News & Politics

Canada Bans Anti-War MP George Galloway

Whatever one thinks of his views, free speech is a vital principle.

Last year, the Right had one of its ubiquitous little rage-gasms over a complaint filed by the Canadian Islamic Council against lunatic columnist Mark Steyn. CIC characterized one of Steyn's columns as "flagrantly Islamophobic" blather -- a point that's difficult to dispute, but doesn't make it a violation of the law -- and Steyn was, fortunately, acquitted of the charge by Canada's Human Rights Commission. It all turned out to be a tempest in a teapot.

But for ten minutes, the execrable Steyn was a cause celebréfor conservatives -- an example of the perfidy of liberal political correctness run amok.

Yet somehow, I doubt many of the free-speech absolutists who jumped to Steyn's defense are going to be too upset about this:

George Galloway, a British member of Parliament, has been banned from Canada on security grounds, the country's immigration service has confirmed.

Mr Galloway, a Respect Party MP, said the ban was "idiotic" and he would look at legal action to try to overturn it.

British media reported the decision was due to his views on Afghanistan and the presence of Canadian troops there.

The anti-war MP was expelled from the Labour Party in 2003 because of his outspoken comments on the Iraq war.

Mr Galloway said he was not prepared to accept what he described as an "inexplicable decision" and indicated he would challenge it with all means at his disposal.

"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," he said.

Joshua Holland is an editor and senior writer at AlterNet.
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