Citizenship and ISIS

In the issue surrounding Shamima Begum and Hoda Muthana, a debate arises as to the situation of their citizenship. As for Shamima Begum, she left her family in the UK and joined ISIS in Syria while she was 15 years old. As for Hoda Muthana, she left her family in Alabama and joined ISIS in Syria too. In the case of Shamima Begum, the UK had remained adamant when she requested to come back to the country and continue living with her family. The UK has disowned her and said that she is not a citizen of their country. The same case applies to Hoda Muthana. According to international law, every person has the right to belong to a state. So, their countries should not strip them of their citizenship.

The question as to where the Shamima Begum and Hoda Muthana should go if they remain stateless should not arise since everyone has the right to be a citizen of a particular country. British law says that one’s citizenship cannot be stripped if the person has no other citizenship. In the case of Shamima, she has the discretion to choose between being a British citizen or a Bangladesh citizen. Her mother being a Bangladesh, her bloodline allows her to be a citizen of Bangladesh and should be revoked once she is 21 years.

Should the UK strip her of her citizenship as a result of her behaviour, she should then return to Bangladesh and resume citizenship legally. As of the case of Hoda Muthana, America is not entitled to strip her of her citizenship. If if the American government strips her of her nationality, she will have nowhere to go, which is against her fundamental human rights. The American government should accept her back, however dangerous they think she is and rehabilitate her if need be to do so.