- “Despicable, loathsome Galloway shouldn’t be banned”
- Thank you SO Much for the gifts, George, say Hamas
Comment at end
20th March, 2009
I have copied this article as it has been reported. No comment. OK – just this one – the ‘INFANDOUS’ GG. New word on me! Thanks, Canada.
OTTAWA — Immigration Minister Jason Kenney will not intervene in a decision to ban British anti-war MP George Galloway from Canada despite opposition claims of censorship.
Galloway termed the decision “idiotic” after Citizenship and Immigration Canada deemed the outspoken politician inadmissible on security grounds. He was exploring his legal options Friday, vowing to fight the ruling with “all means at my disposal.”
Kenney’s office noted Galloway has expressed sympathy for the Taliban cause in Afghanistan and provided financial support to the Palestinian group Hamas, listed in Canada as a terrorist organization.
Speaking in Calgary on Friday, Kenney said that while he has authority to overrule his officials, he will not provide special treatment to the 54-year-old Scottish MP.
Galloway “last week publicly called for a coup d’etat in Egypt and the overthrow of the government there while at the same time delivering aid and resources to Hamas, which is a banned illegal terrorist organization,” Kenney said.
“In this case, I believe folks that are supporting and promoting and helping terrorist organizations are not needed to visit Canada.”
Galloway was to speak Monday at a Toronto conference entitled Resisting War from Gaza to Kandahar, hosted by the Toronto Coalition to Stop the War, and at a public forum in nearby Mississauga the next day.
Galloway, banned from Britain’s Labour party in 2003 and now sitting as a left-wing Respect MP, issued a statement calling the decision “irrational, inexplicable and an affront to Canada’s good name.”
“This idiotic ban shames Canada,” he said. “This … is a very sad day for the Canada we have known and loved – a bastion of the freedoms that supporters of the occupation of Afghanistan claim to be defending.”
He said the ban “may be a rather desperate election ploy by a conservative government reaching the end of line, or by a minister who has not cottoned on to the fact that the George Bush era is over.
“All right-thinking Canadians, whether they agree with me over the wisdom of sending troops to Afghanistan or not, will oppose this outrageous decision. On a personal note – for a Scotsman to be barred from Canada is like being told to stay away from the family home.
“This is not something I’m prepared to accept.”
It’s not the first time the government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper has been linked to a controversial decision to bar entry to high-profile activists.
In October 2007, officials banned two U.S. peace activists from speaking at a Toronto conference – Medea Benjamin, co-founder of CodePink, and retired U.S. army colonel Ann Wright, who has been arrested at various peace rallies.
And a day before U.S. President Barack Obama’s inauguration, authorities barred Prof. Bill Ayers from attending a conference hosted by the University of Toronto.
Ayers, who teaches at the University of Illinois at Chicago, is a former founding leader of the radical left Weather Underground, which was responsible for a series of bombings and three deaths in the 1970s.
Ayers was thrust into the limelight during last year’s presidential race when it was learned he had served on two non-profit boards with Obama and that the future president had attended a gathering at his home in 1995. The controversy eventually dissipated.
Harper’s government has also waged a long-running battle with Arab groups in Canada over their policies and statements on Israel. It recently ended a funding arrangement with the Canadian Arab Federation because of “objectionable statements” by its president and others.
In Winnipeg, Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff suggested that, on the face of it, the decision does not appear justified. But he cautioned that security officials might know something he doesn’t.
“I have never in a long life of listening to George Galloway heard a single sentence out of his mouth that I believed,” said Ignatieff. “But that’s not the issue.
“We let into Canada all kinds of people who say ridiculous and absurd things and Galloway has said his share of ridiculous and absurd things. The issue … is whether the security services know something about George Galloway that I don’t.
“If he’s being barred on free-speech grounds, that’s an outrage. He can come to Canada and talk rubbish all day long, as far as I’m concerned. If there’s a security threat, that’s another matter. I’ve heard no evidence yet that he presents a security threat.”
NDP immigration critic Olivia Chow said the ban perpetuates a pattern in which views that contradict those of the Conservative government have been suppressed. She said the Tories have adopted an “unhealthy, isolationist, bunker mentality.”
“The minister of immigration is becoming the minister of censorship,” Chow said in an interview. “We don’t have to agree with everything Mr. Galloway talks about.
“But, at bare minimum, they should be allowed to express their points of view so Canadians can make decisions themselves. This is pure censorship and it’s wrong.”
The decision received rave reviews from two of the country’s most prominent Jewish organizations, B’nai Brith Canada and the Canadian Jewish Congress.
“We applaud the government for its explicit recognition that individuals who glorify terrorism, and promote hatred be denied access into Canada,” said a statement from B’nai Brith’s executive vice-president, Frank Dimant.
“By logical extension those who support the pro-terrorist agenda of groups like Hamas and Hezbollah, whose avowed aim is the destruction of the Jewish state, should not be given public platforms to spew their vile messaging.”
He asked Ottawa to review its Anti-Terrorism Act and “close all legal loopholes that would allow for the open glorification of terrorism.”
Said congress CEO Bernie Farber: “George Galloway enables terrorism. In so doing he puts Canadian civilians at risk and comforts those who fight our soldiers in Afghanistan. The government’s decision was the right one from legal, security and moral viewpoints.”
Kenney’s spokesman, Alykhan Velshi, called the decision to bar Galloway a “matter of law” taken by border officials in accordance with Section 34(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, which bans those who provide material support for terrorist groups.
Velshi point out that American celebrity homemaker Martha Stewart was denied entry into Canada under the previous Liberal administration after she served jail time for insider stock trading.
Also reported here at Lambeth Walk
Canada ban: Galloway faces his accusers a Jewish Defence League (JDL) “Terrorist”
The accusation is that the Jewish Defence League has influenced TOO strongly the decision to ban Galloway from Canada. Galloway says it is an issue of Free Speech and that the present Canadian government will soon be out of office. Such a clever chappie, this GG, don’t you think? He can see the future. So can we all Galloway. So can we all.
From the YouTube page: The decision to ban George Galloway from Canada seems odd, but now it emerges that the Jewish Defence League (JDL) pressured the Canadian Government to so the action takes on sinister connotations for Canada, why? Because the Jewish Defence League are according to the FBI a Terrorist Group. In its report, Terrorism 2000/2001, the FBI referred to the JDL as a “violent extremist Jewish organization”. This “violent extremist Jewish organization” now it seems has power and influence over the Canadian Government.
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