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tv   Talking Books at Hay Festival 2018  BBC News  June 23, 2018 12:30am-1:01am BST

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president trump has hosted campaigners whose relatives were murdered by undocumented migrants. it's seen as an effort to regain the initiative amid outrage over the separation of migrant families crossing into the us. meanwhile, mr trump has threatened to impose import duties of twenty per cent on cars made in the eu. he made the comment after the eu imposed tariffs on some us goods, a move that was itself a response to us tariffs on steel. a report by the united nations human rights council has accused venezuela's security forces of killing hundreds of young people over a 3—year period under the pretext of fighting crime. on day nine of the world cup, brazil beat costa rica two nil in group e. nigeria won 2—nil in their match against iceland and switzerland won their match against serbia 2—1. "we were just doing ourjob". the words of the two police officers who were first on the scene of the salisbury nerve agent attack.
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they were called to help sergei and yulia skripal, who they found on a park bench. the officers along with detective sergeant nick bailey today met prince charles and the duchess of cornwall, who were in the city to thank the emergency services and others caught up in the aftermath. peter cooke reports. a message to the world that salisbury is safe and open for business. today, the duke and duchess of cornwall walked through the maltings, where sergei and yulia skripal were found semiconscious on the 4th of march. after greeting hundreds of well—wishers, they spent time those closest to the nerve agent attack. for the first time we heard from the two officers who were first on the scene. a routine call to a couple slumped on a bench. that's not out of the ordinary. and then from arriving until now it has obviously got bigger and bigger. it definitely wasn't what we expected, that's for sure. but we did what any of our colleagues would have done. we try and make sure everyone
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was safe and see if we can save lives if we possibly can. we did what anyone else would have done. officials are at pains to say that the city is on the road to recovery, but six sites remain behind cordons and are still to be decontaminated. today's visit will contain a boost to the local economy. it has been really quiet since everything happened. hopefully it will give it the boost that is needed for summer. hundreds of specialists are still investigating this attack. today the city was able to show it's slowly getting back to normal. peter cooke, bbc saturday. now on bbc news it's time for talking books. hello, and welcome to talking books from hay festival in wales. now why
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would anyone, especially someone who is well educated and from a loving family, choose to go to syria to joinjihad —ists? family, choose to go to syria to join jihad —ists? that family, choose to go to syria to joinjihad —ists? that is the question that motivated asne seierstad's latest book, two sisters, two girls who did that. it is from the woman who brought us the bookseller of kabul. asne seierstad, welcome to talking books. now, two sisters tries to figure out a puzzle, what it is that makes two teenage girls happily settled, it would appear, in norway, a great country. what makes them want to become jihadi country. what makes them want to becomejihadi brides in syria? country. what makes them want to become jihadi brides in syria? how did you get the story? the story was actually given to me by their father. he contacted me a few months after they had left and he wanted a
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book written about his daughters. i was thinking no, no, i'm not interested. this is going to be so messy because i thought that a journalist and a family, we have different interests. a journalist would always want to uncovered things and a family would like to cover up things and a family would like to cover up things. but then after a while and i agreed to meet him and he said several things that i liked. one thing was, when the girls had left, they had not come home from school, that same afternoon when they called home and said they had gone to syria, the parents had no clue. they didn't understand anything but now as a few months had passed, he realised all the signs had been there, that they had just not been able to read the signs and he wanted the story told to warn other parents, to tell people this is what you should look for. the two girls, we will get to sadiq in a
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moment, because we haven't met the girls but you know a lot about them. but they seemed in the earlier parts of the book to be of somali origin but completely integrated in the school, happy in school, well educated, and dressed like every other norwegian girl. and just to give a bit of background of this family, this is a refugee family, the father was a child soldier in somalia. it fled the war went he felt this was no longer a war to die for and he came to norway and after a while, he got family reunification and he blew his family over. his wife, his three children and that was the two sisters and their brothers. ayan, leila, and is mail,
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their brother. they grew up in norway, they integrated quickly, they were athletic, good in sport. and they were living a childhood life like their classmates and then when they became teenagers, dressing in skinnyjeans when they became teenagers, dressing in skinny jeans and when they became teenagers, dressing in skinnyjeans and t—shirts, it was the mother, sarah, who was thinking, this is going too far. these girls are becoming too norwegian, only to stop this and get them back into the somali way of living, the muslim way of living and she was looking for advice on how to get them back away from norway and into the somali way. we will piece together some of the puzzle but in terms of the father, sadiq, many have commented that it reads like a thriller. maybe you can reads like a thriller. maybe you can read a little bit because this is where sadiq follows the girls and he rides on the syrian border. three
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days after the girls look, this father is on the way, to turkey, taking the same route as the girls, and doubted that turkey — syrian border and without knowing it, he is in the same place as the girls. sadiq had found an underworld, smugglers who drove people into syria for money. all were paid to get them out. people slipped in and out, to kill or be killed. at the gateway, the real black market was on the outskirts of town. the smell of gasoline from drums of the oil drawn from our side's wales filled the air. everything could be brought here. weapons, ammunition, drugs, any type you like. a woman for an hour, a night oras any type you like. a woman for an hour, a night or as long as you want it. who the weapons should be aimed at, no one cared. what the woman's name was, only she knew. no one
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asked about your beliefs here. here, the price was everything. are you looking for a son or daughter, he was asked. two daughters. $1000 first, then you will get an answer. if they are alive, it costs $3000 each to get them out. if you want both of them, $6,000. there were no guarantees. sadiq's instinct was to ta ke guarantees. sadiq's instinct was to take matters into his own hands. sadiq, if we were talking about a character in a novel, this is a wonderful character, he is very easy to relate to, he is a father on a quest to get the girls but you are not told entirely the right story, we re not told entirely the right story, were you? he said or suggested that the girls were desperate to come out. sadiq is also a poet, a very good palate. a great storyteller and sometimes to greater storyteller. ——
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poet. when he contacted me, he said the girls had gone willingly and they had been kidnapped, forcibly married off and that they had fled from the husbands, they may in hiding and that they were desperate for him to come and rescue them. he was trying to gather money to get them out. so i followed this story for1.5 years, them out. so i followed this story for 1.5 years, believing that the sisters were in hiding and all the time changing hiding places, like you would say, now they are in this room, a shop, and then suddenly it was like, they are gone from the room, we have no idea. they would appear somewhere else. then his son, ismail, who is between the daughters in age. he gave me the chat log
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which lasted for two years, and would last even another six months before they were cut apart and he gave me that hold material to read and then i realised, these girls, they are just very happy with isis. they are bragging about the bill as they have taken over, the great houses that they stole from syrians who had been beheaded or had to flee 01’ who had been beheaded or had to flee or being deported. as they are bragging about, oh, we have this great garden, we have rabbits, everything we need and the best part is it is all for free, everything we need and the best part is it is all forfree, this is everything we need and the best part is it is all for free, this is the welfare state for real and all these goods are taken from the infidels, so goods are taken from the infidels, so it's great. then i realised everything sadiq has told me was not true. and i had to gather more proof and to then confront him about this and to then confront him about this and then of course, we split up. then that happened, what i'd been
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afraid of, it's never going to work and we didn't talk for four months because i said you have no credibility. sid then we kind of restarted the whole thing and of course, the interesting part in his story is also, like, the desperation ofa story is also, like, the desperation of a father, the desperation of a father who felt he has failed as a father, as a husband, as a somali, asa father, as a husband, as a somali, as a patriarch and he went down to syria and he met the girls and they told him, we can't go home. because he was like, finally, you are coming home with daddy. they said, we are not coming. we are married. that was so not coming. we are married. that was so painful to not coming. we are married. that was so painfulto him. not coming. we are married. that was so painful to him. and such a fall of prestige and status, he couldn't go about norway telling people that they had betrayed him and neglected
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him and actually chose to live in a warzone him and actually chose to live in a wa rzone over him and actually chose to live in a warzone over coming back with their father. and for all his flaws, he was very, very brave because he could have been killed. let's take a step back. that is quite an extraordinary twist. but the big question that everybody i think wa nts to question that everybody i think wants to answer and you do to is what happened to two girls in one of the happiest countries in the world, norway, and one of the richest countries in the world where they we re countries in the world where they were integrated in school and all the reasons you said, they spoke the language and so on. what happened to make them want to choose a life where they could easily be killed and the best would be that their husbands would be isis fighters? what do you think happened? husbands would be isis fighters? what do you think happened7m husbands would be isis fighters? what do you think happened? in their life, it was the spark, the spark was the mother who lit the spark. when she felt like, ok, the skinny
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jeans, i don't like it. how can we get them back? she's the one in the family who is not integrated, she never learned norwegian. she was living in norway but in somalia in her head so she did the only thing that she knew of and she would have donein that she knew of and she would have done in somalia, if there was a problem in the family, you go to the local mosque and you ask the imams, give me advice. and the email had advice. he said, there is this great courant teacher, his name is more staff, is 19 years old, he is beautiful, he is his reputation of drawing children, teenagers, it is long. she and her girlfriends, in this part outside oslo, they hired him and that was the start of their journey. you are a parent and one day your girls are wearing skinny jeans and they somehow end up wearing a niqab, the full dress,
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which is not even in the somali tradition. at some point, somebody must have been ringing a bell within that family, saying this is going one way and it's not a good way. yes, but i think it's the same with people, young people who are abused drugs. it goes on the years. people around would say, didn't you notice before it's too late? there is something with parents that you don't want to see. they were so happy in the beginning, bragging about their girls. they would never have a boyfriend. or starting to drink or going to parties. when the niqab came on, the parents did not like that. interesting thing, these we re like that. interesting thing, these were popular girls, even among the
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teachers. these are not kids who don't understand the norwegian way. they do understand the norwegian way and rejected later. when they become more and more islamist and wanted to change. they become militant and wa nt to change. they become militant and want to change the society. their goal is to have norway run by sharia law. it is difficult but you can start with your school. they started writing letters and school authorities. to the local parliaments, for the right to wear the niqab, not do gymnastics is an interesting thing is, these two girls were so much more norwegian than they actually were themselves. if you are still anybody in the audience why people would choose to join islamic state, they would say, to do evil and bad things. but they
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thought they were doing god's will, doing good, making life betterfor other people. however we think of them, is that correct? i think that is definitely right. i think the only way tojoin is definitely right. i think the only way to join isis is to have that mindset. you know, they are not going out to do evil, they are going out to find the meaning of life. so these two girls, also, when you see these two girls, also, when you see the chat logs, which is fascinating, between them and the brother, which begins the day they were leaving, trying to convince the brother to join them, the brother should hurry down before everyone else comes. and of course it didn't work with him at all, he went entirely the opposite way. he went entirely the opposite way. he went entirely the opposite way. it is not one size fits all, and that he koran teaches you to blame everything. ismail was disgusted by this message, the romanticising of death. where are the girls now? who knows? they know,
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if they are still alive. we haven't heard from them since november. their parents have also not heard from them. they fled raqqa last summer from them. they fled raqqa last summer before the siege and the big campaign against raqqa, it was taken over by kurdish forces and then they fled east towards the iraqi border. they lived there for a while and later they were going from place to place, to these pockets that were still held by islamic state. this is what we heard from others. now, actually, one of their friends appeared ina actually, one of their friends appeared in a syrian wreckage it camp, begging the norwegian government to take her back. —— refugee camp. she is now with her children. and it is interesting, she still supports isis, this woman. ismail, the girls‘ brother, was commenting on them, saying that we
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shouldn‘t take ayisha back if she still supports isis, isis has no port —— no place in norway and if my sister still support isis i don‘t wa nt sister still support isis i don‘t want them in norway. it is a truly extraordinary story but i want to draw a link, if i may, with another extraordinary story you wrote, one of us, the story of anders breivik, the norwegian citizen who murdered 70 of his fellow citizens and he didn‘t fit 70 of his fellow citizens and he didn‘tfit in 70 of his fellow citizens and he didn‘t fit in either, and he was a white ethnic norwegian. he didn‘t fit into society. you see some kinds of parallels, at least, between people are leaving in his case, a kind of fascist ideology, and the girls, although they were utterly different, that they didn‘t fit in? —— the leading in his case. —— be leaving. it is easy to find parallels in their ideologies, they join up, if you feel weak you want tojoin something join up, if you feel weak you want to join something strong. these two books are actually both books about
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belonging. in the sisters‘ case, they did belong, and they had ambitions. one wanted to work for the united nations and one wanted to become a lawyer. i would say that they are going in, unfortunately, they are going in, unfortunately, they are going in, unfortunately, they are meeting all these people who tell them, other muslims, who told them, no, you don‘t belong here. they were not pushed out by their norwegian classmates. they we re their norwegian classmates. they were drawn in from more extreme islamists. when it comes to breivik it isa islamists. when it comes to breivik it is a bit ofa islamists. when it comes to breivik it is a bit of a different story. he is born to this very dysfunctional pa rents is born to this very dysfunctional parents and he is abused and he is emotionally abuse and speakers he doesn‘t have any attachment to his own home or his mother and his father, all his life he goes out and tries to find a place to belong, and because he tries so hard he is almost —— always rejected. then he goes into this world, the world of
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wa rcraft, goes into this world, the world of warcraft, this fantasy world, he spent hours playing and that is where he finds the dark net, the neo—nazis, the fascists, the anti— jihadist is, the anti— islamists. that is where he forms his ideology, where he writes the manifesto, and thatis where he writes the manifesto, and that is where he finds belonging for the first time. and as we know he is responsible for the utoya massacre of completely innocent, largely young people. in his manifesto he writes about how europe should look, and he uses of violence to achieve that goal. his world view is that europe should be" cleansed" from muslims and traitors. that would be most of us, i think, in this room. and why, he had to explain, why didn‘t he go and shoot a mosque? well, he needs to kill first those who let the muslims in. in all of your books, to a certain expat ——
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certain extent, people must both like you and trust you, otherwise you wouldn‘t get access. is that they are? as you said, you have perhaps a different agenda to the people you are reporting on. yes, andi people you are reporting on. yes, and i think, of course, if people don‘t trust you they want to talk to you. and i think you always have to be honest. i remember working with the two sisters, i had lots of people telling me, you should try to get inside the groups, you should wear a get inside the groups, you should weara niqab, get inside the groups, you should wear a niqab, you should pretend you wa nt to wear a niqab, you should pretend you want to follow them. i said, no, thatis want to follow them. i said, no, that is a dangerous way to start. i like a very open, journalistic way, maybe with a bit of norwegian na ivete, maybe with a bit of norwegian naivete, saying, hey, who are you? and asking them open questions, and more importantly, listening and listening and listening. most people wa nt to listening and listening. most people want to be listened to. how do you, either with sadiq or ismail and the
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two sisters, or the people you called the khan family, how do you get it so that you can create or recreate conversations without having a tv camera or a microphone 01’ so having a tv camera or a microphone orso on? having a tv camera or a microphone or so on? how do you take notes? how do you write it up? how do you know you‘ve got it right? do you write it up? how do you know you've got it right? with the two sisters, there were lots of conversations. i always went back to the person who told the conversation, who read through and corrected, if needed. even anonymous people have read through, was this how it was? and one of the guys, a great source, he is not really so much quoted, but he was one of their closest friends. he said after reading the book, this was like reading the book, this was like reading my diary. we have a few minutes for questions from the audience. who would like to start us off? the two sisters, really, they
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tried to excel at everything because they wanted to belong. the reality was, and they knew they would never be totally accepted. i am just wondering if that is plausible not? yeah, that is definitely an important point. when you don‘t grow up important point. when you don‘t grow up the indifferent, we can‘t really know. how was it really, to have black skin in norway, in a very white country? and that is part of, at least it is part of the justification, because remember, many of the other somali friends would now be becoming lawyers or doctors or would now be becoming lawyers or doctors 01’ nurses 01’ would now be becoming lawyers or doctors or nurses or economists. so it is an extra challenge, growing up is difficult anyway and of course if you are different, i think, it was also that aspect, it was a bitter abuse by a the salafi organisations, saying you will never be accepted in this country. you may feel accepted
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but you will not be accepted. why be a second—class norwegian when you can bea a second—class norwegian when you can be a first—class muslim? a second—class norwegian when you can be a first-class muslim? it is interesting that the sisters valley and with mustafa, the koran teacher, but the brother didn't. do you think there was a particular attraction for him, to the teenage girls, and this is a wider phenomenon with the teenage girls? i think definitely romance and adventure and strong feelings and emotions were a big pa rt feelings and emotions were a big part of it. not necessarily towards mustafa, but his message, because they were drawn to this message and they were drawn to this message and they felt very special. but it is not, of course... most of mustafa‘s stu d e nts not, of course... most of mustafa‘s students did not end up in syria. there is something, like one of your questions, why these two girls? i think one and part of it you have to explain to personality. you present an extraordinary picture, and as i said, it reads like a novel or a
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thriller but it is factual. can i just close with one thought? where is ismail now, and hissy part of the pattern of hope? he chose norway, and as you said, as he said, if my sisters have not resisted all regretted joining isis, there is no room for them in norway. as you ormeau, through the book, he had gone through some hard times, because he lost his sisters and he went through long periods of depression and sadness and anger and this is now his reaction, that it is their responsibility. on that note, thank you very much. hello. talk of a heatwave, i‘m pretty sure, will be met with cheers and groans in equal measure. that‘s next week. the warming of our weather gathers pace this weekend.
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cloudier skies for some on saturday compared with friday. not all of us are going to be dry, as i will show you in a moment. it is high pressure, settling, drying weather which is building across the uk, you can see the warmer colours moving in as well. the temperatures had up as a further into next week, as we will see in a moment. that said, early risers saturday morning, there will be a chill around. temperatures quite widely into single figures, overnight averages will be heading up as well. as we look at the picture into saturday, cloud around for northern scotland, there will be some outbreaks of rain, especially into the northern isles and quite breezy here compared with elsewhere. elsewhere, light winds and extensive high cloud. the sun will be hazier that it has been. the winds are very light, but quite breezy with the cloud and outbreaks of rain in northern scotland. hazy sunshine though. clearer skies across southern parts. temperatures heading up a few degrees you. elsewhere, many not too much of a difference yet. more of a difference on sunday. the rain will clear away for much of northern scotland in three saturday evening and night.
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a bit early sunday into shetland. elsewhere, under clear skies, temperatures dip, but again maybe not quite as far as they have been doing. more places holding up into double figures. on sunday, high pressure plonked is right across the british isles. the weather fronts being steered well to the north. early rain in shetland will clear away. for most, there will hardly be a cloud in the sky. a little hazy in places, particularly across southern parts, out through some eastern areas of england. patchy cloud in north—west scotland. they are the exceptions to an otherwise glorious part two of the weekend. the warmth begins to gather pace. more of us into the low 20s on sunday. bit of cloud towards north—west scotland on monday. elsewhere, plenty of sunshine. the temperatures go up further, low to mid 20s on monday. it is widely into the mid—20s and maybe upper 20s as well as we look beyond that. the hotspots getting new 30 celsius for the first time this year. it will be a bit cooler on the coast. remember the overnight temperatures warming up a bit as well. high uv and very high pollen levels in places. it looks likely we will make 30 celsius at some stage next week. this is bbc news. our top stories: president trump tries to retake control of the fight over immigration, meeting victims of crime at the white house.
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meanwhile — tent camps for child migrants spring up on american military bases near the mexican border. the un‘s human rights council says venezuela‘s security forces are killing hundreds of young men under the pretext of fighting crime. last minute goals save brazil from embarrassment at the world cup
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