Australian media icon Yassmin Abdel-Magied has been held at the US border, after arriving to speak at a free speech conference in the country. She has tweeted that her passport and phone had been confiscated and has been sent back. While she had not yet entered the country, officials still told she had paradoxically been “deported”.
Ironically, she was due to speak at an event titled “The M Word: No Country for Young Muslim Women”.
Far-right figures in Australia have attacked Yassmin Abdel-Magied, such as George Christensen and Avi Yemini, explicitly for speaking her mind and promoting her ideas.
Radical LNP politician George Christensen declared: “Americans will have to find someone else to divide them and tell them they are nation of racist islamophobes.” The irony seems utterly lost on him. Her deportation for her views, and his willing support of it, proves her very point.
Alt-right ally and Melbourne gym trainer, Avi Yemini, has also supported deportations of political rivals and Muslims, posting: “THIS is why I support Trump’s “Muslim ban”. Can we stop her from coming here too?! #inshallah”
Given Yassmin is an Australian citizen, it should be concerning that Avi Yemini seeks to banish other Australians for their views and their faith.
Further irony to the saga is that one panel Yassmin was due to speak at would cover dealing with online haters and attacks on women. Amid attacks on her rights and freedoms, simply for her views, this incident will no doubt be a case study for freedom of speech.
Conservative blogger Andrew Bolt has refrained from celebrating her censorship in the US, for now, but nonetheless hit out at her, claiming: “Her career should really take off now, regardless of the facts.”
However he later blogged the same day, “CHINA BULLIES: No visas for our ministers, claiming “China is acting like a thug, with bullying tactics that should make us worry even more about its influence here”, for refusing visas for Australian politicians.
Meanwhile, US officials have claimed that they refused her entry simply due to her holding the wrong visa, yet admitted she was still welcome to reapply for entry.