This article examines the domestic and international pressures since 11 September 2001 on the liberal democratic asylum regime practised within the European Union. It looks at three areas of confrontation. The pressures exerted upon national governments by anti-immigrant and anti-asylum seeker/refugee far right populist parties. It examines the attempts by the European Union and its member states to arrive at a Common European Asylum System in light of policy developments over the past 20 years, and places these long-standing processes within the events of 11 September 2001. It discusses whether or not the liberal democratic tradition of asylum embodied in the Geneva Convention of 1951 been sacrificed to the dual pressures of the electoral victories of the far right in Europe and a new form of terrorism that threatens European societies.