According to Scotland Yard, nearly 20 young British Muslim girls have gone to Syria to join ISIS in the past year. They are brave girls, warlike perhaps, who want adventure and want, like many stroppy teenage girls, to rebel against their families and schoolteachers. 
Some British Muslim girls do this just by wearing a full veil. These have gone much further. Most are under eighteen, in some cases only fifteen, and the BBC and the papers want to stop them going or bring them back. Some kind people are worried for them, others hope that they never return.

The girls should obey their parents, but I don't think we can bring them back. (By the way they are all much older than Muhammed's youngest wife, Ayisha, who is said to have been six or seven when they married and nine when she went to live with him, but this is a digression). 

The girls might find fulfilment with ISIS, perhaps. ISIS fighters are genuine Muslims who take the Koran very seriously, even though their interpretation of it is not the only one. 

I don't agree with those who say good riddance to them - they, after all, are very young. Their behaviour is probably symptomatic of a huge dissatisfaction on the part of young British Muslims with British society. I can offer no suggestion as to what we can do about that.

They presumably see ISIS building an ideal Islamic society. Whether they are sadists, as some teenage girls are, and find the thought of beheading Christians or killing infidels exciting, who can say? No doubt warriors appeal to them and rejecting the country whose passport they carry. 

What I do know is that British subjects should be free to fight in foreign wars, as Orwell and Laurie Lee did in Spain. Or free to go abroad to marry foreign fighters, though only when they reach the age of consent. 

ISIS, by the way, are no worse than the Spanish Republicans, for whom Orwell, Laurie Lee, etc fought, dominated as they were by Stalinists. The Spanish Reds killed countless priests and raped countless nuns. The Spanish Civil War was for Communists a dress rehearsal for the takeover of Eastern Europe after 1945. (Walter Roman, Petre Roman's father and 500 other Romanian Communists took part.) ISIS have not committed as many atrocities as the Spanish Reds, though admittedly it is early days so far.

Some people, like Orwell, left Spain disillusioned with Communism but many others remained Communists all their lives. Some went on to tyrannise Eastern Europe or, in the case of Jack Jones, undermine Britain as a Communist trade union leader who took his orders from Moscow. i remember the BBC sentimentally televising his reunions after his retirement with the other veterans of the Spanish Civil War, no doubt many of them card carrying party members and enemies of their country.

So it will be with people who join ISIS - some will die, some will be wounded, some will return disillusioned, some hardened in their faith. Some will never return.

The girls, despite what so many people, including Julie Burchill, Rod Liddle and others, ​ are saying, have to be free to return too. The great issue is not whether to let them go or let them come back but whether we want more Muslim immigrants in the future in the UK.

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