nsnbc : The Senate of the Netherlands, on Tuesday, approved a law that would revoke the Dutch citizenship of jihadists with dual citizenship. The Senate approved the law amidst growing concerns over jihadists who have joined groups like Jabhat al-Nusra or the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq who could return to the Netherlands.
The legislation allows the Ministry of Security and Justice to revoke the Dutch citizenship without the need for a trial. The law has prompted a vigorous debate. While some cite security concerns, others stress that revoking the citizenship without trial sets a dangerous legal precedent and violates basic rights.
Others claim that the law is unnecessary because revoking the citizenship was unnecessary because returning fighters with dual citizenship were banned from entering the Netherlands anyway.
Yet others note that the legislation merely makes it more easy for radical Islamist organizations to maintain their strength because it makes it more difficult for those who have joined them for reasons of misguided idealism and who become disillusioned once they face the realities of combat and life under ISIS or Al-Nura rule to desert and return.
Rigorous rehabilitation programs could be more effective than forcing disillusioned jihadists to stay with the insurgents, say some experts. Rehabilitation programs parallel to an eventual open and transparent trial and eventual imprisonment were also suggested.
Front page of the Danish newspaper Weekendavisen, early 2012 – Similar images were published in the Netherlands. Does propaganda radicalize youths?
However, the Senate voted in favor of revoking citizenship for dual citizens who joined the insurgent groups, but failed to adopt legislation that could make it more easy for those who only have Dutch citizenship to reintegrate and to be rehabilitated. As for now, the legislation merely stipulates that the Minister will inform the court about the revoking of citizenship if the citizen doesn’t appeal within four weeks.
The exact number of jihadists from EU member States who joined ISIS. Al-Nusra or similar groups is unknown. Estimates compiled by intelligence services from EU member States in 2013 indicated that more than 10,000 persons from EU member States were fighting in alongside insurgents in Syria.
It is noteworthy that relentless propaganda directed against the Syrian government, the overt financing of « moderate rebels » and narratives about « moderate rebels » and freedom fighters are likely to be major contributing factors with regard to making especially younger people feel that it may be illegal, but that it is « legitimate » to join insurgencies.
CH/L – nsnbc 08.02.2017