In the modern age, we like to think we have privacy on the internet to state our opinions under the cover of anonymity. But the recent revelations about privacy (or lack thereof) and social media sites like Facebook have made it much clearer that you are never really anonymous anywhere on the internet. Other people don’t mind being recognized or even openly attacked for their opinions – in fact, they thrive off of it.
One far right Canadian activist recently took her opinions offline and started handing out leaflets that said, “Allah is a gay God” and “Allah is trans” back in February.
22-year-old Lauren Southern claimed that her actions were part of a social experiment in a video that she posted on Thursday, March 22. Now she has apparently been banned from the UK due to her leaflets, which the UK deems to be racist and against the law.
The video was titled, “‘Allah is Gay’ – Here’s What Happened in Luton,” and she continuously defends her actions. She says she was trying to see what would happen if she promoted LGBTQ messages in a predominantly Muslim community.
A Home Office Spokesperson was quoted on the incident, saying, “Border Force has the power to refuse entry to an individual if it is considered that his or her presence in the UK is not conducive to the public good.”
In the video, Southern defends her decision to hand out the leaflets, saying she wanted to see, “what would happen if we played the role of LGBT social justice warrior activist and set up a stall to celebrate LGBT diversity within the Islamic community.”
The video also shows portions of the day itself, as she is scorned by passerby for her blatantly controversial flyers – the exact reaction that Southern was likely looking for in the first place. Eventually, the young woman is told by the police to leave as she is apparently causing quite the disturbance.
To add to the confusing situation, she concluded in the video that her experiment actually, “highlights a double standard in Western societies: why is it racist to say Allah is gay, but not Jesus is gay? Why do the rights of Muslims to be homophobic trump the rights of gay people to have their self-expression?”
Apparently the police interaction was the conclusion of the incident for the moment, until she attempted to enter the UK but was stopped and questioned by border guards for six hours in Calais in early March.
As many people do these days, Southern decided to also take her opinions over to Twitter. She posted, “I’m not kidding about this, but during my questioning by the UK police I was asked about my Christianity and whether I’m a radical. I was also asked how I feel about running Muslims over with cars.”
A security official was quoted on the subject, saying authorities denied her entry to Britain because her presence was “not conducive to the public good.”
Do you think Southern is right in thinking this is unfair, or is the ban for the best in the end?