Leiden Law Blog

Citizenship of Jihadists

Citizenship of Jihadists

The fresh breeze of the Arab spring is transforming into icy storms of horror in the West. This spring breeze has now become the smell of death in this ongoing civil war in which many Western radical Muslims are participating. Now these Jihadists are returning to European soil. This means that their perilous atrocities are no longer restricted to Syria, but are also becoming a nightmare for Europe. This reality has been confirmed by the Intelligence Services, such as the Dutch AIVD in its 2013 Annual Report. Yet this seems not to have awoken the West from its slumber until it started to pay a high price, for example in the form of the terrorist attacks on the Jewish Museum in Brussels by a French Jihadist. In what follows, I will elucidate this menace by means of these two cursive notions.
Jihadism’ is the terrorism of this century. According to the Dutch Penal Code, terrorism aims to terrify the nation or a part of it, or to undermine the fundamental political and constitutional structure of the state. Both menaces are thus currently visible in Europe.
French’ can be broadly understood as designating citizenship in its generality. Coincidentally, it was also France, and the French Revolution, that introduced us to the modern meaning of the term citizenship. That is to say the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms, as was described in the Déclaration des droits de l'homme et du citoyen. Yet, it is paradoxical that a state would consider someone to be a citizen and, therefore, protect his rights and freedoms, so that he can, subsequently, undermine the foundations of that very same state. It would be more logical that this citizenship and entitlement to fundamental rights and freedoms should be revoked and withheld from the one who aims to undermine the very existence of that same state, even before his return to European soil.

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