ISIS sympathisers should lose citizenship by default

I see no reason why nations should not revoke the citizenships of returning Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants and sympathisers, as they are fighting for a political Islamist ideology.

Hence, the right to a nationality enshrined as a fundamental human right in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights should no longer be applicable in such a political context (Revoking citizenship has far-reaching consequences, by Ms Shoba Haridas, March 1).

Groups like ISIS are determined to topple rulers, including Muslim ones whom they view as apostate or Westernised.

Such groups have openly boasted of their intent to bring down governments through acts of terrorism.

Much of the world is shocked by their brutality.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs warned Singapore last year that the global threat of terrorism remains high and continues to evolve.

The situation has been made worse by ISIS adherents from countries such as France and Britain travelling to the Middle East to fight with the group, then returning home with skills picked up from the battlefield and training camps.

The threat of "lone wolf" attacks is now considered a bigger danger than groups planning larger plots that can be more easily uncovered.

As such, the law should also change to keep up with the changing present-day terror threats and security landscape, and automatically revoke the citizenships of returning ISIS militants and sympathisers.

Priscilla Poh Beng Hoon (Ms)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 07, 2019, with the headline 'ISIS sympathisers should lose citizenship by default'. Print Edition | Subscribe