London – After vacationing in Turkey, a British Muslim woman said she was stopped by police because she had the same name as the Daesh bride Shamima Begum.
Shamina Begum, who was travelling back to Manchester Airport, claimed that she was questioned about her opinion of “bombing” and instructed to seek help from UK Border Force agents because they believed her name to be the same as the name of “someone of interest.”
Begum claimed that five officers had detained her in accordance with Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000. She had been travelling with her partner.
She added that her handbag and mobile phone were removed before she was fingerprinted, had her DNA collected, and was interrogated for three hours about her name, her Muslim faith, and even her mortgage.
Begum claimed that while on her period, she was made to use the lavatory in an unlocked stall with a male police there in what she called a “humiliating” incident.
She said to The Independent newspaper, “I’m traumatised.” She continued, “At first I was confused because I’ve been to several places before and never had this difficulty.
In the end, Begum was freed and no more action was taken against her.
She cried the entire way from the airport to her house after being let go and was unable to leave the house for approximately four weeks. “In the days right after this, I would wake up every day wishing I hadn’t. I didn’t deserve to be treated that way since I’m not a terrorist. Unfortunately, it was a dark and trying time that has continued to affect me.
I was speechless because it was so embarrassing. Giving out leaflets explaining what a Schedule 7 stop is is simple for the police, but what about aftercare? It has taken me six months to fully discuss it.
Begum protested to Greater Manchester Police about how she had been treated, but the police staff did not agree with her and insisted that the stop had been lawful and conducted properly.
Now that she has appealed the verdict, she further stated: “If it isn’t because of my race and religion, why aren’t police stopping every white person who enters the airport? Black and brown folks are the only ones who are targeted.
Not only was I stopped, but the questions I was asked also bothered me. It doesn’t make me a terrorist just because I have a Muslim name and background.
Shamima Begum, who left her London home at the age of 15, entered areas controlled by Daesh by way of Turkey before having her British citizenship revoked in February 2019.
She is currently engaged in legal conflict with the British government over the revocation of her citizenship while living in a camp in Syria for former Daesh wives and their families.