British Muslims made ‘second-class citizens’ after govt citizenship powers


Muslims in the UK are being made “second-class citizens” in the wake of government powers to strip citizenship with no notice, a new report has warned.

Published by the Institute of Race Relations on Sunday, the report warns that the Nationality and Borders Act has been used to target British Muslims.

“The message sent by the legislation on deprivation of citizenship since 2002 and its implementation largely against British Muslims of south Asian heritage is that, despite their passports, these people are not and can never be ‘true’ citizens, in the same way that ‘natives’ are,” said Frances Webber, vice chair and author of the report.

“While a ‘native’ British citizen, who has access to no other citizenship, can commit the most heinous crimes without jeopardizing his right to remain British, none of the estimated 6 million British citizens with access to another citizenship can feel confident in the perpetual nature of their citizenship.”

Before 2003, when deprivation of citizenship was used against preacher Abu Hamza, the strategy had not been used for 30 years, Webber added. But since the Hamza case, there have been at least 217 instances of deprivation of citizenship, with numbers ramping up significantly following the collapse of Daesh.—AN


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