The idea of citizenship in America

The idea of citizenship in America thus came into question as unified patriarchy is an expected response from a country being attacked by another. According to CBS-11 News, federal authorities 'have invoked a rarely-used federal statute – mainly used in past decades to deport former Nazis – to de-naturalize native Palestinian Rasmi Khader Almallah. The government's "Complaint to Revoke Naturalization" claims Almallah paid a woman for a "sham marriage" in 1981 that helped him gain permanent residency and then American citizenship in 1988. 3 A similar reaction was felt on the shores of Britain.

Prime Minister Tony Blair supported George Bush in his quest for war and sent British troops to fight in Afghanistan and Iraq. Closer to the home front, and the government introduced an emergency legislation that enabled foreign nationals-legally resident in the UK to be detained for an indefinite period of time without being charged or given a trial. During this period of great instability, ten men, suspected of posing a terrorist threat to Britain were arrested and imprisoned. They were not tried and are yet to be charged however, according to the Home Secretary, they were a risk to national security.

The U. K knew they were ok to do this as the only other option for the men is deportation to their countries were they will almost certainly face the death sentence for the alleged crimes. Such practice is against Article 9 of the International covenant on civil and political rights,1966 of states that; 9. 2. Anyone who is arrested… shall be promptly told of the charges against him. 9. 3. anyone arrested… shall be brought promptly before a judge… and shall be entitled to a trial within a reasonable time or to release.

4 Section 13 however, states that although a legal alien can choose to be or simply be expelled from the requirement of the covenant. This seems contradictory as the need for the human rights act in the first place was to protect human rights, not jut that of the citizens. As Dicey, 1915 argued, the due process of law is characteristic of the English constitution. 'No man can be punished or made to suffer except for a breach of law established in the ordinary legal manner by the ordinary court of the land. In other words, an individual is innocent until proven guilty and should remain so within English law.

However, as stated above, these weren't British citizens thus such rights to a fair trial were diminished. Reports coming from Belmarsh prison in south London where the majority of the detainees are held, indicate that several are close to mental breakdown, indeed, one has been admitted to Broadmoor, a high security mental hospital. It is known that some of the others are literally beating their own heads against their cell walls. Questions are therefore raised of the morality behind such an unlawful detention which contravenes basic human rights to freedom. It also questions citizenship and the people we as British citizens have chosen to be representatives of us.

The introduction of these legislations were intended to send out a sharp message to potential terrorists. A message that Britain would not tolerate such acts or treats of terrorism. However, the main hurdle for such legislation was the stigma that was now attached to Muslims and the suspicion that was placed among them due to the fact that the terrorists were Muslim and had claimed that their acts were carried out in the name of their religion.

The terrorist's had called for Muslims around the world to join them in their 'holy war' and this therefore left Muslims in the west being under great suspicion and unfortunate victimisation. Some even questioned if Mosques were breeding grounds for terrorists however the Muslim community frequently made statements condemning the act of 9/11 stating clearly that it was against their religion for such acts to be committed. It didn't help however, when four British nationals were captured fighting against the British in Afghanistan. This fanned the flame of suspicion and caused many to doubt the loyalty of the British Muslims. This proved that citizenship did not always equate to loyalty.

Police raids seemed more and more to be concentrated around Muslim areas and this created resentment within the Muslim community for the British government and society. They began to feel like they were being treated like second class citizens and this is a seen And some argued that this simply encouraged young British Muslim males to be more readily enticed by the idea of fighting for the Taliban and other Muslim terrorist groups against the west. The British government also launched an ad campaign that called for people to be vigilant and report suspected terrorists.

This also aided in the social exclusion of muslims as people were more suspicious of them than an other group and put reports in against them more than any other group. The invasion of Iraq was greatly unpopular with the British public who protested in their thousands against it. Many saw it as illegal and this in itself highlighted that the idea of a united Britain. They were united in something that they commonly believed was morally and legally unjust. This more than anything, showed the meaning of citizenship for the British people. It did not mean blind loyalty as can often be thought, but rather, it meant having a democratic right to protest against something you didn't believe in or agree with.

In conclusion, the war on terror had an immeasurable effect on the idea of citizenship. As is often the case, when there is a period of social and political upheaval, people tend to stick together and there is an increased sense of patriotism. This was no different in the wake of the war on terror. The Americans created the Patriots Act and although some opposed the fact that the act legalised the invasion of their privacy, they supported the governments effort to protect them and they came together against the common enemy.

Stricter controls put on those who weren't citizens of America also shows that the outside threat of terrorism caused a re-evaluation of the trust placed on 'outsiders' In the same way the British people exercising their democratic and civil right to oppose the decision made by the government, shows their utilisation of the benefits of living and being a citizen of a western democratic society. Citizenship after the war on terror has also caused many to feel like outsiders and others feel ignored. For example, even after great opposition by the British people about the war on Iraq, the government still embarked on war. A decision that made many get the impression that their democratic right as citizens were being compromised.