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Former ISIS bride Shamima Begum wants British people to forgive her, claims she did not know it was a death cult and there will be violence

"I did not want to hurt anyone in Syria or anywhere else in the world. At the time, I did not know it was a death cult, I thought it was an Islamic community," Begum said.

On September 15 (local time), former ISIS bride Shamima Begum gave an interview to ITV’s Good Morning Britain in which she asked the people of Britain to forgive her and let her come back as a British citizen. She alleged that she did not join ISIS “to become violent” and her only aim was to “live life like a real Muslim according to Islamic Laws.”

In her interview, she claimed that she did not know that “ISIS was a death group”, and she was in ISIS for a long time out of fear of her life and not by her choice. She said if ISIS still existed, she would rather prefer to ‘die’ than go back to the terrorist organization.

‘There is no justification for killing people’

During the interview, Begum claimed that now she understands that there is no justification for killing people in the name of God. “I apologize. I am sorry”. Her remarks came after the anchors asked her about the remarks she had made about the Manchester bombing that left over 20 people dead, including an 8-year-old child. At that time, Begum had said that the attack on Manchester was justified because “ISIS is being attacked by other parties”.

During the interview, she alleged that when she was asked about the Manchester bombing, she did not know details about the incident and was not aware that women and children died in the attack. She added women and children could not be killed in the name of God.

‘I was groomed’

22-year-old Begum claimed that as a teenager, she was groomed by the ISIS operatives to join the terrorist organization. She said those who were in contact with her painted a different picture of ISIS. “I was aware that there was a war going on in Syria, but I was under the impression that the place where I am going to live is peaceful,” she claimed. Notably, Begum left the UK when she was 15 with other two schoolgirls from east London. They travelled to Syria to join the terrorist organization in 2015.

She added that when she was leaving to join ISIS, she believed it was the right thing to do as a Muslim. “I did not want to hurt anyone in Syria or anywhere else in the world. At the time, I did not know it was a death cult, I thought it was an Islamic community,” she said. Begum claimed that the recruiters who were in contact with her and persuing her to come to Syria made her believe that she could not become a “good Muslim” in the UK and she had to come to Syria to become one.

‘I spoke what I spoke out of fear.’

Begum alleged that while living in a camp in Syria before moving to a camp in Al-Roj campsite, she was scared of her and his son’s life. After moving to another camp in Al-Roj, as she feels secure, she has become more confident. She said, “When I was in the previous camp, I had heard stories that the other women would attack the women who did not cover their heads. I was scared to talk against ISIS. I had to protect myself and my son. I already had lost my two children to ISIS and did not want to lose another child. Hence I did not say anything against them as I was afraid they would come and kill me at night.” Begum further added that now she has a group of friends protecting her in the new camp.

Begum’s third child had died in that refugee camp too.

The citizenship was revoked in 2019

In 2019, Shamima Begum’s citizenship was revoked by the British authorities after they found incriminating evidence against her. When she was asked about it, Begum denied being involved in any terrorist activities. She said, “I did not go to ISIS to become violent.” The anchors asked about her thoughts about the fact that the investigating agencies claimed that they had found evidence that Begum was directly involved in suicide attacks.

According to the reports, the anchor said, the investigating agencies found that though Begum did not participate directly in any bombing, in many cases, she herself sewed the bomb jacket on a suicide bomber. Begum denied the allegations and said, “I am ready to be present in front of any court and deny these charges.”

The anchor asked if she was saying there was no evidence of her involvement in terrorist activities, she smirked and said, “I am saying there is no evidence as nothing like this ever happened.” Begum has challenged the decision of revoking her citizenship in court. She wanted to come back, but the Supreme Court denied giving her a chance.

‘I want to help in fighting terrorism in Britain’

During the interview, she appealed to Prime Minister Boris Johnson to re-enter the UK and stand trial. She also offered to help fight extremism and terrorism in the country. She said, “You are clearly struggling with extremism and terrorism in the country. I want to help with that, telling my own experience with these extremists, what they say and how they persuade people to do what they do.”

Who is Shamima Begum?

Shamima Begum is a former ISIS bride who left the UK as a teenager to join ISIS in Syria. When she reached ISIS camp, she married a Durch recruit and lived with him for three years. During that period, she lost two children. In 2019, when she was found, she was nine months pregnant. Begum was moved to a Syrian Refugee camp. Her third son died of pneumonia.

She made to headlines several times, but her 2017 remarks over the Manchester Arena bombing highlighter her as one of the dangerous products of ISIS. She had claimed that the attack in which 22 people, including children, lost lives was justified as it was a retaliation by ISIS for the attacks on the terrorist organization by other parties.

In March 2021, she had claimed that her mother had pushed her to join ISIS. In the documentary ‘The Return: Life After ISIS’ which premiered in the US, Shamima Begum described herself as the ‘black sheep of the family’ growing up and claimed that the difficult relationship with her mother, who did not make her feel loved, was one of the reasons for her to join the ISIS.

Essentially, Begum held her mother and her ‘lack of love’ responsible for her decision to join the terror group ISIS.

The two girls who went with her were Kadiza Sultana and Amira Abase. While Sultana died in a bomb attack, Amira is also believed to be dead, but there are speculations that she might be alive.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
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