Norway's party quits coalition government over suspected Islamic State spouse's repatriation

WION Web Team Norway Jan 21, 2020, 09.01 PM(IST)

File photo. Photograph:( AFP )

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The 29-year-old Norwegian woman of Pakistani origin was believed to be married to two Islamic State fighters

Norway's populist Progress Party decided to leave the government over the repatriation of a woman suspected to be a bride of an Islamic State terrorist.

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Prime Minister Erna Solberg will now head a minority government after the Progress Party withdrew support.

The 29-year-old Norwegian woman of Pakistani origin was believed to be married to two Islamic State fighters. Her five-year-old son’s failing health was the reason she was allowed to return to Norway on humanitarian grounds. 

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"There was the issue of the terror suspect IS-woman, where the three other parties caved in and brought home the mother and child. We have always been willing to bring home innocent children but we will not compromise with people who have joined terror organisations and are actively working to tear down the values Norway is built on. That was the last straw," Norway's Populist Progress party leader Siv Jensen said.

Jensen added the Progress Party would be "a tougher and clearer party going forward."

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In 2015, 15-year-old Shamina Begum, a UK citizen of Bangladeshi origin had left the country to join the Islamic State. Begum married multiple times and was also part of the moral police of the Caliphate.

However, in February last year during an interview with a newspaper Begum wished to return to the UK to raise her child. The British government responded by saying they would not risk British lives to go and look for terrorists in a failed state.

Last year, 20-year-old Hoda Muthana left the United States to fight the war for the Islamic State. On Twitter, Muthana advocated attacks against US citizens and encouraged more people to support the Caliphate.

In 2019, Muthana surrendered to American troops and expressed her desire to return to the US but President Trump refused to let her back into the country.  

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The issue of stripping citizenship has been contentious. While UNSC has declared citizenship-stripping as largely unconstitutional, governments of UK, France, Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands and Australia reserve the right to strip citizenship from those they deem terrorists.

In the latest case involving Norway, while the Progress Party was against the return of the ISIS bride, three other parties in the ruling coalition favoured it.