The Question of Salah Sheekh. Derrida’s hospitality and migration law

International Journal of Law in Context – tekst in pdf
Hospitality is a self-contradictory concept. Both inclusionary and exclusionary forces are present at the very threshold of hospitality. This article shows how this contradiction works in the practice of migration law. The author takes a Dutch case, the case of Abdirizaq Salah Sheekh, to reveal the force of this contradiction from the moment the asylum seeker arrives on the territory, all the way through to the end of his story at the European Court of Human Rights. The case is, in fact, a symptomatic indictment of how aliens are treated in the Netherlands and, in a more general sense, in Europe as a whole. This article not only demonstrates how the question of hospitality commences with language − the moment we start communicating with the alien − the author also argues that in the violent collision produced by the the two contradictory demands of hospitality, a new subject is created. Not only is the migration procedure questioned, but also the subject of migration law.