George Galloway not much of a security risk
It seems that members of Canada's "peace" movement attending Monday's Resisting War from Gaza to Kandahar conference in Toronto will be disappointed. One of their star speakers, British RESPECT unity coalition MP George Galloway won't be admitted into Canada for the event.
According to Immigration and Citizenship Canada -- the department headed by Jason Kenney -- Galloway has been ruled inadmissable due to his sympathy for the Taliban and for financially supporting Hamas, which appears on Canada's black list of terrorist organizations.
Clearly, the latter issue is of much greater import than his sympathies for the Taliban. While his financial support of a terrorist organization does and should give one pause, it's also believed by a vast majority of Canadians that our country stopped holding one's sympathies against them when the Cold War passed into the pages of history.
George Galloway is an outspoken critic of the war in Afghanistan. This is no secret. He's also famous for insisting that Taliban are not his enemy.
If he has any reservations about what the Taliban did when they were in control of Afghanistan -- oppressing women, ethnically cleansing portions of the country and destroying other culture's religious iconography -- or the things they would do if allowed to return to power, he's certainly kept them to himself.
But in Canada, our Charter of Rights and Freedoms supports one's right to freedom of conscience and belief. Our government is expected not to bar people from entering the country based on their beliefs unless it poses a threat to the country.
Galloway has donated thousands of British pounds to Hamas. This makes barring him from the country more palatable on legal grounds, but it really doesn't make him much of a threat.
"This decision, gazetted in Rupert Murdoch's Sun, 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," Galloway insisted. "This has further vindicated the anti-war movement's contention that unjust wars abroad will end up consuming the very liberties that make us who we are."
"This 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," he continued. "All right-thinking Canadians, whether they agree with me over the wisdom of sending troops to Afghanistan or not, will oppose this outrageous decision."
Many Canadians will certainly oppose this decision, and they won't be wrong to do so.
Then again, there are some who will argue that someone who financially supports terrorists should be barred from entering the Country.
That being said, Galloway doesn't pose much of a threat to Canada. While barring him sends a strong message to those who financially support terrorism, it does little to make Canada more or less secure.
George Galloway is not much of a threat to Canada.