Can Shamima Begum return to UK? ISIS bride ditches niqab for tee and jeans as she tries to regain citizenship
As she continues to fight to return to the United Kingdom, ISIS bride Shamima Begum was seen ditching her traditional Islamic attire, the niqab, and embracing a more westernized garb.
A number of photos published by an outlet showed the 21-year-old strolling through a Syrian refugee camp wearing shades and a T-shirt on Monday, March 15. It might be possible that the reason behind the makeover is to convince the world that she has decided to cut ties with her terrorist past. When she was found and first interviewed in a refugee camp in 2019 in northern Syria, she wore a black headscarf and robes.
In the past, she had made no secret of her sympathy with ISIS, revealing how she had sewn bombers into their suicide vests. After freeing herself from ISIS, Begum has since fought to return to Britain and has challenged the British Home Office’s removal of her UK citizenship. However, last month the Supreme Court unanimously threw out her bid which means she is now in legal limbo and consulting lawyers on the next steps to take.
Shamina Begum for— Daleño (@THEHOODFLUENCER) March 14, 2021
Vogue Magazine 2021 https://t.co/slmWoeuIbH pic.twitter.com/dO06M6iGsg
Shamima Begum says she was 'brainwashed' and regrets everything she did in Syria
ISIS bride Shamima Begum's husband also banned from the UK and is seen as a national security risk
Who is Shamima Begum?
Begum was 15 when she quit the UK to join the Islamic State in Syria in 2015. She was originally from Bethnal Green, East London. She married a Dutch ISIS fighter and had two children, who both died. She was pregnant with her third when she was found in the al-Hawl refugee camp but the baby died soon after. At the time, she was joined by two teenage friends — Kadiza Sultana and Amira Abase — who are now both presumed dead.
Last year, Begum begged for a second chance to be in the UK, saying she regrets everything she did in Syria. Begum admitted she was "brainwashed" after traveling to Syria to join the Islamic State. Speaking out for the first time after the death of her baby Jerrah, the 19-year-old told The Times: "Since I left Baghuz I really regretted everything I did, and I feel like I want to go back to the UK for a second chance to start my life over again," she told the newspaper. "I was brainwashed. I came here believing everything that I had been told, while knowing little about the truths of my religion."
According to the former ISIS sympathizer, she was previously worried Islamist fanatics would burn her tent down, which in turn influenced her earlier comments to reporters. Islamist hardliners have repeatedly scorned her for not conforming with Sharia law. "Now a lot of women hate me, I’m afraid of a lot of people," she said. She also revealed how Scottish ISIS member Aqsa Mahmoud had heavily influenced her online.
Begum has said she regrets talking to journalists about her situation after becoming desperate to return home to the UK because of her child. "The responsibility that I had now, towards him, to get me back to the UK - I was just really desperate, and I just blurted out everything," she said. "I tried to answer every question really quickly, I did it out of desperation, maybe not all my answers were clear."