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Iraqi Refugees in the United StatesThe Enduring Effects of the War on Terror$
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Ken R. Crane

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9781479873944

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: September 2021

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479873944.001.0001

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Belonging 2.015

Belonging 2.015

(p.108) 6 Belonging 2.015
Iraqi Refugees in the United States

Ken R. Crane

NYU Press

The year 2015 saw historic levels of refugee movements out of Syria, Iraq, and North Africa to Europe, which coincided chronologically with terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino. The Republican presidential nomination campaign singled out refugees from Syria and Iraq as existential threats, and the “Islamophobia Industry” mainstreamed an anti-Muslim discourse in the presidential primary, naming Arab refugees as a potential fifth column, leading to the passage of the American Security Against Foreign Enemies Act (HR 4038). The seismic sociopolitical shifts of 2015 shaped the experience of belonging among Iraqi refugee youths. Iraqi youths employed multiple strategies in confronting the disturbing ways in which they were being profiled in the public arena. One important strategy was in calling attention to a counternarrative—the proactive and positive ways that the local Muslim and Arab community was reaching out across cultural and religious barriers to mobilize against hate.

Keywords:   refugees in Europe, Islamophobia, presidential primary, fifth column, HR 4038

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