, as jihad is one of the 5 pillars of Islam (however I may be interpreted by them, or us for that matter) it is incumbent on us to recognise that violence, coercion, and conversion by the sword has been an inseparable part of Islam since its bloody inception, as we were courteously reminded of by Mr Murry. However, as you know, the powers in this country insist that Islam is a Religion of Peace. Such ‘peaceful’ claims were made by Adolf Hitler even after he invaded Sudetenland, Czechoslovakia, as he started in 1938, while building up Germany to become a war fighting nation that for 6 years ravaged Europe, Scandinavia, Russia, and North Africa; and slaughtered millions of innocent civilians on an industrial scale, in the name of racial purity.

“It’s hard walking on this stuff”, says Porky Pine,”Yep, son we have met the enemy and he is us”, Pogo. Said after the two cartoon characters, an opossum and a porcupine, were shown sitting at the edge of a clearing, on Earth Day, looking out on a forest strewn with refuse from fly tippers. From a heroic cartoon by Walt Kelly.

Likewise, we have imported the means of our own demise. And with little search we can find countless instances of trojan horse activities in this country by the Emissaries of Peace, which is registered by their filling 3 times as many prison places as any other demographic, to which I would respectfully respond, ‘Pakistani Child Rape Gangs Matter’. Like Sarah Champion who mentioned this, and which resulted in her being ejected from the Labour front bench, to be replaced by “White girl victims of PCRGs should shut their mouths for the sake of diversity”, Naz Shah (a politically acceptable, cultural Muslim of course).

In that regard, and with our education, institutions, police and democratic systems being constantly undermined:

(See, anti-LGBT education protests by Muslims in Birmingham, organised by the same fanatical Islamic crew members who gave us the original Trojan Horse education scandal: https://www.theguardian.com

In the name of ‘community cohesion and cultural enrichment’ (theirs, not ours) I can only see this country slipping further towards the edge of a metaphysical Beachy Head. Exemplified by the Stockholm Syndrome contingent in this country who are suicidally drawn to the very agents who would happily give them a free flying lesson over Beachy Head, once in power., Insha’Allah. Especially if they are gay: In which case it would be followed by a rock concert and a barbeque as we saw in Syria, and Gaza.

Liz Jones
Liz Jones
3 years ago

‘they lost & should have lost everything’
While this was the case in the past, it is certainly not true now. The Arabs lost the six day war & the Yom Kippur war and still want to regain the lands they lost then & are supported in this by the UN and much of the world’s governments.

Andrew Baldwin
Andrew Baldwin
3 years ago

There’s a five-year old orphan girl living in a Syrian refugee camp now. She was four years old when her parents and siblings were killed in an air strike. She is Canadian and has an uncle in Toronto she could live with but the Canadian government has so far refused to send in a diplomat to get her out. PM Trudeau has been asked about her case more than once and he doesn’t argue, as Douglas does, that “the most terrible actions should have the most terrible consequences” just that it was too dangerous for a Canadian diplomat to go in there to try to get the little girl out. The stories I read said that her parents are just suspected of collaborating with ISIS. One really wonders what other reason they might have had to be there. I really wonder what Douglas thinks of her case. Should the sins of the parents be visited on their very young daughter? I don’t think George Orwell would have agreed with that.

James Sinclair
James Sinclair
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Baldwin

Whataboutery. Do you agree with the article?

Trishia A
Trishia A
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Baldwin

My Canadian compatriots are like religious colonialists, always trying to save people, it’s so tiring.

Robin P
Robin P
3 years ago

Mr Murray’s grasp of history also appears to be less than comprehensive. There were natives of same states on opposite sides in the 1683 Battle of Vienna, one of the most important events in history (and Europe may well have not survived the Jihad otherwise). Needless to say, no-one learns about it in our “education” system….

“The attraction of war was always the same. Men and women of violence could take what they wanted by force.”

Utter nonsense. The Jihadists make clear that they are simply following the commands of the Qur’an to fight those who disbelieve. The Qur’an acknowledged in several verses that the Warlord’s subjects would prefer not to join that fighting:

“Fighting is prescribed for you, and you dislike it. But it is possible that you dislike a thing which is good for you, and that you love a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knows, and you know not.” [2:216]
“Have you not seen those unto whom it was said: Withhold your hands and establish worship and pay the poor-due? But when fighting was prescribed for them, behold! a party of them fear mankind even as they fear Allah or with greater fear, and they say: Our Lord! why have you ordained fighting for us? If only you would give us respite for a while. I Say: The comfort of this world is scant; the Hereafter will be better for he who wards off evil.” [4:77]

A Spetzari
A Spetzari
3 years ago
Reply to  Robin P

I think your interpretation of history is significantly less than comprehensive I am afraid.

You have reduced the entire Turkish/Ottoman empire to a mass group of deluded jihadists mindlessly following the Koran.

The civilisation had a pretty sophisticated and comprehensive legal, political, military, scientific and artistic series of systems for a bunch of warlords carrying out the prophets work to the letter.

Perhaps it’s not that either and a few more things were at play?

Robin P
Robin P
3 years ago
Reply to  A Spetzari

You have reduced the entire Turkish/Ottoman empire to a mass group of deluded jihadists mindlessly following the Koran.

No I have not. Here is a hint. Do not do the “So what you are saying is….” nonsense, it makes you look like a fool! Instead QUOTE THE ACTUAL WORDS USED. Cheers.

I have not disagreed with a view of the matter as being complicated, with mixed motives and objectives and lots of other things going on. But that does not change the broader generalisation, over 14 centuries and an immense area of land, of the relentless Jihad directed at imposing Islam on the Dar ul Haram disbelievers, in accordance with the Qur’an command to fight “until all religion is for Allah”. And at no point did I say it was always just “a bunch of warlords”. I referred to only one warlord. Again, learn to directly quote people rather than “so what you are saying….” drivel. It is highly offensive to have notions falsely attributed to you as you have done there, and reflects unflatteringly on yourself.

Of course there were two Islamic civilisationS listed by Toynbee (the Iranic and the Arabic), just the Jihad warfare continued through both.

The civilisation had a pretty sophisticated and comprehensive legal, political, military, scientific and artistic series of systems

I never said it didn’t. It also had an official system of sex-slavery, as per Mozart’s Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail.

Those features in no way prevented the ongoing Jihad, as reflected in the balkanisation of the Balkans and the Battle of Vienna 1683. Some further enlightenment can be gained from this video Jihad v Crusades: https://www.youtube.com/wat

Hint, the Jihad continues relentlessly through the rise and fall of several Islamic civilisations. In due course the Islamics get put on the back front (by the increasingly superior Christian technology) and thereafter retreat to wimping about being the “religion of peace”.
Cheers.

Benjamin Fowler
Benjamin Fowler
3 years ago

I think it helps to consider the legal mechanisms in play here as a context for a normative evaluation, particularly given the level of comment this story is generating about the appropriateness of the Court of Appeal decision and the integrity, independence and correctness of the judges.

Section 40(4) of the British Nationality Act 1981 provides that “The Secretary of State may by order deprive a person of a citizenship status if the Secretary of State is satisfied that deprivation is conducive to the public good”.

S. 40(4) provides that “The Secretary of State may not make an order under subsection (2) if he is satisfied that the order would make a person stateless”.

The BNA was amended by s. 66(1) Immigration Act 2014 (a late amendment by then Home Sec Theresa May) to add s. 40(4A) which provides that 40(4) does not prevent the SoS from making an order under s. 40(2) if (a) the citizenship status results from the person’s naturalisation; (b) the SoS is satisfied that that person’s conduct is “seriously prejudicial to the vital interests of the UK”; AND (c) the SoS has reasonable grounds for believing that the person is able to become a national of another country outside the UK.

This is the current state of the law, for better or worse. When considering the conduct of the judiciary or the executive (as opposed to the legislature who alone can change the law) the primary question would seem to be whether the SoS is entitled to revoke citizenship where he is satisfied that the order would render SB stateless. If so, reliance on s.40(4A) doesn’t appear to apply because SB is a citizen by birth, and possibly because there are no reasonable grounds for believing she would be able to become a Bangladeshi national.

(Health warning – I am not a public lawyer and this is not legal advice…)

D.C.S Turner
D.C.S Turner
3 years ago

Douglas Murray is confused, has mixed up two separate issues, and has shown how hopeless he is at arguing. The point about the rule of law and human rights is that they apply to all. If they don’t then they are no longer those principles. In addition, the idea, stated at the end, that the most terrible acts should have the most terrible consequences, sounds like the sort of thing that Murray’s despised Islamic fundamentalists say.

Juilan Bonmottier
Juilan Bonmottier
3 years ago
Reply to  D.C.S Turner

I have found him quite good at making his case in many other issues but I agree with you here that he’s on the wrong side of everything (legal, moral, ethical, common-sensical) here.

Robin P
Robin P
3 years ago

I have noted with curiosity that a number of people who otherwise speak with admirable courage and honesty seem to get completely unstuck with this Begum case. Not only Douglas M but also AMW and TR. The key problem is that they cannot understand that (a) this is not an ordinary war but the ongoing Jihad of a group of deluded people, and (b) these people are deluded, not criminally-minded. For more info, this link may work:

Jos Haynes
Jos Haynes
3 years ago

All these comments, all this discussion, all this time spent. Have we not better things to do? I can think of a very quick solution. Shock, horror! I can imagine the gasps of many (most?) here but I now have no time for the niceties of the law which protects the terrorists and makes the law-abiding pay.

Alan Matthes
Alan Matthes
3 years ago

I can’t help feeling that over the years a gap has opened up between the ‘law’ and what is actually right. If the government took seriously its duty to protect its citizens then this monstrosity would have no right to appeal and any of the 40,000-odd jihadis currently residing in Britain and on a police watch-list, that had dual nationalities would be in secure facilities right now awaiting deportation. This country is dying of self-loathing.

agsmith.uk
agsmith.uk
3 years ago

The best way to resolve these issues is to allow, once again, for Parliament to be the rightful judge. We have been too used to the courts acting as if they are the Government of the land. The Home Secretary of the day, whose party commands a majority in the Commons should make the decision. That would give democratic legitimacy to the decision.

jasonhopkinson
jasonhopkinson
3 years ago

If you, as I do, want to see numerous Muslims, guilty of grooming 12, 13, 14 year-old girls, jailed and beaten daily and wouldn’t, for a second think of placing any responsibility for their treatment onto the girls themselves then doesn’t that stance map across to this girl? She was groomed. She didn’t wake up at 15 and go “yes, IS, let’s go”. She had some bellend putting stuff into her head for a good while at a young, impressionable, stupid age.

Yes, she might still buy all that stuff now, still walk and quack like an IS pawn but thats what indoctrination and grooming does. It can take time to reorient world views and ideological belief when it’s been a one-way street previously.

I think she is our responsibility. Needs help, re-educating, rehoming probably but certainly not throwing to the idiots who had her in their clutches previously.

David Uzzaman
David Uzzaman
3 years ago

There is nothing I would disagree with in Douglas’s article but I don’t think its more than a distraction from the real problem. Worst case we have another hundred and fifty people who wish us harm and want to kill, enslave or convert us. Unfortunately they will join an estimated twenty thousand similarly minded individuals. The security services can’t watch all of them all of the time. Many of them have been born here and most have lived here for decades. As a liberal society we can’t take any action against them until they either commit an outrage or make preparations for such.

Neil Clement
Neil Clement
3 years ago

I do not know the vagaries of international law that may place an impediment to this suggestion.
Miss Begum could be sent for trial oi a British Overseas Territory e.g. Ascension Island and conduct the hearing from there. Lawyers could choose to either to visit her there or by video link similar to dangerous terrorists’ suspects held in UK prisons. I understand the International Court at The Hague does employ video techniques in certain circumstances. Should Miss Begum be unsuccessful she might have the choice of Bangladesh, another country willing to let her remain or reside on Ascension Island indefinitely.
I am sure an army of lawyers would oppose any remedy other than full rehabilitation of this alleged offender.

aelf
aelf
3 years ago

Wouldn’t a ‘nice ISIS housewife’ help to ‘stitch suicide vests and more’?

Bob Olde
Bob Olde
3 years ago

She was 15 when she travelled to Syria. She was an immature kid at the time who appears to have grown up in a family , certainly her dad , which took a pretty anti Western line. I doubt very much that she had agency.Then again, if my country or my co religionists were being yet again shafted by the West then quite possibly if I was 15 and shared the same characteristics of this young woman then quite possibly I would have made the same stupid choices she did. Fortunately we still have an independent judiciary , the Court of Appeal made the correct decision on these particular facts.

I suspect whichever Home Secretary removed her right to citizenship would privately agree with the court’s decision.

Paul Taylor
Paul Taylor
3 years ago

She is a cause cÚlebre for those who hold the view that their religion is more important than their nation, that they should stand on the side of anyone who happens to share their belief rather than their place of being. And she or rather, what she represents, will be defended to the hilt by those liberals who only really want to score points against the conservative faction of our society – the Sun/Mail/Telegraph readers.
Her return to the UK should not happen, in my opinion, but I would suggest that she actually poses much, much less of an actual threat to us here than many others – all young men – that enter the UK and other European countries both legally and illegally every single day. Maybe we should concentrate on stopping these people first

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago

Although it is an Outrage..The BBC,ITV,Ch4,CNN, Twitterati ..etc..illiberal ”liberal” media are to blame ,Tories for NOT reforming Treason Act (, as soon as poss),which was changed by jack Straw in 1998 ,to make way presumably a change to uk constitution with Euro entry? favoured by Most of our MPs,Lords,Media,Globalists and Tony blair….. As somene who is usually favours ”Social Democrat” or Independent Candidates,this disgraceful decision ,must be reversed, we live in ”A parallel universe” You live in a Democracy until you question ,the woke views on Marxism,Global Warming, EU,blm etc… she has so far cost Taxpayers £30,000 in legal fees,denied to UK taxpayers…

Martin Adams
Martin Adams
3 years ago

I had not thought, until I read it here, of that pretty fundamental point that Mr Murray raises ” that in the 21st century, wars have given us previously unavailable choices:

you had a choice: whether you would like to fight in the “home” or “away” team. . . . [and] once the hostilities were over ” or even before that, if you fancied ” everyone from both sides could return back to their hometowns and call it quits.

He has a point; and he’s probably right to indicate the Balkan wars of the late 20th century as the conflicts where the idea took root.

I’m not sure how universally valid those claims are. However, Mr Murray is probably right in principle; and he is probably right in principle when he observes:

that is why the case of people like Begum is so unsatisfactory. She and her cohorts waged war against this country and our allies; they lost, and by the most fundamental laws of justice and war they should have lost everything.

However, I have many times wondered exactly why I feel so instinctively uneasy both about the deprivation of citizenship in circumstances that were legally disputable, and then about the refusal to allow her to return to this country. My unease has nothing to do with sympathy for this woman, for her age, for her experiences since she left Britain, for her desire to return. However, this article and many of the comments here have helped me to clarify the source of my unease.

I am quite surprised at the extent to which, in this subject, emotionally based animus is dominating the thought of people who are known for their rational clarity, and for their respect for the institutions of state. Some might reply that it is out of respect for those institutions, and out of concern for the UK’s citizens that this woman should not be allowed back; and they have a point.

But I respond that the force and power of law is one of the things that distinguishes the UK as a nation state. That this woman has broken several laws is incontrovertible; that she has shown open hostility to the UK, and that she seems not to have repented, are also incontrovertible. But that is not a reason for UK law to pretend that she does not exist, and ” in particular ” it is not good reason to palm off onto another state, responsibility for a probable criminal or possible traitor.

The best analogies and precedents are perhaps with those UK citizens who, during World War II, decided to fight for Germany, and joined the Britisches Freikorps, a branch of the Waffen SS. Their reasons for joining varied, but in a number of cases it was because they were true-believers in Nazi ideology. When these people returned, they suffered various fates. At least one of them (Thomas Cooper) was tried for treason and sentenced to death, though the sentence was commuted to life imprisonment, and he served around eight years. Others were tried before military tribunals, some before civilian courts. Some were released and in effect paid no penalty; others received extensive prison sentences of up to 15 years (though most were released after just a couple of years); some were fined nominal sums. In short, the whole thing was a mess; but in no case was any of them in a position to “return to their hometowns and call it quits.”

That messy set of precedents is not a reason to evade taking similar measures again. I have not one iota of sympathy for her. I care not one whit that she was 15 when she and her friends made that foolish decision. But I do care about this nation’s reputation and that it should acknowledge the validity of its own laws as defining the limits of behaviour of its own citizens. She should return to this country, face trial, and receive the penalty decided by legal process. Moreover, current terrorist legislation and other laws permit severe restrictions on her behaviour after eventual release.

Mr Murray argues that, given the do-gooder softies who will jump to her defence, she is unlikely to receive any penalty. But that is not a good reason for failing to charge her. This also applies to all the other UK citizens who fought for ISIS and have returned. That it has not been applied to them is a scandal. But that inconsistency does not justify abdication from responsibility. As Mr Murray says, the Begum case

howls out against one of the most fundamental rules of human justice: the rule that the most terrible actions should have the most terrible consequences.

The law is capable of delivering terrible consequences. Doubts about whether it will are no reason for denying the possibility of it doing so.

Debbie Mellor
Debbie Mellor
3 years ago

What a dismal article, training both barrels on a wretched, unworldly woman who made a catastrophic mistake when she was 15. It’s the sort or erudite article penned by men of letters in the 19th century when defending public hanging for child thieves. I’d hoped we were better than that by now.

john.hurley2018
john.hurley2018
3 years ago

We have a similar case in NZ (not an Isis fighter but pet of the left)
https://www.stuff.co.nz/nat

Nicholas Taylor
Nicholas Taylor
3 years ago

Life is efficient. The thing about efficiency, any level, is that there is a limit to what you can do. To have any kind of life, we have to accept some people will succumb to the coronavirus. People with disabilities or ‘mental health issues’ or living in inconvenient places will never be completely supported. To maintain liberal democracy in the face of Islamic or rarer right-wing terrorism, we have to accept there will be innocent victims of sporadic attacks. So Shamima Begum’s fate may be irrelevant. What matters is the bigger picture. Today 19 July Andrew Marr confronted the Chinese Ambassador with drone pictures of Uighurs herded in a concentration camp. Mr Liu prevaricated but gave no sign he disapproved. It took over 1000 years to rein in the power of the Christian religion, a doctrinally confused and cynically political movement from the start. The Chinese clearly do not intend to wait another 1000 years to defang its aggressive mutant simulacrum. Let us huff and puff if it makes us feel better, but we can rest assured this will not blow their house down.

James Watson
James Watson
3 years ago

She was born and grew up in the UK and is a British citizen, it’s wrong for a state to strip people who were born here of their citizenship. We are just trying to fob our problem off onto some other country. If your kids misbehave you cannot simply denounce them and expect someone else to sort it out, they are your responsibility.
Can you imagine if a Bangladesh did this the other way round to a Bangladeshi born terrorist and expected us to deal with that person? People would go nuts.

The rights & responsibilities between citizens and their state is reciprocal, it is our duty to deal with our citizens, we can’t just wash our hands of that responsibility.

Nicholas Taylor
Nicholas Taylor
3 years ago

I must take issue with my own comment in 19 July, having heard Dr Michael Pilsbury of the Hudson Institute on the news tonight. He views Chinese treatment of the Uighurs as parallel to their repression of the Tibetans, so the nature of their religion may be less the motivation than that they fail, whether by commission, omission or simple indifference, to kowtow to the imperial power. In that case my opinion of China as seeing ‘the bigger picture’ has to defer to one of their being as paranoid and venal as every other tyranny. I can say I was only reflecting my ‘bigger picture’ of the position of Europe. Time will tell which of me is right.

authorjf
authorjf
3 years ago

She’s ‘going past equal!’ Jihadists are now considered better, not just equal!

Robert Malcolm
Robert Malcolm
3 years ago

What terrible things did she do, exactly, apart from being a teenaged brainwashed idiot? Chop off people’s heads? I don’t think so.
She was the under-aged victim of Stockholm syndrome, and she has every chance of being fully rehabilitated into British society: Your article is nasty, racist, and vindictive.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago

Why has she not been eliminated by an RAF drone strike by now?
The USA would not hesitate, nor should we.

A Spetzari
A Spetzari
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Corby

Because she’s in the middle of a Kurdish refugee camp – not practical

And in the current context there is no legal (or moral) justification whatsoever for state assassination of an individual that is not posing a current threat to life, regardless of past crimes.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  A Spetzari

Then we should change the Law. That is what Parliament is there for after all.

D.C.S Turner
D.C.S Turner
3 years ago

A foreign criminal to be sent back to her own country. You conservatives should be pleased. It is what you have been calling for for years.