The decision by the Home Office to strip Shamima Begum of her British citizenship is dangerous and sets a deeply problematic precedence.
With this decision, the Home Office has effectively created a two tier system, sending an alarming message to all ethnic minority Britons that there are two classes and that their British citizenship is a political decision away from being withdrawn.
Unease at the Home Office’s decision is not in defence of Begum, but of our inalienable human rights.
Begum was born, raised – and radicalised – in Britain, and she is Britain’s responsibility regardless of what callous actions she takes or horrendous crimes committed. She should be brought home to be questioned and assessed by security officials and social workers, and tried and prosecuted in a court of law.
While no one is defending Begum in her reprehensible and appalling move to join ISIS, the Home Office seems to have neglected the fact that she was a minor when making that move, and discarded the basic human rights and our country’s responsibility towards Begum’s new-born child.
The Muslim Association of Britain is deeply concerned by this decision and calls upon the government to rescind it and to take assertive steps to bring Shamima Begum and her child back to the UK. Only then can due process be carried out, and the rehabilitation of Begum begin.
Muslim Association of Britain
20th February 2019
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