ColumnistsVogue Williams

Vogue: I like Lily Allen but I disagree with her ISIS comparison

Lily Allen in tears at the camp in Calais (Image via BBC)
Lily Allen in tears at the camp in Calais (Image via BBC)

There has been a huge amount of controversy following Lily Allen’s comments while visiting the migrant camps in Calais.

Lily broke down in tears as she ladled soup for a migrant child and apologised to him on behalf of Britain for bombing his country and forcing him to risk his life to get to the U.K. 

I don’t agree with the amount of flak by the media and by online trolls for a comment she made while quite clearly in a distressed state. 

I know she stands by her comments and, to some extent, I agree with her.

The only part I disagree with is her comparing the British Army to the Islamic State. 

“Isis kill innocent people...they cause horrific pain and destruction across the world, so do we,” she stated.

The Islamic State is a terrorist group intent on wiping out anyone who doesn’t fall in line with what they deem acceptable. 

They burn people alive, throw gay men off buildings and decapitate people on a whim. 

That is just a small part of what they do and they have left the British army no choice but to step in and try to stop them.

I like Lily Allen, I always have. I like her honesty, she is intelligent and I think she uses her huge social media following and presence in the public eye to raise awareness for great causes. 

She visited the migrant camp because it was a cause close to her heart. She wasn’t being paid and I don’t care if she had a freshly-done manicure – which is one of the reasons people had a go at her – that has nothing to do with why she was there. 

I follow her on Twitter and have seen how she feels regarding the crisis in Calais for a very long time.

She most certainly does not deserve the abuse she has been receiving.

I really feel quite strongly about the migrant crisis; it’s just devastating that so many people have been left living in unsafe and unsuitable living conditions for so long.

I know it will be hard on the economy of any country which accepts migrants, but it’s the only humane thing to do. 

Yes, we have to continue to protect our borders, but surely in a world filled with such violence and hate, when we have the chance to help and be empathetic in such a dire situation we must act.

People ran from Ireland during the Great Famine because they had no choice. Our ancestors either stayed and starved or left and had a chance of survival. 

What if the Irish famine victims had been treated with the same disregard. Where would they go? What would they do if other countries had not allowed our citizens in? 

I am in no way saying I have a solution to this problem, all I am saying is that I know we all need to do more to help.