Sorry Not Sorry? Shamima Begum Says She Wants Brits to Learn From Her 'Mistake'

© AFP 2023 / Laura LeanIn this file photo taken on February 22, 2015 Renu Begum, eldest sister of missing British girl Shamima Begum, holds a picture of her sister while being interviewed by the media in central London
In this file photo taken on February 22, 2015 Renu Begum, eldest sister of missing British girl Shamima Begum, holds a picture of her sister while being interviewed by the media in central London - Sputnik International
Begum, whose face has become a common sight in British and international media over the past few weeks, insists that she has a right to return to the UK, despite overwhelming sentiment among the British people that she should not be allowed to go back.

British Jihadi bride Shamima Begum has said that she wants to return to the UK to act as an "example of how someone can change".

In an interview over the weekend with the Daily Mail from inside her tent in the al-Hawl refugee camp in northern Syria, Miss Begum said that "I want to help, encourage other young British people to think before they make life-changing decisions like this and not to make the same mistake as me".

"I can't do that if I am sitting here in a camp. I can't do that for you", she added. 

READ MORE: Jihadi Come Home? Shamima Begum to Legally Fight for UK Return — Report

Miss Begum's most recent claims seem to strike a different tune compared to statements from her previous interviews. In a recent exclusive interview with The Times, Miss Begum made clear that she did not regret joining the Daesh Jihadist group, which stands accused of slaughtering thousands of innocents in Syria and Iraq, along with carrying out indiscriminate terrorist attacks in Europe.

In another interview over the weekend, this time with The Sunday Telegraph, Miss Begum slammed the UK government for "making an example of me" by taking away her citizenship and not giving her "the courtesy" of making contact with her first. She now also says that she regrets publicising her desire to return to the UK, believing that it has indirectly harmed her chances of being allowed back.

"I regret speaking to the media. I wish I had stayed low and found a different way to contact my family", she said.

She also pointed to the fact that other British Jihadist brides and their children had been allowed to return to the UK from Syria, saying that, "I feel like I've been discriminated against because everyone was saying I was a poster girl for ISIS. I'm being punished right now because I'm famous".

Miss Begum has said that her new-found fame has angered some of the other hardline Daesh-supporting females in the al-Hawl camp, who have, she says, threatened to burn down her tent for showing her face on television.

Begum was catapulted into international headlines in mid-February after her interview with The Times, in which she described how seeing a severed head in a bin in Daesh-held territory "did not faze" her. UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid asserted that he would do "everything" in his power to block British Daesh fighters and their brides from returning to the UK and promptly stripped Miss Begum of her citizenship, saying that she could claim Bangladeshi citizenship due to her mother's origins in that country. However, Bangladesh quickly shot down that possibility, saying that Miss Begum had been "erroneously identified" as a citizen by the UK government and that she had "never" visited the country.

It is claimed that so far, over 400 British Daesh affiliates have returned to the UK from Syria — the highest reported number in Europe so far.     

​​*Daesh, also known as IS/ISIS/ISIL/Islamic State, is the terrorist groups banned in Russia and many other countries.

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