She’s clothed in the casual urban cool outfit of the London 20 something, with skinny jeans, unzipped hoodie, a Nike baseball cap and fashionable shades.
Her hair coloured and straightened in the style of her generation – she actually could be any young woman about town, but this isn’t any young woman – this is Shamima Begum, the teenager who fled Britain in 2015 to marry an ISIS fighter.
The now 21-year old described with chilling indifference how she wasn’t disturbed by the sight of a severed head, and who said how she had a great time with ISIS, and who justified the bombing of the Manchester Arena.
When photographs surfaced of her this week at the Syrian internment camp, they were bound to cause alarm, and many, including her own family, would struggle to immediately recognise her.
Gone is the black, full-length chador (long, flowing gown) and black hijab which used to frame her face that now carries the suggestion of a smile, and now a news outlet can share the truth about Shamima Begum’s new life at the al-Roj detention centre in northeast Syria, where she’s been living for the past two years.
Speaking to her closest friends, the news outlet discovered how she fills her days watching Good Morning Britain on ITV in her tent, playing charades or dancing to the music of Shakira downloaded from the internet with her fellow Western campmates.
She’s also fond of Zumba classes and watching movies like Spider-Man and Men in Black franchises which are her favourites, and Shamima Begum maintains that she’s changed and that she isn’t that person any more, saying to people in the United Kingdom to give her a second chance because she was young when she left, which she pleaded this week in an emotive interview for a new documentary.
Her rejection of Islamic attire is evidence, for some, at least, that she’s abandoned her past.
Others believe her transformation is part of a ploy to gain sympathy while her lawyers challenge the decision to strip her of her British citizenship.
Last month, the UK’s Supreme Court ruled on national security grounds that she couldn’t return to Britain to seek an appeal against the decision.
Either way, her stunning new image has turned the global spotlight on Shamima Begum and her life at al-Roj. But is she still the same under the new look? And if we let her back into Britain, will others follow – this could be a dangerous path to go down.
And of course, she will want a new identity and then probably pop out another half a dozen children who could all be radicalised in the future, and why take the chance because she’s not an important asset to us anyhow.
This saga could drag on forever, and be a boundless abyss for taxpayers money, and perhaps the answer is for the Government to say no, and to refuse to give any lawyers a penny to defend her.
And things can’t be that bad out there if she can get her hands on hair dye when people in the United Kingdom have been waiting months to get a hair cut, and she can dress in whatever way she wants, she will still always be an ISIS follower.
Her lawyers have probably told her that she needs to dress like this to make the public feel sorry for her, and why are we giving this girl publicity? And shame on the news providers for entertaining this.