It’s been a while, but I did say I’d come back for the occasional post if something significant caught my eye – the whole sorry saga of Shamima Begum, who left the UK to join ISIS would not normally qualify as that, especially now when she’s apparently realised her mistake and is trying to come back home.
But then the UK Government revoked her citizenship. And then virtually everyone who read about that reacted along the lines of “good, she’s getting what she deserves!”.
Yeah that got my attention alright.
So just to re-cap the pertinent facts here: a 15 year old girl gets groomed into an extremist cult, to the point where she abandons her entire life, moves to an active warzone, gets married off and pregnant at 16, and loses her first two kids.
And the British government’s response to this is to revoke her citizenship? Classy stuff, but not quite as classy as the aforementioned people who commented on the various news posts along the lines of “good, she’s getting what she deserves!”.
You bloody cowards.
You know why you hate this girl? Because you know, deep down, that in the right circumstances you could have been corrupted just as easily. And it’s safer for you to pretend she’s an inexplicable, unsalvagable monster than it is for you to accept that. And that is goddamn cowardice.
Do I agree with her choices? Of course not. Do I think she’s safe to return to the UK? Not without some major deprogramming. But is the best solution abandoning her in a war zone without citizenship, breaching both international and UK law, effectively making her Syria’s problem, and basically guaranteeing the death of her newborn? Fuck no. Just like Trump’s wall and our ‘boat people crisis’, this is a government taking advantage of people’s fear to win votes.
And you know what we call someone who makes decisions based on fear?
If you’re looking for a slightly more, *ahem*, nuanced discussion on the whole ‘revoking citizenship’ thing, then I actually wrote about that a few years ago in some detail, which you can find here: https://theethicsof.com/2015/07/03/the-ethics-of-taking-citizenship-from-terrorists/