Andrew Dickens: The real danger in stripping Kiwi Jihadist of citizenship

Andrew Dickens,
Publish Date
Tuesday, 5 March 2019, 11:59AM
Taylor, also known as Mohammad Daniel and Abu Abdul Rahman, burnt his New Zealand passport after going to Syria to fight for Isis. Photo / Supplied
Taylor, also known as Mohammad Daniel and Abu Abdul Rahman, burnt his New Zealand passport after going to Syria to fight for Isis. Photo / Supplied

It was gratifying, but not very satisfying to see that everything I said yesterday would happen around the Kiwi Jihadi has happened.

Obviously, nobody wants this loser radical, originally from Hamilton who radicalised himself in Brisbane and went to Syria seemingly in search of someone to have sex with.

ISIS doesn’t want him. Actually, ISIS doesn’t exist. Syria doesn’t want him. The Kurds don’t want him. The Aussies definitely don’t want him. I don't want him, you don't want him, Simon Bridges doesn't want him and the Government doesn't want him.

But as the Rolling Stones song goes, “you can’t always get what you want." We may not want him but everyone else says we have to have him.

So yesterday I asked the audience, 'what do you want to do about Mark Taylor' while warning you that eventually, we’ll have to take him back because that’s the way the world runs migration law.

That caused a howl of outrage but it’s just the same as when Australia deports Australian raised New Zealanders back to New Zealand because they’re bad eggs. In this world, at the end of the day wherever you have citizenship is where the responsibility for the individual eventually lies.

Even the border conscious, United States, gets this urging notion to take back their Jihadis and prosecute them under their own laws.

But the callers kept coming and small groups of right-thinking conservative callers said just strip his citizenship and let him rot wherever he falls, and they got increasingly angry with me when I said you can’t do that legally or morally.

And this is the most concerning part of this debate.

When you strip a person of their citizenship, you strip them of their legal existence. They become a non-person with no rights, no home, no verifiable proof of their existence. It’s a very worrying concept.

The only regimes I’ve seen that created non-persons was Nazi Germany, who declared Jews as non-persons.  Pinochet in Chile created non-persons who then just disappeared.

In the George Orwell book Nineteen Eighty-Four, an Un-person is someone who has been vaporized, murdered and erased from society, the present, the universe, and existence.

Giving a state the universal ability to strip a citizen of his or her legal existence is all very well when you have a kind, caring and moral Government. But if you’re country is run by bad guys, it’s a very bad thing indeed.  Frankly, I don't want this country to be like Nazi Germany, Chile, Slovenia or George Orwell's Oceania.

I’m always confused by the right thinking conservative mob, that phones so full of surety that the state should be able to strip all your legal rights.  They’ll also phone and say that the state should be able to enact a death penalty.

But you can be sure they will also phone and tell me that the state should not be telling me what light bulb to use or how long I should have a shower for.  Or that it’s criminal that the state takes my money in taxes. The philosophy is that state can do whatever it wants as long as I approve of it.  They are true totalitarians and they're even more scary than some snowflake socialists.

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