Iceland deports Iraqi teenager from church shelter

“Sometimes the police has to do something that’s unpopular,” the man in the suit said. Then he waved his hand, two cops stepped behind the altar of the church and dragged out a sixteen-year old Iraqi boy. Another refugee was followed out by the man in the suit.

The priest made a brief and unsucessful attempt to bring the officials to reason.

Iceland has a strict policy against refugees. If they come through Europe, chances are they’ll be deported. The trick is, there’s no other way in. Refugees get “processed” and then bounced back to whichever bit of Europe originally registered them. The men apprehended at church tonight are two Iraqis who had come via Norway. The authorities there, in their infinite and mysterious wisdom, consider parts of Iraq to be safe, meaning both of them face deportation in the fjord-ridden Kingdom. They came to Iceland in a last-ditch effort to get rescued from this blind blithering madness, but their applications were swept aside. Today, they were told, they’d be flown out.

In the night they sought sanctuary in Laugarneskirkja, a small church in Reykjavík. The church published a statement saying it would provide them shelter, but not resist if the police came. The decision would be left to the consciences of policemen. The cops didn’t hesitate. They arrived just before 5am, and after a bit of talk, some scuffles and shouting they left with the refugees fifteen minutes later, leaving people shocked and crying at the church’s entrance.



These events transpired only hours after the Icelandic national footabll team won its biggest victory ever. It remains to be seen whether the nationalism now burning the brains of people here will make them ignore these news in annoyed embarrassment, or if it will make them say loud and clear that this won’t do at all. The church might continue to offer sanctuary to refugees fleeing the Icelandic state. But it will take public pressure, and probably a harder line by the clergy, to make church sanctuary worth more than just the word.

Iceland deports Iraqi teenager from church shelter

22 thoughts on “Iceland deports Iraqi teenager from church shelter

      1. Eloise says:

        There are so many countries in Europe, why would someone go to Iceland, knowing their strict immigration policy ?


  1. Eloise says:

    And while I believe that certain european countries do have a moral duty to help middle-eastern refugees as they are somehow guilty of the chaos there (I’m thinking of France, Great Britain…), I don’t really see why Iceland should be forced to loosen its immigration laws if it does not want to do so….


  2. Mary says:

    The biggest shame is that European coountries are not able to send them to sanctuary and safety in the UAE, Qatar, KSA, Kuwait etc. – these countries should demonstrate at least a modicom of sympathy towards their fellow arab, muslim and Middle Eastern citizens where they would integrate a lot better. However everyone would rather beat their breasts over Europe.


    1. That’s because we are in Europe. We don’t control the Sultanates, and if we want to help them become democratic to make these decisions in some dignified way, we can also do that by working on European policies. These states are not theocracies and dictatorships for no reason.


  3. Nana Glez says:

    It is very difficult to change the mentality of people. Fanaticism in the Islamic world is a fact and Europe will suffer greatly in the future.


  4. Vasko says:

    Well, here Benjamin, is my opinion. It may contribute to this blog.
    Before someone exercise their compassion, it’s good to backtrack and see if your heart is in place. You can’t love humanity without loving your own country first. It starts from your mother as a child, your family, your city, your country and than the world. Nothing ever gets solved by immigration.

    Iceland can not help immigrants. Only immigrants can contribute to the host society. If you need a common sense injection here is a simple video to watch:

    Now for those with big hearts, there are millions of ways to help people in need.
    Let’s say that you even let 2 Iraqis in by braking your own law. You don’t think there won’t be million others on their way? It is already the case in other places. (In the meanwhile we complain of having too much tourists that spend money)
    Let’s say you change your own laws. You try to welcome everyone and see what happens. This is no matter of compassion dear ones. To me it is a lack of basic knowledge of society and unhealthy liberal approach for ones own satisfaction. Don’t mean to offend anyone, but the laws are there for the benefit of the native people. If you kill your host, you will die yourself.

    Never-ending battle. Emotions over reason. I’m glad I live in a reasonable society. 🙂


    1. Having witnessed the problem of global misery from more than the Icelandic side, I am sad to say that this is not reasonable. If you don’t see how sending an Iraqi teenager on his way back to Iraq is unreasonable, I can’t help you.


  5. Vasko says:

    That is exactly my point. It is a global misery problem that you are not going to solve with emigration.
    Impossible!!! If you wish to help this Iraqi people, start a movement and fight the government not to be part of military organization that had direct impact on their miserable lives. There are so many other things you can do to attack the real problem.
    Letting people in is just easy way to feel that we did something for the word, but in fact we didn’t do much.


      1. Vasko says:

        And by helping few how is that fair to the rest of them that need help? Or is it first come, first served?
        And how many can you let in?
        Can you let in 60 million displaced people around the world?
        So I disagree with your last coment. Do more of what needs to be done, and certanly immigration is not it.


  6. Aglaja says:

    I’m Italian and we have a lot of refugees here. I’m proud of my country and all italians when we help people who have just one fault: they are born in the “wrong” side of the world. It’s a moral duty to help them. Other european countries need to stop being so unreasonable and start helping people. We need to face the misery that we create through our wars across the world. Iceland is a USA partner and Iceland agreed when USA invaded Iraq (2003) so take your responsabilities and help people that we ruined. Those laws are just a coward way for pretend that the refugees are not an Iceland’s problem. And it’s not a good topic say “we can’t help all of them so we help no one”.

    For Vasko: my mother teachs me every day to love human beings, then to love all the rest. If you don’t love all the countries and all the people, you can’t love your country and your people. As you can see, everything is relative.

    Sorry for my English. Thank you.


    1. Vasko says:

      Aglaja. you made some good points. If the politicians were people like you, there wouldn’t have been displaced people at the first place.
      This topic can go so many ways, and it is already starting to shift in many directions.

      For Mister B.J: You don’t bother to backup your believes with more than one unargumentative sentence, and therefore you can’t help anyone.


  7. Arne says:

    We just need to look at Sweden and its decline to understand that Iceland does not want to go the same way. Swedish police warns Stockholm’s main train station is now overrun by migrant teen gangs ‘stealing and groping girls’. In a once peaceful city such as Malmö, there is now violent crime and even those who voted Green and welcomed ‘refugees’ move away from non-Whites. There were 30 bomb and hand grenade attacks within just half a year. Migrants are very racist against Whites in general, but this is totally ignored by the government.


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