Shamima Begum punished without a trial

Teenager prevented from bringing her child to safety by Sajid Javid.

British schoolgirl Shamima Begum, 19, has been stripped of her British citizenship by Sajid Javid – one of the likely contenders in the next Tory leadership battle. The teenager has not been convicted and there is no evidence of her being a threat to British citizens. Despite the lack of evidence of wrongdoing, the Home Secretary has stripped her of citizenship to appeal to an anti-immigrant support base.

The teenager left Britain at the age of 15 after watching propaganda videos produced by the Islamic State (IS). In Syria, she married and had three children with an IS supporter. Two of her children have since died from malnutrition. It is evident, she was pregnant for the brief period she spent under the terrorist organisation and had limited capacity to partake in any terrorist activity. The terrorist organisation also imposed strict limitations on social, economic, and military activity in which women can partake. Even if she was able to join, she would not have been allowed to. As result, her brief period under IS authority, by choice and by custom, was spent doing housework. She disclosed this in her interview with Sky News. 

Shamima is being punished for having the wrong ideas and having the wrong associations. She is married to Yago Riedijik, 27, – who she likely did not choose to marry. Reidjeck has been convicted of a terrorist offence in Holland and has been sentenced to six years in prison. Shamima did not partake and is unlikely to even be aware of Riedijik’s actions. For travelling to Syria after watching IS propaganda videos, she is being dubiously linked with the crimes committed by IS military. Her time there was spent as part of the civilian population. The illegal actions of IS and its members, even though she does not criticise, she did not actively contribute to or promote. The ‘illegal’ action taken by Sajid Javid is due to the assumption she is guilty due to her association.

Sajid Javid’s political motivations have also been assigned a key reason behind his enthused persecution of Shamima. There is a looming leadership election for the Conservative party, and anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim policies appeal to the Conservative support base. As a Pakistani man, who may be seen as soft on immigrants due to his ethnic heritage, Sajid Javid can prove his anti-immigrant and anti-Muslims credentials by persecuting this powerless and possibly innocent girl.

Some believe Javid was right, but a huge section of Britons stand firm with the notion ‘innocent until proven guilty’. Those who believe she is being punished without the establishment of guilt have argued, ‘she is being punished for making tea, marrying the wrong man, and having the wrong skin tone’.

Sajid Javid’s decision is likely to be appealed.

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