Conflating the Muslim Refugee and the Terror Suspect: Responses to the Syrian Refugee ‘Crisis’ in Brexit Britain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The Syrian refugee ‘crisis’ has prompted contradictory responses of securitisation 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 mobilises 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.’

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
JournalEthnic and racial studies
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2019