The Home Office saw fit recently to detain and expel three journalists and activists from the UK. Nationalist activist Martin Sellner and journalist and activist Brittany Pettibone. The most notable of the three was Canadian journalist Lauren Southern. The Home office cited ‘distribution of racist material in Luton’ as a reason for her detainment under article 7 of the counter-terrorism laws. The literature in question was a leaflet that read ‘Allah is gay’. To make the situation even more laughably terrifying. Kent police phoned Southern’s father who cannily recorded the phone call in which the police even admit that they know she isn’t a threat and detained her until their hour-long interrogation in which she had no rights was almost up and handed her over to the French border guards who swiftly dumped her on the other side of the border wall in Calais. So why the abuse of power and waste of police resources over one Canadian journalist?
This material distributed earlier this year was satirical in nature but otherwise highlighted a common criticism of modern Islam in its lack of inclusivity of LGBT people and mirrored similar depictions from various LGBT publications of Christ being a gay man. The basis of freedom of speech and expression in the UK was fundamentally founded as an opposition to Blasphemy laws, the last of which were officially removed from common law in 2008. It seems that through other means they are making a comeback. This claim of racism over a clear mockery of a homophobic ideology is clearly a sign that its fine to criticise religion in England. Just not the wrong religion. We have clearly abandoned free speech entirely and created a state apparatus that allows for any government in power to persecute and indeed prosecute any and all individuals who hold the wrong opinion.
The Home Office deems a largely Right-Wing Libertarian Journalist as enough of a threat to the nation to officially and permanently ban Her from entering the UK. For the crime, it would seem of Blasphemy. Surely the materials distributed matched the policy of the Government to be more inclusive to LGBT people and what better to accomplish this than to marry it with the most progressive religion of them all. I’m sure Queers for Palestine haven’t been banned from the UK.
The claims of racism over these leaflets really makes less sense than why Southern would be banned in the first place as it would suggest the Home Office is identifying everyone who follows Islam as a race. Which makes little to no sense as Islam is, in fact, one religion that doesn’t really feature race in any of its major texts or has any racial component to its practice and propagation.
The Home Office has refused to specify why they have denied any of Southern or her ideological fellow travellers entry into the UK. We must make some wild speculations in that case as to what this Government’s agenda really is. It can’t really be in the nation’s best interest to stop these individuals from entering the country. It’s clear it doesn’t like what they have to say but in taking this drastic action they are merely setting up the same system which will suppress them if a despotic party gained control of the commons. This sort of practice is very common amongst governments who seem to believe they’ll always be in power forever and ever amen, amen, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, and therefore will never have to relinquish the reigns to the opposition.
The motivation perhaps was the same as the motivation to cover up the sex trafficking rings all over the North of the UK. Cover up the problem so you can come up with more complex solutions which curtail individual liberty. The fact terror legislation is being used against a 22-year-old Canadian journalist as a proxy for blasphemy laws instead of the ISIS fighters we know have slipped through the net back into the UK is disgraceful. At least we now know the Home Office’s position on homosexuality and divinity. It’s okay to be Gay unless you’re someone else’s God. You wouldn’t want to risk inflaming religious tensions.