While it didn’t draw too many headlines internationally, Norway’s ruling coalition government lost its majority yesterday when the populist Progress Party pulled out of the coalition. And it all happened because of one woman and her two children.
The woman has not been named, but she was one of the “ISIS brides.” She fled Norway in 2013, moving to Syria where she married a Norwegian man who had similarly joined the terrorist group. They had two children, but he was later killed in the fighting. She’s been living in a refugee camp in Syria since the collapse of the caliphate but wanted to return to Norway because she claimed one of her children was ill. The government finally agreed to let her return, prompting the Progress Party’s decision to abandon the coalition. (Daily Mail)
Norway’s government has collapsed over the decision to allow an ISIS bride to return to the country from Syria with her children.
The populist Progress Party pulled out of Norway’s coalition government today after the mother was permitted repatriation so that her gravely ill five-year-old son could receive medical treatment.
The 29-year-old and her two children have been living in the Al-Hol camp in Syria – notorious in Britain as the detention centre which held Shamima Begum.
Norway’s next scheduled elections aren’t supposed to happen until September of 2021, so that’s a long time to have to rule from a minority position. (At least if you want to get anything done.) Still, the Prime Minister says that’s her plan and she’ll try to reach out to other parties to find common ground and keep things running.
The ISIS bride was arrested upon arrival in the country and she and her two children were taken to a hospital, so it wasn’t immediately clear why the Progress Party was so upset. It’s not as if the woman was being welcomed home to a ticker-tape parade. But that situation may change going forward. Some suspected that the child really wasn’t all that ill and she was simply using the kid as a passport to get back into Norway. She was initially offered a chance to have the sick child return alone, but she refused. Now they are being checked out by doctors. Time will tell.
I suppose the real question here is whether the mother is being offered full repatriation or if she’s facing a trial and possible removal once they address the medical needs of her children. The kids can’t be blamed for the evil done by their mother and if Norway wanted to put them up for adoption or something (assuming the mother really wants the best for them) I suppose that would be fine.
But we’ve been dealing with this in the United States with one of our own ISIS brides. There is absolutely no reason that the rest of us should just “forgive and forget” when someone runs off to join the terrorists of ISIS. Anyone who could see the beheadings and the people being burned alive in cages and still pledge themselves to (and marry into) the cause is not worthy of forgiveness and repatriation as far as I’m concerned.
Clearly at least some of the constituencies in Norway feel the same. But having gotten her toe in the door, it sounds like this runaway bride may have a path to just settle back into her old homeland.