ISIS Brides Want to Come Home Now
ISIS Brides Want to Come Home Now
A few years ago, three young British girls and an American girl from Alabama decided to run away. Only they didn’t run away to join the circus, they joined ISIS and became ISIS brides. Apparently they thought could serve Allah by becoming baby factories for ISIS husbands. What fun!
But now they want to come home. The question is: should the US or the UK allow it? And if they do return, should they face some sort of legal ramifications?
Four years ago, 15-year-old Brit Shamima Begum secretly flew out of the UK with fellow school girls Amira Abase and Kadiza Sultana. They arrived at first in Istanbul, whereupon they journeyed to meet their new ISIS husbands in Syria. A year later, Kadiza Sultana apparently met her end in an airstrike, and Amira Abase’s whereabouts are unknown.
But Shamima Begum recently popped up in a Syrian prison camp, where she just gave birth to a baby boy. Not only that, but this is her third baby — the first two children died during her time with ISIS.
And now she wants to come home to ‘England’s green and pleasant land.’
Begum’s attorney compares her to a traumatized World War I soldier. Another ex-ISIS bride, Tania Joya, is asking the public to show “mercy” to Begum. Originally from London, Joya escaped ISIS — pregnant, and with her three children. She’s now married and living in Texas, but adds, “I feel that I probably would have made the same mistake as she did if I was 15 years old and in her situation.”
As for Begum — let’s just say she’s a bit less than repentant. “A lot of people should feel sympathy for me,” she told Sky News. Oh, yes, she and her fellow ISIS brides knew about beheadings, but “from what I heard, Islamically that is all allowed so I was okay with it.” Moreover, she said that seeing her first severed head in a trash can “didn’t faze her at all” — after all, it came from an “enemy of Islam.”
Plus, she was “just a housewife. . . Stayed at home took care of my kids.”
Furthermore, she said her time in Syria made her stronger:
“I don’t regret it because it’s changed me as a person. It’s made me stronger, tougher. . . . I had my kids. I did have a good time there.”
But she’s suffering in the refugee camp:
“I can’t live in this camp forever.”
Well, honey, as the saying goes — if you didn’t want to go to Cincinnati, why’d you get on the train?
Another of the ISIS brides who really, really wants to come home is Hoda Muthana, the only American in a Syrian refugee camp where she lives with 1500 other women and children. Now Muthana, who came from Alabama, says she “deeply regrets” joining up with ISIS. She says she made a “big mistake” when she left college for Syria, but claims she was ‘brainwashed’ via the internet.
Now she’s pleading to return to sweet home Alabama.
But Muthana has also left behind some messages which make one wonder how repentant she really is. For example, Muthana’s first ISIS husband, Australian Suha Rahman died in 2015 while fighting in Syria, and Muthana, being the good ISIS bride, tweeted out:
“May Allah accept my husband, Abu Jihad al Australi. Promised Allah and fought in the front lines until he obtained shahadah.”
And then she wrote this screed:
“Americans wake up! Men and women altogether. You have much to do while you live under our greatest enemy, enough of your sleeping! Go on drivebys, and spill all of their blood, or rent a big truck and drive all over them. Veterans, Patriots, Memorial, etc day … Kill them.”
Nor did her anti-western Twitter rage stop there. Her Twitter feed from 2015 contains other messages inciting bloodletting and rage against the US, although now she says someone hacked her account.
But after ISIS started crumbling, Muthana decided she would get outta town. Six weeks ago she fled and joined other ISIS exiles, when Kurdish forces picked her up and transferred her to a refugee camp with other ISIS brides. And, like, Begum, she finds the circumstances less than hospitable. So now she wants to come home:
“. . . please forgive me for being so ignorant, and I was really young and ignorant and I was 19 when I decided to leave. I believe that America gives second chances. I want to return and I’ll never come back to the Middle East. America can take my passport and I wouldn’t mind.”
I dunno about these ISIS brides. I remember being a teenager and in college not too long ago (okay, it was a long time ago — I lied). Doing stupid stuff is a part of growing up, of course, but I don’t think underage drinking or using a fake ID to get into a bar rises to quite the level of joining ISIS.
In the UK, Shamima Begum could face prosecution. As a correspondent for the BBC wrote:
“. . . she’s now an apparently unrepentant adult – and that means she would have to account for her decisions, even if her journey is a story of grooming and abuse.
Another British jihadi bride, Tareena Shakil, who got out of the war zone with her child, lied to the security services on her return and was jailed for membership of a terrorist group.
If Ms Begum got out of the country, that is the kind of charge she could face – along with encouraging or supporting terrorism.”
As for Hoda Muthana, here’s what what two researchers at the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point wrote:
“Women and children, even if not complicit in or contributing to what (ISIS) was doing, will require repatriation and resettlement assistance. Those who were willing participants in the organization will be of special concern to security services.”
So what should we do about these ISIS brides who want to come home? Should we give them a second chance, allowing for immaturity and the lack of judgment that goes on in the adolescent brain? Or should we be concerned about them turning on the US or the UK once again?
I’m not sure. But I do know this: I wouldn’t want either of these gals living next door to me.