The child who went to Syria and became a mum: The return of Shamima Begum

“We don’t want her back in our country”.

The half-baked rhetoric portrays itself as one for simpletons. It lacks understanding in Shamima Begum’s mandatory rights as a British citizen and the processes involved i.e. the government’s inability to make Shamima Begum stateless. Questions that need to be asked with the Home Secretary’s suggestion that Shamima’s return could be prevented are:

  1. Where will non-combatant Shamima be investigated to face possible trial?
  2. Where do assurances by the Met Police stand with regards to Shamima not being prosecuted if she was to return home?
  3. What is to become of her unborn child?

The key facts are:

  • Shamima was a child, aged fifteen or younger when groomed by multiple people online.
  • Shamima left for Syria with an extremely clouded judgment. Children at this age lack the ability to make executive decisions due to the slow development of their frontal lobe (it fully develops between 20/25 – Shamima is 19) and hence some youths make irrational/erratic decisions. It is a key reason 15 means being underaged and was used to exploit Shamima.
  • She was immediately made a child bride and as a result gave birth to two children who died – Shamima’s psychological condition and ability to make decisions will have inevitably been damaged further. The immediate expectation of Shamima needing to show remorse from a refugee camp in Syria, through an interview given to The Times, whilst pregnant, amongst IS sympathisers, in a horrendous mental state – is an irresponsible delusion by “able-minded” people. She was groomed to distance herself from British society.

The lack of sympathy coming from people who are fed right-wing nonsense everyday is expected, but the lack of empathy and solutions coming from those working in urban communities and amongst young people is shameful. Shamima is a British citizen and can’t be made stateless. She was a child who turned 19 during the ordeal and would still be identified as a young person where she was raised – eligibile to Children’s services.

Shamima witnessed heads in bins and says she has no regrets about going there. Her age of travel, the four year ordeal and her cerebral state would most certainly need to be assessed. However, it also needs to be highlighted that Shamima accepts that ISIS did not deserve victory.

It’s a well known phenomenon that British children of all backgrounds are groomed online. Children with easy-to-tell desires are exploited and as a result are conditioned to troubling fixations.

There are many forms of grooming when exploring cases. All have similarities when the intentions/methods of groomers are looked at; and also when the feelings of those being groomed are studied.

Victims develop a dangerous cocktail of anger, frustration, wanting of freedom, belonging, love, respect and exaggerated beliefs. They also give into peer pressure. The perpetrator identifies those feelings, targets the child, gains trust and subliminally controls decisions in an ultra-persuasive manner. This is a common method used through all systematic grooming, which led to Shamima’s conditioned-decision to travel to Syria.

If we fail to notice the above, there is something extremely hypocritical about our society, which would mean a blatant bias against ethnic British children, where cases of grooming are separated. The hypocrisy of making an adult out of a child-victim and ignoring her traumas during transitioning is disgusting.

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