We are witnessing the endgame in the murderous rise and fall of Daesh in its ill-fated attempts to carve out a caliphate across eastern Syria and western Iraq — a chapter that has brought some four years of terror across the region. This terrorist group was a malignancy that attracted malcontents from some 170 countries who were beguiled by the slick marketing of extremists and the sentiment of offering a homeland whose original inhabitants were excised, executed or existed in a system of horrors and brutality.
The meteoric rise of the Daesh caliphate seemed attractive to those leading vacant lives or who were vulnerable to the pull and persuasion of others. It attracted not just men who took up arms, but women too who took to the arms of those fighters, becoming brides of war and all warriors to a vile philosophy far removed by the peace-loving principles of Islam.
For those who joined Daesh, there were doubts in their home nations as to what might indeed happen on their return. Now, with Daesh defeated on the battlefield, there are now the remnants of their extremist escapade that must somehow be accommodated by the nations from which they left to join the caliphate.
Britain has stripped three such brides of Daesh of their citizenship — and the case of Shamima Begum has made most headlines. Her weeks’ old son died recently in a cramped refugee camp — another young victim to the folly of this sad chapter. The stripping of citizenship, however, might indeed make for favourable headlines in the popular British press, but in truth it is no answer, just a sop for a Home Office seeking a quick solution to a pressing problem. The reality is that these are British citizens by birthright — and that birthright confers legal rights. There are hundreds of such women and several thousand more children — all of whom must be dealt with.
These are victims of Daesh — caught up in its web of lies and extremist deceit, once vulnerable women who were manipulated by the lure of extremists whose propaganda and proponents deliberately targeted. To simply abandon them is not a solution, and will only fester further extremist actions down the road.
Both Russia and Belgium have started to take these children to their natural homelands — and others should follow suit. Modern societies flourish on the rule of law and the proper administration of justice and a belief in reform of the individual. That is the course that must be followed, for redemption is a core value we must cherish