Woke BBC slammed for platforming ‘scheming’ Shamima Begum using podcast to restore UK citizenship

The second series of the podcast ‘I’m Not a Monster’ explores the story of the 23-year-old

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The BBC has been accused of giving Shamima Begum a platform in her bid to restore her UK citizenship.

The second series of the podcast ‘I’m Not a Monster’ explores the story of the 23-year-old, who left the UK to join the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

Peter Bleksley says the BBC is giving Shamima Begum a platform
Peter Bleksley says the BBC is giving Shamima Begum a platform

Begum is said to have delivered a detailed account of “what really happened” after being discovered in Syria with the Islamic State group, four years after disappearing as a teenager from London.

The first episode of the podcast was launched on Wednesday, with weekly episodes set to follow.

Former Metropolitan Police officer Peter Bleksley has criticised the broadcasting company’s decision to investigate the Isis Bride’s circumstances.

Asked by GB News’ Patrick Christys whether she is going to “use” the podcast as a means to return to the UK, Mr Bleksley said: “Yes, she’s stateless and she wants to return to the UK quite clearly to enjoy the benefits that I imagine are available.

“Of course there are many, many people that simply don’t want to see that happen. Yes she lost three children, but those children were fathered by a terrorist.

“She was a member of a terrorist organisation that would quite simply like to wipe you and me off the face of the Earth.

“So sympathy runs very thin for her amongst many, many people.”

Ms Begum is now locked in a legal battle with the UK Government to try and have her citizenship restored.

It was revoked on national security grounds shortly after she was found in the refugee camp.

Lawyers for Ms Begum have said she should have been treated as a victim of child trafficking and conflict resolution experts have described the Government’s approach towards her as misguided.

Shamima Begum told the BBC she 'understands' public anger towards her
Shamima Begum told the BBC she 'understands' public anger towards her

But the Home Office has argued that people trafficked to Syria and brainwashed can still be threats to national security, and that Ms Begum expressed no remorse when she initially emerged from IS-controlled territory.

Asked in the BBC podcast whether she understands public anger towards her, she said: “Yes, I do understand.”

“But I don’t think it’s actually towards me. I think it’s towards Isis. When they think of Isis they think of me because I’ve been put on the media so much.”

Speaking ahead of the release of the podcast, BBC journalist Josh Baker, who spoke to Ms Begum, said: "There are different ways to tell the Shamima Begum story.

“There’s the one about a 15-year-old schoolgirl who was groomed and lured to a war zone by ISIS and now needs saving from a Syrian detention camp.

“And there’s the one about a traitor, who fled Britain to join ISIS and became known the world over as a terrorist and must be stopped from coming back to Britain.

“As Shamima challenges the removal of her British citizenship by the UK government, I’ve examined her accounts to give listeners a definitive narrative on this complex, nuanced and shocking story."