Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Tag Archives: Syria

From refugee, to hospital cleaner, to national hero

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Hospital cleaner, Hassan Akkad, pulled at the nation’s heartstrings when he Tweeted a video in May with an urgent message to the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson. In the video, shot in his car wearing his NHS hospital scrubs, an emotional Hassan complained to Mr Johnson that he felt “stabbed in the back”. Why? Because the government had […]

Bombardment of Damascus 90 years later: Two questions around the Responsibility to Protect

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France bombed Damascus 90 years ago as a reaction to the Syrian revolt for independence. France held the mandate over Syria under the League of Nations authority. The day after an attack against French troops, France bombed the city for 48 hours. It is said that between 1000 and 5000 people died. Bombardments continued the […]

Against the criminalisation of foreign fighters with the discourse of terrorism

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Last week, interior ministers of the 15 countries sitting at the UN Security Council met to discuss foreign fighters. They did so as part of the follow-up of Resolution 2178 (2014), which defines foreign fighters as people “who travel or attempt to travel to a State other than their States of residence or nationality, and other […]

Europe’s Syrian Jihadists Spark Worry As They Return Home

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Not unlike the Spanish civil war in the 1930s that spawned the famous Brigadas Internacionales, military units made up of lefty civilian volunteers from all over the world, to fight Franco’s fascist regime, the Syrian conflict has attracted thousands of young European muslims. These men are now beginning to trickle back home, perhaps a little […]