English dream over: British Muslims reduced to ‘second-class’ citizens, reveals new report

A new report has revealed that British Muslims have been reduced to ‘second-class’ citizens in the United Kingdom.

According to a report published by the Institute of Race Relations (IRR). recently extended powers have given successive UK governments the power to remove citizenship from those who have access to another nationality. They “almost exclusively” target Muslims with South Asian heritage, according to the think tank.

The report, written by the IRR’s vice-chair Frances Webber, comes amid renewed controversy around Shamima Begum, the British Muslim who at 15 years old was smuggled into Syrian territory controlled by the Islamic State extremist group.

“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,” read 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 six million British citizens with access to another citizenship can feel confident in the perpetual nature of their citizenship,” it continued.

Even though the government has said that the laws would be used only against those who were judged to be threats to national security, the report also said that the reasons for losing one’s citizenship have become more ‘nebulous and undefined’, thereby increasing the likelihood of the arbitrary action.

No citizenship had been revoked in the thirty years prior to Abu Hamza, a Muslim preacher who was stripped of his nationality in 2003. Since then, the citizenship of at least 217 people has been removed, according to the report.

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