This past Sunday, independent right-wing journalist Lauren Southern was detained, and ultimately denied entry into the UK at a border crossing in Kent. Southern, who is a self-described “libertarian nationalist,” was told that she was being investigated under Schedule 7 of the UK’s Terrorism Act 2000.
Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000 gives the UK government the right to stop, search, and detain individuals suspected of terrorist proclivities at various points of entry into the UK.
In a speech delivered in front of a scanty gathering of right-wing European Parliament MPs on March 14th, Ms. Southern described her ordeal with the Kent border police. She was being held, apparently, for distributing a certain type of leaflet in Luton on the 24th of February this year.
“What exactly was this highly subversive, hate-filled material that Ms. Southern was distributing at the time?” the more curious minds among us might ask. Well, as Ms. Southern explains, she was conducting a social experiment based on a Vice article from 2015 titled, Was Jesus Gay? Being the provocateur that she is, Southern went to Luton posing as a left-winger and distributed a pamphlet which claimed, among other things, that “Allah is gay.”
Now, one may choose to react to such a stunt in whatever manner that one chooses. Do a dance, have a pint, or yell repeatedly at the computer monitor in the style of Alex Jones on a Red Bull binge if you like. But regardless, to the more reasonable souls among us, this would hardly qualify as “hate speech” or “terrorism.” In fact, as Southern pointed out, if it is acceptable for Vice to question the Christian Prophet’s straightness, then why was she sanctioned for making similar claims about the Islamic God?
Now, in the hierarchy of holiness, Gods generally surmount the mere prophets. So perhaps the UK would have been slightly more miffed by the Vice article had it hurled homophobic hate speech toward the entire Holy Trinity as opposed to just scrawny little Jesus. Unlikely, though, my instinct tells me. But this is tangential reverie and fruitless speculation.
Back to the facts. After being detained on March 11th, Ms. Southern was released the following morning, on Monday the 12th of March. She was told that she could not enter the UK due to the “racist” content that she admitted to distributing in Luton. Ms. Southern maintains that, although she admitted to distributing pamphlets in Luton, that at no point did she “admit” to UK border police that the content she distributed was indeed “racist.”
Several prominent individuals came to here defense, including former UKIP chief Nigel Farage, as well as anti-Islamic extremism policy consultant, Maajid Nawaz.
Yet curiously enough, perhaps the individual whose voice is most desired to be heard at the moment has remained mute. The person to whom I refer, of course, is none other than the world’s most conspicuous moral panderer, arch showman, and dreamy-eyed great guy, Justin Trudeau. He is also the Canadian Prime Minister in his spare time (ha, ha).
This was a point being made by several commentators on social media, including the always-erudite Professor Jordan Peterson:
Yet Ms. Southern, as a Canadian citizen, has been afforded not merely a squeal from a man who seems to have an opinion about everything- granted that the squeal in question boosts his progressive, liberal credentials. He has marched in Toronto’s Gay Pride parade, repeatedly spoken out against the menace of Islamophobia, and perpetually reminds us just how big, bigger, and indeed, the biggest feminist he really is of all time.
But when it comes to defending the rights of a young journalist whose views do not align with his own, Mr. Trudeau has shown his true colors. He has exposed himself as suffering from an affliction that too many on the left seem to suffer from today, that is to say, a defense of free speech and free expression as long as the speech aligns with one’s own views. Which is precisely not the point of free speech at all, Mr. Trudeau.
Mr. Trudeau, when asked some time ago why it was so important for him to have a gender-balanced cabinet, responded with slightly more than a modicum of smugness, “because it’s 2015.” Well, it seems that in 2018 Mr. Trudeau needs to be reminded that a commitment to free speech means a commitment to speech that one doesn’t necessarily agree with.
I would wager that it is precisely because Mr. Trudeau doesn’t genuinely embrace this fact that he has remained silent on the Lauren Southern affair. The world awaits his words with exasperation.