The U.K. was Right to Deny Lauren Southern Entry
By spreading hatred and intolerance, Southern had her privilege of travelling internationally revoked
Opinions / April 16, 2018
It seems as if Surrey-born “alt-right” political personality Lauren Southern has finally angered the wrong group—in this case, the government of a very powerful nation.
While trying to gain entry into the United Kingdom on March 12, Southern was detained in France by border officials. According to the BBC, Southern had “displayed flyers saying, ‘Allah is a gay god’ outside a restaurant in the town centre” a month earlier in the English town of Luton. They say that this is the reason for her not only being denied entry into the U.K., but also being permanently banned.
A spokesman for the U.K. Home Office told the media that the reason she was denied entry was that “Southern’s presence in the U.K. was not conducive to the public good.”
I’ll admit; I am a huge fan of the show Border Security. Be it the Canadian, American, or Australian version, border agents always say that they have the right to refuse entry to anyone who may pose a threat to the nation’s security. Another thing they say is that being allowed entry to a foreign country is a privilege, not a right.
Whether Southern was genuinely trying to enter the U.K to peacefully discuss Islam or spread hatred is unknown, but it seems as if she forgot that travelling across borders is a luxury when she presumed that the U.K. would welcome her with open arms.
This isn’t the first time that she has incited controversy. Southern has made inflammatory remarks against Black Lives Matter and said that rape culture is not a problem in the West. Yet, for some reason, she is referred to by multiple media outlets as a “right wing activist.” I view this as an insult to actual activists who advocate for social causes and human rights issues.
Why? Because, in May 2017, Southern “was detained by the Italian Coast Guard for trying to block a ship that rescues stranded refugees,” according to The Langley Advance.
No activist would be okay with refugees being left alone in the middle of the sea to die.
Her “activism” is anything but. Amira Elghawaby of the National Council of Canadian Muslims said in an interview with Vice News that “Southern’s commentaries and coverage have attempted to evoke fear in Canadian audiences about the presence of Muslims in Western nations.”
Southern claims that people should be able to freely question other religions, including Islam. But when asked by Slate’s video editor, Aymann Ismail, if she knew which percentage of Muslims are terrorists, she said no. Then, she added, “But I know there’s a large percentage that are quite radical.”
There’s only one problem with Southern’s comment: There’s zero factual evidence to support it.
No matter how you twist it, as soon as you denounce a person because of their race, religion, sexuality, or gender, you are a bigot. If Southern wants the freedom to question Islam, as she claims, then she must be willing to listen to both sides of the argument and must adhere to the facts.
Anyone spreading hatred is a viable threat to national security, rational thought, and peace. This is a threat that effects everyone. I am a staunch believer in free speech, but hate speech should not be protected. That’s something that people conveniently forget when they wish to espouse their racist or hateful views.
Ultimately, this boils down to our individual choice—the choice to oppress others or not. While Southern does have the right to express her ideologies, she is not immune from how people who disagree with her will respond. In this case, the United Kingdom chose to respond by banning her from their nation.
The U.K. made their decision, and that is a consequence that she will have to accept.