Galloway and supporters are hypocrites

By Rob Breakenridge, For The Calgary HeraldMarch 31, 2009

As the nation’s media waited with bated breath, a federal court judge ruled Monday that controversial British MP George Galloway would not be coming into Canada.

However, in a somewhat-less-ridiculous world, whether some blowhard Brit addressed a few dozen radical antiwar types would matter not a whit.

Indeed, visits to Canada by Galloway in 2005 and 2006 warranted scant attention, and a speech just last week in New York drew only about 100 people –including the Canadian reporters who were there because of this controversy.

At least according to this judge, Ottawa’s decision to deny Galloway entry into Canada was legally correct, but it was also a needless decision and, frankly, the wrong one.

This is more about the rights of those Canadians who invited him here to speak: freedom of speech obviously entails the freedom to hear.

Justice Luc Martineau was right to say that “non-citizens do not have an unqualified right to enter . . . Canada,”– but Galloway is no “threat” beyond the queasiness one might feel after listening to him. Although Galloway’s defenders are in the right here, their sudden zeal for freedom of speech seems to me to be very sudden indeed.

In fact, many of Galloway’s supporters–including his biggest fan (himself) –ought to avoid the words “free speech” altogether, be-cause we can easily see how spectacularly uncommitted they are to the very notion. Continue Reading →

Ezra Levant to US congress. A pithy and important speech and some cold warnings as a foreward

From Ezra Levants own blog:

Levant to Congress: put Canada on the watch list of human rights abusers
By Ezra Levant on July 11, 2008 8:50 PM | Permalink | Comments (77) | Trackback (1)

I had the pleasure of making a presentation as an expert witness to the U.S. Congress’s bi-partisan human rights caucus today.

I didn’t count, but I’d estimate that there were over 100 people there. I met quite a few readers of my blog, and even a donor to my legal defence fund — what a warm welcome in a far away city! There were a surprising number of journalists, including Luiza Savage, Maclean’s magazine’s Washington Bureau Chief. And there were a lot of religious liberty NGOs, including those from the Bahai, Hindu and Buddhist communities — including several in bright orange monk’s robes.

As a Canadian, I had forgotten that, in the U.S., every Congressman (and certainly every Senator) has their own foreign policy staff. Many such advisors were present, as well as lawyers from the U.S. Department of Justice, the House Justice Committee, and the State Department.

My fellow panellists were impressive, especially the Turkish scholar whose specialty was documenting the treatment of apostates in Muslim countries, and the State Department lawyer who is the point-person in response to the international diplomatic campaign to have criticism of Islam criminalized. And — very usefully — the second secretary of the Pakistani Embassy was there. It was very striking to hear, directly from the source, the plans that Pakistan and the rest of the Muslim world have when it comes to censoring their critics through the twisting of Western legal apparatuses. It was like getting a glimpse at the other team’s playbook — and having our worst fears confirmed. Frankly, I was surprised that she showed up.

I’ll get into more details in a later post; it was a fascinating discussion, and the question-and-answer session was particularly clarifying. But for now, allow me to post my prepared comments. I’ve put in bold a few of my favourite comments. If I had to think of my most important suggestion, it would be for the U.S. Congress to add Canada to its watch list of countries that abuse human rights like freedom of speech and freedom of religion. What do you think?

Continue Reading →