Sputnik: Some activists in other countries have branded the proposed measure of revoking jihadists' citizenship as undemocratic. What is your opinion on this?
Martin Sichert: We see that this can just be the first step in the whole package of measures that we need because we get massive security problems in the countries, the terrorist attacks are rising and we have fences around festivals and all this stuff's coming up over the last years. And so we see that this revoking of the citizenships of jihadists can only be the first step in the whole package of measures that we need. We see some people, especially from the left, criticizing this as being undemocratic but we see that the enemies of the democracy and all the jihadists are the enemies of the democracy. We don't need them and don't want them in our country.
Sputnik: Can you please define what would you call or what can qualify a person as a jihadist and how would that be determined?
Martin Sichert: A jihadist is a person that is having extremist opinions; that wants to have the whole world being under Islamic control and have one big caliphate around the whole world. Those are people that work in all the countries around the world to get such an Islamic caliphate. Two of the most well-known jihadist organizations are Al-Qaeda* and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (Daesh*).
Sputnik: Would a person have to be affiliated with one of these organizations or would they just have to have extremist thoughts?
Martin Sichert: They just have to have extremist thoughts and convey these extremist thoughts to other people. They don't have to be terrorists themselves. They can also be teachers in the mosques and all these people that teach others to act in an extremist way, to say only Islam is the one and only religion and all the other people are worth less than Muslims and all these things that we know from extremist organizations. That's the big problem about jihadists. There're some like Al-Qaeda or like the Islamic State (Daesh) that you can see openly, that you can fight easily. There are many people working in the background to get people to have extremist positions.
Sputnik: How is this going to technically work? How would you go about proving this, and who would be in charge of doing this? Would it be the judicial system?
Martin Sichert: That's a really good question because the party that brought that up is the CSU and its secretary Horst Seehofer has brought this up. But he hasn't shown the whole concept behind that point, how this should work in a practical way. We're a constitutional state and we have laws. And in these laws, of course, there has to be developed a concept by the Government now, how this will then work in practice with court decisions and all these things.
Sputnik: By revoking somebody's passport where would you send them if their only place of citizenship has been Germany?
Martin Sichert: We have many people with dual citizenship in Germany and those people should have their [German] citizenship revoked, but you can't revoke the citizenship of someone who has only German citizenship. Because if you revoke the citizenship of someone with only German citizenship, he has no citizenship anymore and that violates his human rights.
Sputnik: We also wonder if the same thing should apply to any extremist thought, because would you do the same thing to the right-wing, to fascist people, people who are nationalists, right-wing nationalists?
Martin Sichert: It is a phenomenon, the jihadism is a phenomenon. It's a right-wing jihadist phenomenon. Because these people, they fight to establish an Islamist country, and yes, of course you have to fight extremism of all [stripes]. And we see this is what our Government has now brought up, working on the symptoms, because they don't want to really get in touch with all the causes of the problems that we have. And one of the big problems that we have is that we have mass immigration of people coming into this country without [controls to determine] what they have in mind and where they have come from. And so we have war criminals from Syria here in Germany, we have many Islamistic extremists like the jihadists coming into our country.
Al-Qaeda and Daesh are terrorist groups outlawed in Russia.
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The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.