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Conflating the Muslim refugee and the terror suspect: responses to the Syrian refugee “crisis” in Brexit Britain

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>30/09/2022
<mark>Journal</mark>Ethnic and Racial Studies
Issue number14
Number of pages20
Pages (from-to)2450-2469
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date30/04/19
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The Syrian refugee “crisis” has prompted contradictory responses of securitization of European borders on the one hand, and grassroots compassion on the other, that posit a universal conception of the human deserving of equal rights to safety irrespective of racial or religious difference. However, in the aftermath of the 2015 and 2016 Paris terror attacks there has been a backlash against refugees amid fears of Islamist terrorists exploiting refugee channels to enter Europe, as well as an upsurge in a populist nationalism framing Brexit and anti-Muslim hostility following recent UK terror attacks. I argue that the convergence of the “Muslim refugee” and the “terror suspect” as threatening mobilizes a racialized biopolitics present in intersecting counter-terrorism and asylum regimes that prioritise security concerns above human rights. I advance the Concentrationary Gothic as a framework for understanding continuities in logics of racial terror framing the “Muslim question” within the Syrian refugee “crisis.”.