Fake Syrian passports and Europe’s Achilles heels

Last week, our 3rd year Sociology class and I discussed refugees. Syria was the hot topic, and the inability of Greece and other countries to cope with the sheer numbers arriving. We agreed that under resourcing such a problem was problematic.

We came round to the topic of rumours. What about the idea that ISIL /Daiish might come to Europe in unsafe boats along with Syrian refugees? Critics of the idea wondered why they would risk their fighters in such a dangerous trip, when they could fly directly to Europe. We agreed that it was problematic to assume either way.

Labelling MuslimsThere are so many questions about the fake Syrian passport that could be asked:

  1. is the fake passport unique? are there multiple copies of the same name and number in circulation?
  2. are the entry points into Europe lax in checking the identities of refugees, and what can be done about it without restricting the ability of asylum seekers to reach safety?
  3. did ISIL/Daiish want the fake passport found, given that the policing of Muslims and asylum-seeking that is following it fits their explicit purpose of isolating and excluding Muslims inEurope further so that more young Muslims are radicalised?

We will see the politics around questions 2 and 3 play out over the coming weeks, as the EU struggles to maintain a coherent immigration policy already made difficult by the widespread discursive adoption of the term ‘migrant crisis’ over ‘refugee crisis’. How well will the sympathy with Syrian refugees survive as we, (a) are shocked into realising what Syrians have been experiencing in their own country that has forced them to flee, having lost relatives to ISIL or Assad, and (b) are affected by the air of suspicion that will float around Muslim refugees in Europe in the wake of Paris?

http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/syrian-passports-found-scene-paris-attacks-fakes-made-turkey-police-520642631

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