Danny Dyer: 'Shamima Begum should be allowed home'

Danny Dyer has weighed in as an unlikely commentator on the Shamima Begum debate, saying he believes she should be allowed back into the UK and must have been “lost within her soul”.

The EastEnders actor known for his hard man and gangland film roles was a guest on Good Morning Britain announcing the finalists for the Prince’s Trust Mentor of the Year awards, but ended up speaking out in defence of the teen ISIS bride.

Begum, 19, travelled from her home in Bethnal Green, London to Syria aged 15, where she married a member of ISIS but is currently in a Syrian refugee camp.

Her first two children, born in Syria, had died and at the weekend she gave birth to her third, a boy, but now wants to return to the UK to ensure his survival.

Dyer asked for his opinion on the story, said: “If you think about it, what on earth…how has she got into her head that going to Syria is the answer when she lives in this country? What is that about?

“So who’s there to guide her, talk to her, why is she so lost within her soul that she thinks that’s the answer?”

In a recent interview with Sky News, Begum said that a lot of people should have sympathy for her because of what she had been through.

GMB host Richard Madeley had earlier clashed with the Begum family lawyer when he appeared on the programme and likened the young mum to a World War One soldier.

But Dyer argued with Madeley when the presenter suggested that the internet was “the big game changer” in radicalising UK teens.

He said: “We’ve all got the internet Rich, are you thinking of going to Syria?”

Madeley argued that she wouldn’t have been radicalised in the same way without access to the internet.

But Dyer replied: “Being radicalised, though, and actually jumping on a plane and going to Syria, I don’t understand what’s going on there, and now she wants to come back.”

Dyer would support Begum’s return to the UK (ITV)
Dyer would support Begum’s return to the UK (ITV)

Asked whether he thought Begum should be allowed to return home, Dyer said:

“Yes, I do. I feel she needs a chance maybe to explain what was going on, about how they got to her, about how she felt it was the right move to jump on a plane at 15 and leave this country.

“She’s still a young girl, and look at the people around her, who was looking after her? Maybe we can learn from it, I don’t know.”

Begum has said that she does not regret having travelled to Syria and when asked by Sky News whether she was aware of ISIS carrying out beheadings, said: “I knew about those things and I was ok with it.”

Her husband is a Dutch convert to Islam who is thought to have surrendered to Syrian fighters, after which she escaped from the last IS stronghold Baghuz two weeks ago.

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