Category: News

Should the Nationality and Borders Bill become law?

Three hundred thousand. That’s how many people have signed a petition against a clause in the Nationality and Borders Bill, which, if made law, could give the government the power to remove someone’s citizenship with no prior warning.

In addition to the petition, thousands of people have protested on the streets against the citizenship removal clause in the Bill, which is currently making its way through the House of Lords.

The power of the UK government to remove citizenship is not new. The government can remove citizenship from someone “for the public good” if it doesn’t make them stateless, if the person obtained their citizenship through fraud, or if the person’s actions could harm the UK’s interests and the person could claim citizenship elsewhere.

The Case of Shamima Begum

The most well-known recent case is that of Shamima Begum. Born in Britain, Begum travelled to Syria when she was just 15 to join the Islamic State. In 2019, after she was found pregnant in a refugee camp, she tried to return home to the UK; the British government revoked her citizenship on security grounds, saying her ancestral home of Bangladesh could take her in.

But Begum is not a citizen of Bangladesh and doesn’t hold dual nationality, and has been left stateless, something which is not allowed under international law.

The government has stripped other people of their citizenship before, and the Nationality and Borders Bill could see this happen to more British citizens, all without giving them any advance notice. The government says: “The Bill allows for the Home Office to deprive someone of their citizenship without prior notification but only in exceptional circumstances.” But many minority groups fear they could become second-class citizens if the Bill is passed with this clause intact, punished in a different way to white counterparts for the same crimes, for example.

Read the full article in KMWALTR #003

Chai Event

A chai afternoon held in Chatham has raised more money for the new mosque.

More than £350 was raised after around 40 people attended the event at St. Mary’s Island Community.

Sajid Khan, KMWA trustee, expressed his gratitude to all those involved once again for their support towards the fundraising.

Read the full article in KMWALTR #003

General Secretary Update

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wo barakatuhu.

As the Government COVID guidelines are changing it feels as though we are moving towards more normal times.

With a busy period fast approaching, we are looking ahead to our Ramadan arrangements for April Inshah Allah.

This is a time where we rely on heavier fund raising for the new Masjid and we will ask our Community to once again dig deep whilst we try to push forward with the development.

I want to take this opportunity to say that the Community has given a lot and will continue to give and may Allah subhana wa ta’ala open up our generosity, but ultimately we are using the opportunity given by Allah subhana wa ta’ala to provide for ourselves for now and the hereafter.

Consider the endless rewards of Sadaqah Jaria and how this is multiplied by giving in Ramadan.

Read the full article in KMWALTR #003

Visit to Gillingham Masjid by his Excellency Khalid bin Bandar Al Saud

We were fortunate to host the Ambassador for Saudi Arabia to the UK on Friday 10th December. His excellency Khalid bin Bandar Al Saud attended Gillingham Masjid as part of his visit to the Medway Towns.

We were able to present and discuss with him our plans for the new masjid, the progress so far and the challenges we face.

We also presented our community activities to him and he discussed with us the changes in the New Year to the Hajj and Umrah visas. He stated that visas will start to be issued in 2022 via an easy-to-fill-out electronic form.
We are grateful to our local MP, Rehman Chisti for having arranged this visit.

Read the full article in KMWALTR #002