Speaking from a camp in Syria, Shamima Begum begged the British public for forgiveness for making a “dumb mistake” at the age of 15 to join terrorist group ISIS. The now 22-year-old claimed she had no knowledge of the Manchester Arena bombings or what being part of ISIS would involve. Ms Begum claimed she would be travelling to Syria to marry and have children. As she was grilled by Richard Madeley and Susanna Reid about why she should be allowed back in the UK, Good Morning Britain viewers shared their disgust at seeing her on screen.
“With predictability, I have to say Shamima, the overwhelming response we’re getting from viewers of this programme is that you shouldn’t even be on camera,” Madeley said.
“They think you disqualified yourself from British life, that you don’t count and a typical message is, ‘You should leave her where she is and let her rot.’
“Do you think there is any chance you will come back to these shores again?”
Ms Begum replied: “I think maybe yes there is a chance given the right opportunity.”
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Madeley asked: “You must have known what was going on in Syria, that there was a full scale war going on. You must have known that?”
“I thought where it was going it would be safe for me and any children I had,” Ms Begum replied. “I thought they just wanted a small piece of land where they could live an Islamic life.”
Madeley continued: “Are you asking the British people to forgive you?”
“I am asking the British people to forgive me because I made a mistake at a very young age,” Ms Begum explained.
“Most young people don’t know what they want to do with their lives and they are very confused and can easily fall into things like this.
“I know it is very hard for the British to try and forgive me because they have lived in fear of ISIS and have lost loved ones because of ISIS but I have also lived in fear of ISIS and I have also lost loved ones because of ISIS.
“I can sympathise with them in that way and I know it’s very hard for them to forgive me. I say from the bottom of my hear I am so sorry if I ever offended anyone by coming here, if I ever offended anyone by the things that I said.
“I just said those things because I lived in fear of the women and I did not want to do those interviews anyway and I was unaware of ISIS had done in the UK and other parts of the world.
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“I should not have been making comments that I did not know about.”
Ms Begum later stated she would “rather die” than live under ISIS rule, telling the hosts: “If ISIS was still in power, I would have still been stuck. Not by choice.
“If ISIS were to come back now and ask, ‘Who wants to join us?’I would rather die than go back to ISIS.”
She added it was “not possible” to leave ISIS: “You had to find connections and even then those connections could be fake.
“How could we find connections to even leave? You also need a lot of money and we had no access to leave.
Many of those watching GMB were furious to see Ms Begum on the exclusive interview and took to Twitter to complain.
Lisa-Marie Brown wrote: “Well I’ll be switching off why are you giving her air time to beg to come back to the UK.”
Andy Cooke added: “#gmb what a waste of satellite time on Shameful begum.”
“There is no way Shamima Begum should ever be allowed into the UK #GMB,” Damian Winstone shared.
Good Morning Britain airs weekdays on ITV at 6am.
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