A FORMER ISIS bride has blamed Islamophobic bullying at her British school for driving her to marry a Syrian Jihadi like Shamima Begum.
Thirty-year-old Fatima spent two years in Syria before cutting all ties with the caliphate, only now opening up about the reality of life with the “liberation army”.
She revealed how as an 11-year-old a gang of girls pushed her into a corner of their playground and ripped off her headscarf , pulling out handfuls of her hair.
“The whole time, they were screaming that I was a P**i b***h”, she told the Stylist.
“Men would come up behind me, groping me, threatening to pull off my headscarf and jeering that I would be a sl** without it. I have also been punched and kicked. I never felt safe”.
Fatima says it experiences like these that formed her resolve to marry a Syrian jihadi.
Her revelations come after Begum, who left East London as a 15-year-old schoolgirl to join ISIS and marry a Dutch jihadi, was refused entry to the UK after begging to return.
Fatima says that on arrival in Syria in 2015 she was immediately given books justifying the murder of children, imprisonment of “sex slaves” and beheadings.
Anything that destroyed the enemy or aided their terrorism was “fair game”, she was told.
For months she was filled with so much resentment that she overlooked the horrors taking place directly before her.
You hear about attacks on British people on the news, but then compare that to the women who threatened to kick an innocent baby to death just for being a Muslim and suddenly you don’t feel so sorry for them anymore,” she said, referring to her own experience of a friend being violently assaulted during her pregnancy.
Eventually, Fatima says saw beyond her own resentment and awoke to the extreme violence before her – abandoning both her husband and ISIS.
Unlike Begum, Fatima managed to return to the UK and to her family, who welcomed her back on the condition that she cut all ties with extremists.
‘TOO FAR IN’
But she claims her own case has parallels with that of the Bethnal Green schoolgirl, who lost a third child while with the group.
Fatima believes it’s “possible” that Begum has been threatened with consequences “if she dares to be publicly disloyal to the Islamic State”.
“Once you’re too far in,” she added, “for some, it can be difficult to get out.”
Fatima says she blames Islamophobia in Britain for helping create an environment where female terrorists can thrive.
When someone ties you to a stereotype for years, eventually you get tired of trying to prove people wrong, and out of anger, you start living up to that stereotype,” she relates. “People thought we were bad anyway – in my mind at the time, we might as well just match their expectations.”
Fatima claims she wasn’t brainwashed into supported ISIS – and compared her former admiration for her husband as that of British women for the Duke of Sussex.
Prince Harry was a warring hero for the British people,” Fatima said, “so I felt: why can’t we have our own heroes that protect us?”
But Fatima’s mindset has changed dramatically since that point, after she realised that “the solution for violence is never more violence”.
She has since moved to to a new area in the suburbs, aiming to “learn to make peace with the country where I was born”.