Friday, March 27, 2009

All the things you can do if you're Immigration Minister

So it turns out that you can do a lot of things if you're the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration.

Konservative Immigration minister Jason Kenney has been having a blast this last month. The first thing he did in early March was to proudly announce that he was going to terminate language-training contracts with the Canadian Arab Federation because they publicly opposed his political views.

"Here we have in Canada, someone who, until the end of this month at least, was receiving public subsidies from my department, who says ... these organizations that are essentially anti-Semitic and seek the destruction of Israel ... should be able to operate in Canada," Kenney said.
Actually, the CAF was not recieving any "subsidy" but a contract from Citizenship and Immigration to offer language training to newcomers - many of whom are not Arabs. Kenney's decision, however, is strangely coincidental with some harsh criticism he received from the CAF's president, but never mind that. I have no information that the CAF supports any policy regarding what organizations should or should not be allowed to operate in Canada, but even if they did, so what?

Just one of the worrisome implications of Kenney's statement is that once an organization is on the list of banned organizations, discussion of its place there ist stark verboten, as the Germans say. If that's true, then the only way for an organization to get its name off the list is for the Government of the day to take the initiative and do it - any organization that calls for a change to the list is going to be blacklisted, because obviously, they support the terrorists.

The second thing you can apparently do if you're Immigration Minister is override your department's decision if they decide to, for "security" reasons, ban someone from coming into the country. In the case of George Galloway, whom the ministry ostensibly found to be a "security threat," Kenney unsurprisingly refused, with his spokesman saying "we don't want him to pee on our carpet."

Ostensibly, Kenney and co. are afraid that Galloway's visit to Canada will entail him holding fundraisers for Hamas, or meeting in darkened rooms with Al-Qaeda sleeper agents, or perhaps accepting brown envelopes full of cash which he will then FedEx to various organizations whose names are engraved on the aforementioned List.

Evidently, no one at Immigration has heard of the wire transfer.

More likely they are afraid that Galloway will do something that makes embarassing headlines for neoconservatives everywhere.

For instance, there was that time that the US Congress, strangely unaware of all the Canadian government's security "intelligence" on Mr. Galloway, invited him to a hearing.

Or there was that time he savaged the SkyNews anchor for her biased reporting of the war in Lebanon:

And then there were his many encounters with erstwhile Trotskyite turned atheist neocon, Christopher Hitchens:

. . .but enough of that.

Obviously, Mr. Galloway only poses a "security" risk if by "security" you mean the political fortunes of Kenney's ideological fellow travellers.

Now whom do we find defending this reprehensible attack on freedom of speech? None other than the odious Ezra Levant, himself a self-styled champion of unrestricted expression:
George Galloway, the pro-terrorist MP from the United Kingdom, has been denied entry to Canada on security grounds. I suspect it has to do with his track record of providing financial assistance to terrorist groups like Hamas, which is listed as a criminal organization in Canada. It would not surprise me if CSIS determined that Galloway's visit would have had fundraising or recruiting spin-offs for Hamas or other terrorist groups. I'm sure Galloway himself would boast of those activities. (UPDATE: I am advised that, in fact, his planned speaking engagement at a Toronto church was to raise funds for Hamas.)
Aha! So it was a Hamas fundraiser! Hosted by a Church, no less! Well where is this church?! Let's close that place down too! Obviously it is breaking the law no less than Mr. Galloway.

Now. . . let's see FOUND IT!

How exactly do Levant, or the thousands of other conservative bloggers who are spreading this nonsense know that it is a Hamas fundraiser? Well, the truth is that they don't - they just made it up, because I'm pretty sure that the Metropolitan United Church did not circulate a flyer saying "George Galloway: From Gaza to Kandahar. Admission $5. All Proceeds to Hamas."

Levant is, like most of his bedwetting ilk, disingenuous in his love of free speech.

Neither he, nor Jason Kenney, have anything on George Galloway, other than his criticism of their shared love of violent imperialism.

The question nobody has asked, however, is why non-state actors qualify for the list of "terrorist" organizations, when state actors strangely do not.

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