Moazzam Begg & a reflection of the meaning of ‘citizenship’

POLITICS Passport 1

Moazzam Begg, the UK Muslim activist for raising awareness of the plight of the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay and other detainees held as part of the War on Terror, has faced a series of harassment from the UK government. Culminating recently in having his British passport confiscated while he was returning back from his speaking tour in South Africa.

Although the UK government didn’t accuse Moazzam of advocating Terrorism while in South Africa – (unless they thought he had paid his respects at the funeral of former-terrorist, Nelson Mandela. However, I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t consider Nelson Mandela a terrorist, since despite being the head of a terrorist organisation that killed civilians, Mandela fought for a Secular Liberal state, and so justificari fide sola, he’s not considered a ‘bad guy’ by the West – unlike if he was Muslim and had called for Islam using the same methods).

The UK government has harassed Moazzam for his tireless work highlighting UK complicity in U.S. torture and rendition of UK citizens, and had stripped him of his passport by ‘Royal Prerogative’ because it was deemed that his ability to travel was ‘against national interest’. Many times, the UK has not only stripped a passport off of a citizen, but also citizenship itself, as UK Home Secretary Theresa May put it ‘Citizenship is a privilege, not a right’. Many individuals have citizenship stripped conveniently in time to be killed by drones, extraordinarily renditioned to U.S. prisons, or simply tortured in another country. One recent example was Mahdi Hashi, who had his citizenship removed before he incarcerated in a deep dark hole in Djibouti being tortured on behalf of the U.S. (well, I guess ‘outsourcing’ is the ‘modern’ way of doing things). His ‘crime’ was ‘extremism’ and refusing to spy for Mi5 – he was never charged with any terrorism offenses.

This teaches us two clear lessons. One, for anyone still under the illusion that the UK is a free country just because critics aren’t instantly arrested like they may be in some other countries, think again. The West learned long ago, that arresting people at the beginning makes political martyrs out of them. The best policy is by using ‘soft oppression’ by demonise them in the media, generating social antipathy towards them enough, restrict their movements by taking away people’s right to possess a passport, and limit who can hear them by preventing any public venue from granting them a platform (although the UK government have launched a new report ‘Tackling Extremism’ which promises to bring a whole new arsenal of government powers to use against dissenters).

The second lesson, is that for people who consider themselves British, like any religion, British Nationalism has a Church – this Church is the British government. And like the old Catholic Church, it can excommunicate any ‘heretic’ from its communion, and in the world, this means stripping you of your rights. In Liberal ideology, it is the state that provides rights to people, making them citizens. People that do not have citizenship, have little to no rights (just look at the little obligation countries have to foreign refugees under the UN charter). Yes, that right, politicians can decide your worth for rights.

What did you expect from the man-made system of Secular Liberalism? If rights do not come from God, then they come from man. And if rights come from man, then man can take away those rights. Man giveth, and man taketh away.

The next time any of you feel pride in your nationality, just remember, nationalism is like a kids game of ‘pretend’ (or make believe). Nationalism is only a fantasy ‘given reality’ by men choosing to pretend it is true. However, when you are excluded from the game because the leaders of the game don’t like what you say, then you’ll see just how much reality a fantasy really has.

To read a detailed explanation of the events that happened to Moazzam Begg, please read the article here.



Categories: Nationalism & Patriotism, NEWS COMMENTARY, UK. Europe, North America & Muslim communities in the West, WRITINGS

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