The news that Shamima Begum has lost her legal challenge over the decision to deprive her of British citizenship is incredibly alarming. It sets a worrying precedent in the UK, particularly for Muslim and racialised communities. It suggests ‘Britishness’ can be called into question and revoked, leaving a person stateless and without fundamental rights.
Deprivation of citizenship without notice, as set out in the Nationality and Borders Act, reaffirms the concept of who is welcome in the UK and who is a threat. Since 2010, the majority of those who have been stripped of British citizenship are Muslims with South Asian, Middle Eastern or North African heritage. Shamima Begum has been characterised as the archetype of that threat despite being a victim.
If we are to challenge these discriminatory immigration and security policies then we have to continue to raise awareness of divisive ideology aimed at marginalised and racialised communities in the UK. We must stand in solidarity with Muslim communities and all those affected by this law.
Image: Al-Hawl Refugee Camp, Syria, where Shamima has been living. Achilleas Zavallis/Guardian/The Guardian