This is likely to be a post that puts me into direct opposition with quite a few people, but I’m going to make it anyway, because what I have to say on this topic is about the direction of this country and who we want to be.
To begin with, I’d suggest taking a look at this BBC article. This young woman – Ms Begum – left the U.K. whilst legally still a child to join IS. Ms Begum is pregnant and, following the deaths of two previous babies, she wants to have her baby in the U.K. Ms Begum is reportedly unrepentant about joining IS but by the same token, no doubt understands the huge problems in Syria, where she is currently living, make remaining there hugely difficult, not least of all for her baby. From a purely humane perspective, she has already the devastating loss of two children – something no one of any reasonable measure would wish upon another human being. This is the chief reason why I believe Ms Begum should be allowed to return to the U.K.
It’s not the only reason. When she is in this country, it will be possible to attempt to rehabilitate Ms Begum. This in turn would give her the opportunity to start a new life. I’m not saying she shouldn’t face consequences for her choices – of course she should – but what does it say of us as a society and a nation if we assume the die is cast and there’s absolutely nothing to be done about it? People make mistakes and bad decisions, but people also change and learn. If we refuse to allow people that opportunity, what does that say about our own ability to develop and grow? I would rather grant Ms Begum that chance – and in the process offer her baby a brighter future – than to condemn her forever.