There has been a mixed reaction on social media about the decision to strip Islamic State bride Shamima Begum of her British citizenship.
The 19 year-old, of Bethnal Green, east London, who fled the country four years ago to join IS and has just given birth to a son, has divided the country since giving interviews from a north Syrian refugee camp saying she wants to come home.
Adil Ray, the actor, writer, broadcaster and creator of the Citizen Kahn television show, fired criticism at Sajid Javid, Britain’s first Muslim-heritage Home Secretary and the son of a Pakistani bus driver, for making the citizenship decision.
He tweeted: “So, if you consider me a threat to the UK, without any trial you will send me ‘back to my own country’. Something our fathers as Pakistani immigrant bus drivers fought daily. What have we learned? They gave us a better, fairer life. Today, you take that away.”
He also suggested that “If Holland takes her…I expect they might think it’s a precedent.”
On being told that she had joined Isis and that a line was “slightly crossed”, he responded: “I agree, all I am asking for is that she is subject to an investigation and a thorough legal process. The very thing we stand for.”
Boxer Amir Khan said she should now “live” with her decision to go abroad “to support terrorism”.
In the tweet, in which Khan does not seem to be aware of the latest move to try and block her return, he said: “They gunna let this ISIS bride #ShamimaBegum back in the UK, I think that’s ridiculous. You left to support terrorism, now live with it.
“After watching her video she doesn’t seem one bit upset and comes across so arrogant. UK isn’t your home, stop giving us all a bad name please.”
Nazir Afzal, the former chief prosecutor who has successfully prosecuted Islamists for terrorism offences, asked: “Is my citizenship conditional?”
He wrote: “I’m British, born in Birmingham to a family that has worked for the British Army in 3 continents & I have worked tirelessly to keep my fellow citizens safe. Is my citizenship conditional? When the torchbearers & pitchforks come for me, who will protect me?”
He also said online: “My View: She is OUR problem & like tons of alleged criminals WE deliver justice to them. Even extremists later protect us in deradicalising others. It’s probably illegal 100s of others have returned – where is consistency? Pres Assad’s wife still has her British citizenship.”
Presenter Gemma Atkinson had earlier tweeted photographs of the Manchester Arena bombing victims along with the words: “Here’s 22 reasons why that Isis bride should NOT be allowed back in the UK!!! #ManchesterArena #NeverForget ”
Joan Smith, co-chair of the London mayor’s Violence Against Women and Girls board, wrote: “What an ambitious & populist Home Secretary Sajid Javid is. Stripping Shamima Begum of British citizenship is a knee-jerk reaction to a complex problem. She was radicalised in this country as a child & should be dealt with here, not to mention the need to safeguard her baby.”
MP Joanna Cherry QC, the SNP’s Home Affairs spokesperson, said the move “may be in breach of international law, they lack mercy to an innocent child & are more about his leadership ambitions than security issues or due process”.
Liz Saville Roberts, the MP for Dwyfor Meirionydd added “If the rights of this British citizen are at the disposal of populist politicians, only one question remains:- ‘Who next?’.”
Conservative MP George Freeman tweeted: ” I’m afraid that for various reasons I think today’s decision to strip Miss #Begum of her UK citizenship is a mistake & a dangerous precedent. She was born here, educated here & is our responsibility.
“We should defend our system & she should be brought back to face the UK courts.”