Death of Shamima Begum's baby in Syria
According to the BBC the newborn son of IS supporter Shamima Begum has died of pneumonia in a Syrian refugee camp. Begum had asked to be allowed to return to Britain with him but London classified the young woman as a security risk and withdrew her citizenship. Begum went to Syria and joined the IS at the age of 15. Should Britain have stepped in to save her child?
A victim of cynical calculation
The son of Shamima Begum was a British citizen and should have been accepted by London as such, Labour MP Jess Phillips laments in The Guardian:
“The problem for the home secretary in this whole tragic affair was not Begum herself, though. It was her baby boy, a tiny little cloth-swaddled British citizen. … He had rights that could, and should, have been protected by the Human Rights Act, no matter how much those who want to look hard might want it repealed. … Pressing on fears and hatred is the quickest way our political actors can get a popularity bump. Divide and conquer isn't hard - it is the easiest trick in the book if you want to look tough. It is much tougher, in fact, to show humanity, to show that you don't only care for the popularly vulnerable.”
London shouldn't be the scapegoat
The IS is solely responsible for the death of this child, The Sunday Times argues:
“The death of a child is tragic and the death of Shamima Begum’s baby, less than three weeks old, in a Syrian refugee camp is no less so than any other. … But it is nonsense to suppose the home secretary can in any way be blamed for the death of her baby, the third child she has lost. It was never reasonable to expect Britain to dash to the rescue of her boy from a Syrian camp with no consular access and Ms Begum is still largely unrepentant. The responsibility for Jarrah’s death lies fully with Isis, as does the loss of many other innocent lives.”