Tories not behind move to bar ‘anti-war’ British MP, Kenney says

I used the original title. But I think its extremely important to know that Galloway is very pro war, just on the other side. Check these Christopher Hitchens quick pointers on Galloway for examples.

Eeyore for Vlad


From Tuesday’s Globe and Mail

March 24, 2009 at 3:57 AM EDT
From The Globe and Mail:

OTTAWA — Conservative politicians did not instigate the move to bar outspoken British MP George Galloway from entering Canada, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said yesterday.

The Canada Border Services Agency has told Mr. Galloway that an aid convoy he led into Gaza earlier this month amounted to engaging in terrorism and being a member of a terrorist organization because he said he would donate the aid to Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh.

Mr. Galloway, who has four speaking engagements scheduled in Canada next week, is a five-term British MP who was kicked out of Tony Blair’s Labour Party in 2003 for statements opposing the Iraq war.

Mr. Kenney said Mr. Galloway is being barred for providing financial and material support to Hamas, not for his views, and the decision won’t be overruled.

“It’s not about words, it’s about deeds. It’s not about his opinions, it’s about his financial, material support for an illegal terrorist organization,” Mr. Kenney said. The NDP and various aid organizations have accused the Tories of political interference in the border agency’s decision.

The Immigration Minister said he has no power to bar someone from Canada, only to overrule the Canada Border Services Agency if someone is deemed inadmissible. He said he was not “personally” consulted by the CBSA, although his aides were aware of the case.

“There was some discussion in my office, but I could not and cannot give direction to agents of the CBSA, who are not even in my ministry,” Mr. Kenney said.

The Canadian High Commission in London told Mr. Galloway in a letter sent Friday that the post-war aid convoy he led into Gaza made him inadmissible under sections of Canada’s immigration law. Hamas is officially listed as a terrorist organization in Canada.

But Mr. Galloway’s Toronto lawyer, Barbara Jackman, argues the grounds that Canada has cited for excluding Mr. Galloway would make many aid groups terrorists, too.

“If you use that as the indicator of engagement in terrorism, and membership, then the UN organization that assists Palestinian refugees, the Red Crescent Society – they’re all terrorists,” Ms. Jackman said. “Providing humanitarian aid isn’t terrorism.”

The government’s letter says it’s a preliminary decision, however, and invites Mr. Galloway to submit a rebuttal before it is made final. Ms. Jackman is drafting the rebuttal.

She said given the minister’s assertion that the decision won’t be reviewed, the government’s request for his submissions seems insincere. “It’s a setup,” she said. Mr. Galloway has vowed to take the government to court.

Ms. Jackman said new reports make clear that most of the aid provided by the “Viva Palestina” convoy went to the Red Crescent Society, although Mr. Galloway did give about $45,000 to Mr. Haniyeh’s administration.

Though he said in an interview with The Globe and Mail last week that civilized countries don’t bar people for their views, he has in the past advocated barring both French far-right leader Jean-Marie Le Pen and anti-Muslim Dutch politician Geert Wilders from Britain.

“Freedom of speech is not an absolute,” he said about Mr. Wilders in February.

Activists from the Canadian Peace Alliance, meanwhile, say they are organizing a delegation, including unnamed MPs, to drive into the U.S. next week and accompany Mr. Galloway to the Canadian border. He is scheduled to make speaking appearances in Toronto, Mississauga, Montreal, and Ottawa.

“We’ve been overwhelmed by phone calls, messages, e-mails, that sort of thing, since the ban was announced,” said James Clark of the Toronto Coalition to Stop the War. “Ticket sales have actually gone up.”

About Eeyore

Canadian artist and counter-jihad and freedom of speech activist as well as devout Schrödinger's catholic

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