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GMB backlash: Shamima Begum interview results in Ofcom complaints from ITV viewers

GMB: Viewers say Shamima Begum should be left to 'rot'

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Breakfast TV show Good Morning Britain saw the controversial interview between hosts Susanna Reid, Richard Madeley, and former ISIS bride Shamima Begum take place earlier this month. The morning show has now been hit with a flurry of complaints from viewers who took to broadcasting regulators Ofcom to vent their dismay at the interview.

Ofcom’s latest results revealed Good Morning Britain has been hit by 273 complaints over the controversial interview.

The 22-year-old former ISIS bride was grilled by Susanna Reid and Richard Madeley as she asked Britain for forgiveness.

Shamima wasn’t let off lightly by the hosts, and they asked her about her intentions on returning to the UK and whether or not she should be forgiven. 

Richard asked Shamima whether she would still be involved in the Islamic extremist group if they had not been “destroyed”. 

Responding to Richard, she stated that she would “rather die” than rejoin the terrorist organisation and expressed her guilt. 

Richard went on to say: “With predictability, I have to say Shamima, the overwhelming response we’re getting from viewers of this programme is that you shouldn’t even be on camera,”

“Do you think there is any chance you will come back to these shores again?” he asked her. 

She replied: “I think maybe yes, there is a chance given the right opportunity.”

He went on to ask: “You must have known what was going on in Syria, that there was a full-scale war going on. You must have known that?”

“I thought where it was going, it would be safe for me and any children I had,” Shamima replied. “I thought they just wanted a small piece of land where they could live an Islamic life.”

“Are you asking the British people to forgive you?” he questioned. 

“I am asking the British people to forgive me because I made a mistake at a very young age,” Shamima explained.

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“I know it is very hard for the British to try and forgive me because they have lived in fear of ISIS and have lost loved ones because of ISIS, but I have also lived in fear of ISIS, and I have also lost loved ones because of ISIS.

“I can sympathise with them in that way, and I know it’s very hard for them to forgive me. I say from the bottom of my heart I am so sorry if I ever offended anyone by coming here (or) if I ever offended anyone by the things that I said.

“I just said those things because I lived in fear of the women, and I did not want to do those interviews anyway, and I was unaware of what ISIS had done in the UK and other parts of the world.” 

There were mixed opinions from viewers of the interview on Twitter with Kate Wilkinson defending Shamima: “Love the way we’re continuing to blame her for our failure to safeguard her as a child.”

Dr Ben Janaway also commented: “Sounds like she was very much brainwashed at a young and vulnerable age. Like many, perhaps we can let her learn and forgive, I’m sure this was a had interview, I didn’t like the questions @GMB, very sensational over substance.”

“She’s British and belongs in the UK, we are strong enough to monitor and handle 1 person,” Anton agreed. 

However, not all people were in favour of Shamima returning, with Sally Wood Lamb writing: “Don’t give her airtime! I don’t believe her…” 

Marie Jackson also said: “She did know what she was doing, and everyone has to pay for their actions!” (sic)

GMB airs weekdays at 6am on ITV. 
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