HAYES IN THE HOUSE: Nobody who leaves to fight alongside our foes should ever set foot on British soil again
As I watched the televised interview of Shamima Begum, who travelled from London to fight for our enemies, I was struck by the naked, unrepentant contempt in her eyes.
Even now, when it would have been in her interests to, at least, feign remorse - or better still to feel it - she couldn’t resist reaffirming the radical Islamism which corrupted her. Asked to reflect on her time in Syria, she boasted: "I don't regret it because it's changed me as a person. It's made me stronger, tougher." Probed on her response to the executions and beheadings carried out by ISIS, she callously assured her interviewer that she was "okay with it".
Since war in Syria began, 1,000 people have, like Begum, left the UK to fight for the Islamic State. The alarming explanation is that, in some communities, social cohesion, wider integration and a shared sense of British identity are now so diluted that scores of individuals would rather battle in a blood-stained desert than stand proud to be British. In truth, whilst 1,000 have travelled abroad, many more who chose to remain in the UK sympathise and support their cause.
The most important responsibility of any State is the protection of its citizens. To which end, the taxpayer already spends eye watering amounts of money monitoring the thousands of potential terrorists living amongst us. As ISIS fighters have been trained and equipped in warfare; desensitised to unimaginable horrors, to allow them to return freely to British neighbourhoods is unthinkable as it presents a direct risk to the lives of those we love.
Against this background, the Home Secretary decided to revoke the citizenship of Mrs Begum. Sajid Javid has taken a stand, dismissing those who seek to obscure the truth with appeals to nonsensical ‘universal’ rights. They should know that there is nothing noble about placing the lives of innocent British civilians at risk. The elitist liberal so called ‘experts’ of the ‘rights lobby’, who are filled with doubt about just retribution and fuelled by guilt about their own country’s history, should answer to the families of the victims of the Manchester and Westminster Bridge atrocities both of which were committed by British passport holders.
In Britain it is time we had a frank discussion – avoided for too long - about the necessity of integration. As we learn from the mistakes of multiculturalism, targeted investment in communities that are struggling should be coupled with the active and muscular promotion of our particular national story; our history, culture and traditions.
Ideally, nobody who leaves this nation to fight alongside our foes should ever set foot on British soil again. In the event of them doing so, I said last week in the House of Commons, all traitors who have lost their war against our brave servicemen must face arrest and prosecution for inciting, promoting, aiding and abetting terrorism.
Here, at home, we must redouble our efforts to eliminate the murderous ideology of Islamism.