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FINAL POST: Security Implications of the Refugee Crisis


As some of you may know, there is a refugee crisis going in Europe. A majority of the refugees are coming from Syria and Iraq, fleeing the barbaric violence of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, commonly known as ISIS. These violent religious extremists are trying to expand their control over the region between both Syria and Iraq to install what their name implies, an Islamic State. The problem is that while they expand, they are killing those who do not adhere or adopt their extremely harsh version of the Islamic faith. On top of this, the Syrian government is also killing those they deem as rebels, and those who support them. The combination of violence from both parties has left many cities in ruin, with the dead in mass graves to demonstrate what happens to those who oppose them. Those who do not want to fight against either party take their families, and run. They move from one city to the next, trying to find safety, anticipating when ISIS soldiers will come to their city next. After months of doing this, many families find themselves at the border of another country.

Several governments throughout Europe have made an effort to house the refugee population. Turkey has been able to house a majority of the refugees, but are seeking financial assistance from the countries who refuse to give the refugees asylum. A massive amount of money is needed in order to give the new population the social services they need. Since over half of the refugee population are children under the age of 18, who need to continue their education. Turkey recognizes that the majority of refugees are educated individuals who also need jobs, which Turkey is happy to oblige with. Given the wave of recent attacks in Paris and Beirut, countries accepting refugees are increasingly concerned with the prospect of having ISIS operatives concealing themselves within the refugee population, waiting to stage an attack.

Ever since the war in Syria has begun, there have been people leaving their home countries to fight. A current estimate is that 20,000 fighters from western countries have gone to the either Syria or Iraq for these purposes. Since the sides of the conflict are so blurred together, it is easy for ISIS recruiters to convince foreign fighters to fight on their side, convincing them that they are the “good guys”. Once a member of their organization, they are sent to various battle grounds and fed increasingly intense propaganda to brainwash them into accepting their extreme ideologies. As we saw in the Paris attack, a majority of the attackers were French or European citizens who returned from Syria and launched the type of attack world governments were afraid of. It is understandable for the citizens of the governments accepting refugees to be concerned over this particular security threat. This is has been especially evident in our own country with our recent political debates being over the 10,000 additional refugees coming into our country. However, this fear is being inflated considering that after 2009, the security screening of refugees has made it so only 1% of global asylum seekers get admitted into the United States. Then only after one year do they get to apply for citizenship, which subjects them to even more security screening. All of which is conducted by a host of three and four letter agencies with the greatest amount of intelligence assets in the world.


This video is heavily biased against refugees, relying on heavy fear mongering, but it does portrays very real security concerns -however inflated they may be-.

Since the war on terrorism began, the US has chosen a new target for racism. Although we hate to admit it, this is completely normal; unacceptable, but normal. During each and every conflict the US had partaken in, we demonize the ethnic group that we are at war with. In this current war, it happens to be the Muslim population, and anybody that looks like them. Things have gotten so out of hand that Mosques an US citizens have been attacked on the streets simply because of their religious beliefs. Additionally, there is an increased demand for security from all aspects of society. People want to be protected from the next boogey-man. After 9/11, the US gave up a huge amount rights in order to feel more secure. The implementation of the Patriot Act, made it so the government can surveil a majority of the population in the hopes of preventing another attack. But as information gets leaked out about how much spying the government actually does on us, the more uneasy we get about how much power we granted to them. Given the current climate of fear after the San Bernardino shooting, we then have to ask ourselves how much more freedom we are willing to give up. Are we willing to arm the police with so much weaponry in the name of national security that we have armed patrols walking down the streets, giving the 2nd Amendment advocates something legitimate to worry about; after all, the difference between an offensive and defensive weapon is the direction the muzzle is pointed. How far will we allow our fear of a terrorist attack to go if it means giving up more rights of our fellow citizens, and preventing a suffering population to wait out in the cold as we decide whether they can be trusted? If we allow ourselves to succumb to the fear of the unknown, we are giving up what it means in this country to be an American. What will the land of the free and the home of the brave do in the face of adversity? Close its’ doors, or open them?



Doocy, S., Lyles, E., Delbiso, T. D., & Robinson, C. W. (2015). Internal Displacement and the Syrian Crisis: and analysis of trends from 2011-2014. Health And Conflict, 9(33), 1-11.

Jenkins, B. M. (2015). The Implications of the Paris Terrorist Attack for American Strategy in Syria and Homeland Security. Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs United States Senate. Washington D.C.: The Rand Corporation.

Jones, S. G. (2015). The Syrian Refugee Crisis and U.S. National Security. Committee on Judiciary Subcomittee on Immigration and Border Security United States House of Representatives. Washington D.C.: The Rand Corporation.

Kazem, H., & Dart, T. (2015, October 9). US Muslim leaders brace for protests with potentially armed demonstrators. Retrieved from The Guardian:

Moodliar, S. (2014). Militarism, Mass Surveillance and Mass Incarceration. Socialism and Democracy, 28(3), 77-83.

Pierini, M., & Hackenbroich, J. (2015, July 15). A Bolder EU Strategy for Syrian Refugees. Retrieved from Carnegie Europe:

Piggott, M. (2015, November 14). Paris Attacks: Anti-Islam protesters disrupt peaceful demonstration in Lille, France. Retrieved from International Business Times:

Pope, A. (2015, November 17). How We’re Welcoming Welcoming Syrian Refugees While Ensuring Our Safety. Retrieved from

Roussell, A., & Neuilly, M.-A. (2015). Lecture. Washington State University. Pullman.

Sedgwick, R. (2015, October/November). Primer on the Islamic State. CIAO Focus.

Taras, R. (2013). ‘Islamophobia never stands still’: race, religion, and culture. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 36(3), 417-433.


How Do We Create Racism?

Setting the Scene

Counterterror Policy

Mobilizing people to hate

One of the most useful ways to get a society to hate something is by using propaganda. This involves building the solidarity of a group (Group A), and then demonizing a different group of people (Group B) that are dissimilar to their own; the greater the phenotypic disparity, the easier it will be. The leaders of Group A will likely tell the group members that they are better than other groups, pushing this idea of exceptionalism. The norms of Group A will be praised for being righteous, while the norms of Group B will be condemned as being inferior.


  • Capitalism
  • Organic food
  • Veganism
  • Eco cars
  • Crossfit

Group A will often oversimplify a complex issue, and distill it into bite sized factoids that their members can easily recite against dissenting opinions. What happens is people will receive a snapshot of an issue without any context or additional information. In some cases, groups will fabricate evidence to use against the other so they can give the perception of credibility. Typically, the louder a group claims to sell the “truth”, the more they are trying to mislead. The side with the most information (regardless of credibility) will have the advantage. Since people like to place things in boxes, they will have to choose whether to put the snapshots of Group B in the “GOOD” box, or the “BAD” box. Since Group A wants to maintain its solidarity, they will use propaganda to convince people that anything dissimilar to their own values, is inherently bad, and should therefore be put into the “BAD“ box. The more vivid an image Group A can form about Group B, the easier it will be to mobilize their members against the one another.

What catalysts have historically been used to incite conflicts between groups?

What happens when the conflict subsides?

When the conflict eventually comes to an end, both parties involved will dissolve back into the larger society in which they came. Although the conflict has ended, the emotional tension will likely continue. The world will still remember the pictures the propaganda campaigns painted about Group B, not realizing that it was propaganda, but still accept it as their own belief. In today’s society, a groups’ physical appearance is what places them into a stereotype. A recent example of this is what is coined as Islamophobia. Post 9/11, people who resemble those who are of Middle Eastern or Central Asian descent receive a wide range of attacks, from verbal threats to physical assault. For many, preserving their cultural identity by dressing in traditional garments puts them at greater risk of attack.



  • Are we seeing new targets for racism?

Of these wars, what derogatory words or images come to mind?

  • WW2 (Germany, Japan)
  • Vietnam War
  • “Cold War”
  • Korean War

Main Questions

-With the current wars being waged on terrorism and drugs (foreign and domestic), what political and legal outcomes can we expect to see as it pertains to institutional and societal racism?

  • Who is involved?
  • What is the fear?
  • How does this change in regards to proximity to the conflict?
  • Whats the other sides perspective?

-How might this perpetuate or reinforce the cycle of hate between the groups?

-How can we end this?

Another Lecture for your perusing:



Cassino, Daniel and Peter Wooley.  “Some News Leaves People Knowing Less.”  Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind Poll, 21 November 2011.

Garth S. Jowett and Victoria O’Donnell.  “What is Propaganda, and How Does It Differ From Persuasion?,” pp.1-46

Globalizing the local, localizing the global. (n.d.). Retrieved October 4, 2015, from

Michael Hirschorn.  “The Truth Lies Here:  How Can Americans Talk to One Another – Let Alone Engage in Political Debate – When the Web allows Every Side to Invent Its Own Facts.”  The Atlantic, November 2010

Robert J. Gula.  Nonsense:  Red Herrings, Straw Men, and Sacred Cows:  How We Abuse Logic in Our Everyday Language. Mount Jackson, VA:  Axios Press, 2007.

What does my headscarf mean to you? (n.d.). Retrieved October 6, 2015, from