In 2019, then home secretary Sajid Javid stripped Shamima Begum of her British citizenship for leaving the UK to join ISIS in 2015. The latest of several appeals against her ban from returning to the UK has been denied after Begum’s lawyers argued that having left at 15, she was a victim of grooming and child trafficking.
The court ruled the decision to revoke her citizenship and keep her out of the UK, and in a detention camp in Northern Syria where she is kept without trial was a legal one.
The decision has once again ignited fierce debate in the media and online. But what are the deeper issues at play? Is this a question of law and order and a British citizen who should be brought back to face justice in British courts? Are we overlooking the important role of grooming in radicalisation? Would public sympathy be greater if Begum wasn’t a muslim woman of colour from a working class background?
Author & journalist Otto English, and Byline Times Editor Hardeep Matharu join Byline TV co-founder & producer George Llewelyn to discuss exactly what this latest ruling means, and its context against the backdrop of a country grappling with issues of race, class and a culture war.