THERE’S no remorse, no apology and no indication that she has changed her views in any way.
Instead, with a breathtaking sense of entitlement, a heavily pregnant ISIS-supporting British teenager wants to be rescued from a Syrian refugee camp and allowed back here to have her baby.
Is there any other country in the world which would consider — even for a nanosecond — welcoming 19-year-old Shamima Begum across its border in order to take advantage of the health and benefits system?
Shockingly, she told a British journalist that she feels weak for fleeing to the refugee camp instead of remaining in the village of Baghuz with ISIS terrorists who she described as “brave”.
Most of them have actually now fled from that spot in the past week after being flushed out by US-backed Kurdish forces.
Begum ran away from her home in Bethnal Green, East London, to be a so-called jihadi bride four years ago.
She subsequently gave birth to two babies, who both died of malnutrition and illness.
She went from growing up as a British schoolgirl to becoming a wife and bereaved mother in a war zone in such a short time. It’s unimaginable.
It is believed Begum was seduced and groomed online and given instructions on how to disappear, together with two other teenage school friends, after a flight to Istanbul from Gatwick in February 2015.
No doubt they were duped into believing they would be part of a grand, romantic adventure.
Nothing could have been further from the truth.
Begum married a Dutch-born Islam convert and ISIS member just ten days after arriving in Raqqa.
She was still under-age and he was 12 years her senior.
It appears that this young, inexperienced girl, still legally a child, was some sort of “prize”.
But unlike other jihadi brides who instantly realised they had made a horrific mistake and wanted to come home, Begum claimed that her life in Syria was relatively normal and exactly what she wanted.
She maintains she has no regrets about leaving home and seemed to chastise herself for not being strong enough to put up with the “suffering and hardship” of life with ISIS.
She says she knows those who stayed behind would be ashamed of her for fleeing.
Begum herself has had to bury two little children and knows that her unborn baby would almost certainly have died had she stayed with ISIS.
She is still in danger if she stays in the refugee camp.
Even with all the horrors she has witnessed and the hopelessness of her situation, she grimly refuses to be contrite, and that’s what I find so offensive.
If she won’t change, how can we help?
If she is allowed back here (and chances are she will) might I suggest she sits down and talks to the parents of the young children brutally murdered by an Islamist extremist when they went to see the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester in 2017?
Perhaps she could take a look at pictures of their dead, broken bodies.
Sadly, I doubt even that would make a dent in her stupidity and fanaticism which, as she stated, left her feeling “unfazed” by bombings, extreme violence and even the sight of the severed heads of ISIS victims.
I feel desperately sorry for her unborn child, and if Begum had expressed even a modicum of regret then perhaps I would think differently.
But how can we be 100 per cent sure she no longer poses any threat if she won’t renounce terrorism?
If she isn’t able or willing to change, how can we help her?
WHAT THE LAW SAYS
As the law stands, unless it can be proven she has committed a crime then she has the right as a British citizen to be allowed back into the country.
She could face jail, as anyone who is a member of a proscribed terrorist organisation can be subject to a prison sentence of up to ten years.
In reality that’s highly unlikely.
Of the 800-plus British men, women and teenagers who joined IS, around 400 have since returned to our shores.
Only 40 have been prosecuted.
Like most of those who fled, Begum has put her family through hell, and they obviously want her home with them.
But would they even recognise the woman their daughter has become?
We know our security services thwart potential attacks almost weekly, and those of us not directly involved quickly forget the atrocities that have been committed all over Europe.
But we must never forget, and that is why, realistically, we cannot afford to welcome home UK-born citizens who remain in any way loyal to IS.
Surely if there is even a sliver of danger, we need to protect ourselves and our families.
Cheering for Danson on ice
THERE will be a lot less drama now Gemma Collins has been booted off Dancing On Ice, but it does mean the other contestants will finally get a chance to shine.
Tomorrow night two acts will have to skate off into the sunset, and for the first time it’s all too close to call.
My personal favourite, Jane Danson, nearly scuppered her chances last week after fainting during dress rehearsals for the live show. She had to be taken off the ice on a stretcher.
Her pro partner Sylvian Longchambon explained that the poor lass simply hadn’t been eating enough. With her hectic filming schedule on Coronation Street and skating through her lunch hour, she was just grabbing a sandwhich then flopping exhausted into bed when she got home.
It was a real wake-up call for Jane and she’s now taking better care of herself.
I love her passion, enthusiasm and genuine delight at being on the ice.
I really hope she is saved tomorrow night and goes all the way to the final.
I WISH more young women would follow the example of gorgeous Emily Atack, who has vowed to never have any of the images she posts online edited or Photoshopped.
She shared a video on Instagram this week showing her dancing in her bra while looking glorious.
It wasn’t the usual airbrushed celeb pic and was all the better for being refreshingly natural.
Photos of flawless bodies, perfect complexions and hair that is never out of place are not only a big fat fraud but also immensely boring.
I’d far rather look like Emily than an overly-edited member of the Kardashian clan.
Breaking good news of bad lads
NETFLIX strikes again and the best news all week is that there will be a Breaking Bad movie sequel, with Aaron Paul set to return as Jesse Pinkman.
He was last seen heading for freedom after being released from an underground prison where he was kidnapped and forced to cook crystal meth for white supremacists (and that wasn’t even the worst thing that happened to him during this iconic series).
Breaking Bad was quite simply the best drama ever screened on TV and is even better on a second viewing.
I’m crossing my fingers and hoping we might see Walter White and Mike Ehrmantraut in flashbacks, and the cherry on top of the icing on this particular cake would be a cameo from crooked lawyer Saul Goodman.
This has to have Oscars written all over it.
Dolly well done, girl
GOOD to see Corrie’s Dolly-Rose Campbell, feeling confident enough, after becoming an ambassador for the utterly fabulous Manchester Gay Pride, to tell us she is bisexual.
Of course it doesn’t really change a thing, and nor should it matter in the least.
She’s still the same girl who plays the hilarious and, at times, poignant Gemma in Corrie, but if coming out makes her feel better and helps other young men and women, that’s terrific.
I would, however, like to think that one day in the not-too-distant future people won’t feel they have to make public announcements about their sexuality.
We will just all accept one another and not give a monkey’s about who we happen to fall in love with.
I’m gagging for drag
BEYOND excited at a UK version of RuPaul’s Drag Race, which I have been gagging for ever since I discovered this gem of a show on US TV more years ago than I care to remember.
If you haven’t seen an episode then you’re in for a treat.
RuPaul is the most ridiculously beautiful human being and hosts a show that seeks out the drag queen with the most “charisma uniqueness, nerve and talent”.
MOST READ IN OPINION
It would just be another reality programme if it wasn’t for the contestants’ sheer heart, raw emotion and incredible style.
Graham Norton and Alan Carr have been signed up as guest judges and it will be the TV equivalent of a unicorn with lots of attitude farting giant rainbows.
I cannot wait.