Must We Really Be Careful What We Do Lest We Offend Extremists?


Britain, in recent days, has had a rare distraction from its seemingly endless Brexit debate. The distraction, however, has not been an altogether welcome one. It involves the case of Shamima Begum, one of a number of girls who left their school in Bethnal Green in London in 2015 to go and join ISIS.

Now, members of the British media have caught up with Shamima Begum, who is living in a Syrian refugee camp. The interviews she has given, in which she has expressed no remorse for her actions and has described life in the Caliphate -- which included seeing severed heads in trash cans -- as not especially troubling, have not helped her in her request to return home to Britain.

The general public has reacted badly to her self-pity and lack of remorse; and British politicians have -- unusually -- responded to the public mood. Specifically, the Home Secretary Sajid Javid has announced that he is stripping Begum of her British citizenship. It is a move which is not just unprecedented but certain to bog him down in legal action for a while to come.