The British press has really gone to town on Shamima Begum’s plea for sympathy. Indeed, it is outrageous that she entertains such expectations while remaining so steadfastly unrepentant.
“‘Show me some sympathy,” says the Telegraph, “I deserve sympathy,” shouts the Metro; the Mirror goes with “I had a good time” and The Sun goes with the cheeky ”Sympathy? You must be kidding”
By splashing those headlines in gigantic lettering all these newspapers are obviously wallowing in it. They’re championing UK values! Echoing the will of the people! Speaking for the country!
That may well be true - I suspect that many, many people think she should rot in hell. But here’s the thing. Do we know, in legal terms, what constitutes the ‘uman rights of a clearly disloyal (but technically still British) citizen whose actions signify the willful renunciation of her British identity? The lawyers seem to think there are no legal grounds to block her return.
And look, if we’re obliged to prioritise the “right to a family life” of murderers and illegals who plead that they’ve set up home with a cat, why not a brainwashed abaya-clad Jihadi with a newborn baby and a loving Muslim family back home who are very likely just as ideologically traitorous as their daughter, but have the brains to realise on which side their bread is buttered.
At the time they absconded, the press were keen to emphasise the academic prowess of the three girls. They said they’d been amongst the school’s high flyers. But if she hasn’t even worked out that a tiny bit of contrition would help her case, Shamima Begum seems to be rather thick. Unless it’s a double bluff, and she realises that too much regret would sound a little insincere.
That shot of a black-gloved hand stroking that one-day-old baby was intensely creepy.
I find the press’s approach cheap and lazy. I see the whole lot of them as pandering to the baying mob in a particularly cowardly way. This is why. Shamima Begun’s plea for sympathy was not the revelation. The press ignored the most revealing thing she said; they wouldn’t touch it with a barge-pole.
There’s a transcript of the interview with John Sparks on the Sky website.
Did you know what Islamic State were doing when you left for Syria? Because they had beheaded people. There were executions.
Yeah, I knew about those things and I was okay with it. Because, you know, I started becoming religious just before I left. From what I heard, Islamically that is all allowed. So I was okay with it.
Beheading people is allowed Islamically. Islamically. That. Is. Allowed!
If I were a newspaper editor that would be my headline, 4 inches high. Ten centimetres if you like.
But no. They wouldn’t bloody dare.