Minister Frances Fitzgerald Threatens Removal of Citizenship

Inconsistency in the Irish position on terrorism

Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald produced a most interesting statement today, concerning  Irish citizens travelling to fight in the Middle-East.

In the event of any information being brought to my attention, raising doubts about the good character of any naturalised citizen, I will not hesitate to invoke the statutory process, which is in place for the consideration of revoking citizenship.

I’d be fascinated to know precisely what our Justice Minister means by the term “good character” in a military conflict, and I’d be even more interested to find out if the Minister will apply this principle even-handedly across the political and religious spectrum.

I think we all agree that beheading and similar savagery by  the likes of Islamic State is utterly repellent.  I think we all agree that Islamic State needs to be crushed.  We can probably all agree that mass murder of the citizens in a town is despicable, beyond all human decency and worthy of absolute repudiation.  We can probably concur that mass bombardment of civilian populations by tyrannical regimes like IS and Bashar al-Assad is entirely unacceptable.

All well and good.  Irish naturalised citizens who travel to Iraq or Syria and carry out beheadings or crucifixions should certainly be stripped of citizenship, as should those who engage in mass slaughter of civilians.   They should be jailed.  No decent society can possibly condone such behaviour.

It’s definitely evidence of bad character, which seems to be the Minister’s criterion.

However, in the interests of balance, will Frances Fitzgerald also remove citizenship from anyone who took part in the Israeli beheadings of Palestinians in Gaza, or does beheading have to be done with a knife before it becomes despicable?  Is complete dismemberment by high explosive a different issue?

In the interest of balance, will Frances Fitzgerald disenfranchise any Irish citizens who participated in the artillery bombardment of Gaza, causing widespread terror, or is terror only dispensed by crazed Islamists?  Is it relevant to one’s good character that more explosive force was exerted in that narrow strip of land than occurred in Hiroshima?

Gaza bombardment

For that matter, will Frances Fitzgerald revoke the citizenship of everyone who has ever participated in mass-terror?  Will that include people who fought for Middle-Eastern regimes, guerrilla movements, religious extremists, the Israeli Defence Forces and the United States?

Let’s be consistent about it.  We’re great people for nit-picking consistency here in Ireland.  We love our rules and regulations and therefore, if we’re really opposed to terror, could there be anything that fits the description of mass terror more neatly than Donald Rumsfeld’s vision of Shock and Awe?

Will Frances Fitzgerald issue an international arrest warrant for Rumsfeld?

While we’re at it, in the interests of consistency, why doesn’t Frances Fitzgerald remove citizenship from those religious-extremist Irish citizens who participated in the oppression of women?  We’d all support that, but we can’t avoid looking at our own backyard where only a few weeks ago, a young girl was forced to have a Caesarean section so that her rapist might become a father.

I look forward to the time when Frances Fitzgerald tries to deprive the people responsible for that of their citizenship, but I won’t hold my breath.  When shallow, small-town politicians huff and puff about terrorism, we know we’re dealing with lightweights looking for a cheap sound-bite.

8 thoughts on “Minister Frances Fitzgerald Threatens Removal of Citizenship

  1. The world is in such chaos and disarray right now. When there is mass fear and confusion such as this we get knee-jerk reactions from politicians. They make statements that they haven’t thought through properly. I don’t think Frances is qualified for the position she finds herself in and is running scared as are many politicians around the world. There will be extreme reactions and fuck ups.

  2. You have exposed the hypocrisy succinctly. I look forward to one day reading an intelligent article about the birth, nurturing, grooming and financing of this despicable group of violent men and possibly women terrorizing Iraq and Syria. Not that Iraqis and Syrians aren’t equally culpable in the slaughter of their own people and neighbours. And for whose gain is all this death and chaos? Will Frances Fitzgerald in her enlightenment heed the call of the Palestinian Authority Minister for Foreign Affairs to prosecute nationals who join the Israeli Army to savagely murder and maim and dispossess unarmed Palestinians not only in Gaza but on a daily basis in the Occupied West Bank. Your point about cruelty at home is well taken.

  3. Mary Mac is looking forward to an intelligent article about the birth, nurturing grooming and financing of this despicable group. My advice: Go immerse yourself in the culture for a few years any you will get a good insight. You might also want to read The Arab Mind by Patai although I’m pretty certain his conclusions might sit somewhat uncomfortably.

  4. I am totally in sympathy with the western governments condemnation of the atrocities, including horrific executions, carried out in Syria, Iraq, and Palestine. I have not heard any similar condemnation of the barbaric executions carried out in Saudi Arabia. Could the reason be oil?

  5. Ken, Governments are really only interested in their own vested interests, primarily commercial ones – large corporate contracts will take precedence over individual human rights–they practice Realpolitik. Western governments peddle the high moral ground of their promotion of human rights however the reality is very much influenced by National, strategic and commercial interests.
    That can be difficult for people to accept who have grown up with a strong sense of due process and understanding of their rights under the law.

    No.8. All executions are barbaric whether there carried out following a complicated judicial process or by some homicidal bearded mystic who can hide behind his/her twisted interpretation of a noble religion. These particular executions are not carried out reluctantly but rather they are revelled in and glorified by the perpetrators who try to outdo each other’s barbarity through the very public humiliation, degradation and the butchering of fellow human beings.

  6. Your gombeen advice about immersing in the culture ( which one?) doesn’t deserve an energy consuming comment as it exposes your very little knowledge of real people in real places that are foreign to you. FYI I have lived and worked in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Saudi Arabia over a period of ten years, have lived amongst the poorest in refugee camps and the wealthy in their palatial apartments, have delivered healthcare across the wide spectrum of ethnic, religious and wealth divides from the bedouin to the King, the war wounded to the newborn. There is no single culture that describes the diversity of the people that inhabit that vast area and there is no single”Arab Mind”.

  7. “Your gombeen advice about immersing in the culture ( which one?) doesn’t deserve an energy consuming comment as it exposes your very little knowledge of real people in real places that are foreign to you”.

    I have a similar pedigree to you Mary. I spent 10 years in the Middle East providing healthcare in locations as diverse as a refugee camp on the Southern Iraqi border, visiting prisoners in Saudi jails, and looked after many high profile individuals. I have looked after a wide range of clients including some who lost their lives brutally at the hands of terrorists.
    These were real people in real places. Why would you arrogantly assume otherwise?. Whilst enjoying the diversity and uniqueness of the disparate groups I had the pleasure to work and live with, nevertheless it was my experience that certain cultures have nuanced characteristics which related to a combination of their educational background, cultural and religious beliefs and all manner of other factors. I retain and value continued strong friendships with many in the Middle East. Some that I had the pleasure of befriending are well-placed if given the chance to drive real change in the Middle East. For my own part, awareness of cultural nuances has helped me to avoid inflicting unintentional insults on my hosts and at times probably kept me alive. That is a luxury that some of my colleagues did not live to enjoy.You may not agree with my view Mary Mac, perhaps my Gombeenman handle misled you. My apologies.

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