Shamima Begum left the U.K. in 2015 to join the Islamic State, of which she was then, and remains now, a supporter. She was 15 at the time. When she left the U.K., the Islamic State had already been beheading Christians, Yazidis, and Shi’a Muslims for more than a year. In 2014, the IS fighters had decapitated James Foley, an American journalist, and Alan Henning, a British aid worker. So Shamima Begum knew exactly what kind of group she was joining. She soon married an IS fighter. Now that the last redoubt of ISIS in Syria is about to fall, Shamima Begum has fled to a refugee camp in Syria. She wants to come back to the U.K. She has just been stripped of her British citizenship, but the controversy still rages: should she have been allowed back into the country?
She has not declared her disaffection with, much less horror at, the Islamic State. In fact, she remains committed to the murderous ideology of the Islamic State. She has told the BBC that “she had no regrets but wanted to have her baby — she is pregnant — in the U.K. “No regrets” about being a supporter of the homicidal fanatics of ISIS for five years. Keep that uppermost in mind.
Shamima Begum had her baby, a boy, in Syria after all. So her main reason for wanting to return to the U.K., which she had earlier claimed was in order to assure the safe delivery of her baby, no longer applies. What is of note is that she named the baby Jerah, the same name she had given her first-born son, in what historians have interpreted as a reference to Abu Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah, a 7th century Islamic warlord, one of Muhammad’s Companions, famous for killing Infidels. At the Battle of Badr in 624, Abu Ubaidah fought his own father, Abdullah ibn al-Jarrah, who had been fighting on the side of the army of the Quraysh. He later attacked and killed his father. The following verse of the Quran was written about this display of character by Abu Ubaidah:
“Thou wilt not find any people who believe in Allah and the Last Day, loving those who resist Allah and His Messenger, even though they were their fathers or their sons, or their brothers, or their kindred. For such He has written Faith in their hearts, and strengthened them with a spirit from Himself. And He will admit them to Gardens beneath which Rivers flow, to dwell therein (for ever). Allah will be well pleased with them, and they with Him. They are the Party of Allah. Truly it is the Party of Allah that will achieve Felicity. (Qur’an 58:22)