Canadian conservatives against free speech for Afghan war opponent

This video from the USA is called The Oil Factor – Why are we in Afghanistan? O-I-L.

From the Socialist Unity blog in Britain:


Galloway: ‘This idiotic ban shames Canada ’

Respect MP George Galloway today vowed to use “all means at my disposal” to challenge the decision by Canada ’s pro-war conservative immigration minister, Jason Kenney, to refuse him entry to the country to give a series of speeches.

Galloway is this afternoon exploring with organisers of his speaking tour and with legal advisors avenues to challenge the decision, which he brands “irrational, inexplicable and an affront to Canada’s good name”.

Galloway was not informed of the decision until it had already been given to journalists. The grounds provided by a spokesperson for Mr Kenney for the ban are that Galloway’s opposition to the deployment of Nato troops in Afghanistan make him “inadmissible” to Canada. In fact George Galloway’s concern over the deployment of NATO troops in Afghanistan is consistent with the majority of public opinion in the UK. Indeed, George’s most recent comment on Afghanistan was to the Grimsby and Scunthorpe media group when he pointed out that, “more British soldiers have now died in Afghanistan than in the whole of the disastrous war in and occupation of Iraq. And yet the Taliban are growing in strength and instability is spreading across the border into Pakistan. My heart goes out to the families of all the loved ones who have lost their lives and in particular to the families of Corporals Grahame Stiff and Dean John, the latest soldiers to lose their lives in Afghanistan . The majority of British people, the latest opinion polls show, do not understand why we have sent troops to Afghanistan. I want our troops brought home from Afghanistan now, so no more lives are lost in this pointless and unwinnable war.”

George Galloway finds Canada’s decision outrageous: “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. 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. All right thinking Canadians, whether they agree with me over the wisdom of sending troops to Afghanistan or not, will oppose this outrageous decision.

“On a personal note – for a Scotsman to be barred from Canada is like being told to stay away from the family home. This is not something I’m prepared to accept.”

As so often, the press are misreporting the facts, today’s briefing from the Press Associsation includes the claim that in 2006 Gallowy was prevented from speaking at an anti-war conference in Cairo by the Egyptian government. In fact the President of Egypt personally apologised to George Galloway after he was detained for some hours on arrival in Cairo and the speaking engagement went ahead as planned.

See also here.

Lawyers for British anti-war MP George Galloway are mounting a court challenge to a Canadian government order that prohibits him from entering the country on the grounds he is a “national security” threat and terrorist accomplice: here.

The Canadian government’s claim that George Galloway is a terrorist accomplice is an outrageous, politically-motivated attempt to smear the British anti-war MP and to rob Canadians of their democratic and constitutionally-protected right to hear his views: here.


Update September 2010: here.

HUNDREDS of Afghan citizens rallied for an end to the occupation of their country on Sunday after US-led forces killed five civilians in Kunduz Province: here.

I SALUTE the army colonel who took a moral stand and allegedly released data to Human Rights Watch about civilian casualties from NATO’s aerial bombardment in Afghanistan: here.

Details of Barack Obama’s new strategy for the war in Afghanistan and Pakistan make for grim reading: here.

Amy Goodman Detained at the Canadian Border, questioned about speech–see the CBC national news, 6 pm and then online at here.

6 thoughts on “Canadian conservatives against free speech for Afghan war opponent

  1. Australians: No More Troops to Afghanistan

    Canberra, Mar 24 (Prensa Latina) Most Australians have showed their disagreement with a likely government decision to send more servicemen to Afghanistan, according to a survey released by The Australian daily.

    At least 65 percent of people polled rejected the idea, above all in the wake of the deaths of two Australian troops last week, bringing to 10 the number of soldiers killed in Afghanistan so far.

    These results are released as Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is on a state visit to the United States.

    US President Barack Obama is expected to bring up with Rudd the possibility to beef up the 1,100-strong Australian military contingent in Afghanistan.

    Canberra says European countries should be those sending more troops to the Islamic nation.

    ef rma dor


  2. TV manager arrested over ‘bare limbs’

    Heidi Vogt And Amir Shah

    March 25, 2009 – 5:54AM

    Authorities arrested the manager of an Afghan television station for refusing to censor women’s bare limbs, officials said on Tuesday, cracking down on an envelope-pushing broadcaster as they grapple with the cultural sway of Islamic extremists.

    The government has previously censured television stations and taken others to court, but the arrest of Emrose TV’s Fahim Khodamani on Monday was the first by authorities for airing overly salacious content, said Deputy Attorney General Fazel Ahmad Faqiyar.

    The debate over what should be shown on television in this conservative Muslim country heated up after US-led forces toppled the Taliban in 2001.

    The militant group, which practices an extreme version of Islam, banned television and other forms of entertainment that it deemed un-Islamic when it ruled the country in the 1990s. It also required women to cover themselves under an all-encompassing burqa.

    Since the Taliban fell, television stations have flourished in Afghanistan, pitting the issue of freedom of the press against conservative norms in a country where most women wear clothes that cover everything but their face and neck.

    The issue has become even more complicated with the resurgence of the Taliban in southern Afghanistan in the past few years – gains that President Barack Obama hopes to counter by sending an additional 17,000 US troops to the country this year.

    Aggressive Afghan government attempts to censor TV programs could be part of a strategy to temper conflict with the Taliban. Or it could be an attempt to siphon support from Afghans drawn to the Taliban’s conservative style of Islam.

    Many Afghan TV stations cut or blur scenes with women showing more than their face or neck, taking a conservative stance to avoid violating a vague government law that prohibits media content that is not “within the framework of Islam.”

    Khodamani was arrested for refusing repeated requests to pixelate or otherwise obscure images of women dancing in short skirts or outfits with low necklines, Faqiyar said.

    Afghanistan’s media oversight commission sent letters to the station in recent months reproaching the channel for the amount of bare skin on its programs, and for airing pop music videos during the Islamic holiday of Ashoura in January, according to Faqiyar and the station’s owner, Najibullah Kabuli.

    Kabuli confirmed that Khodamani refused to edit or censor the programming, saying it was station policy to air unaltered programs.

    He said the demand and Khodamani’s arrest were “against freedom of speech and democracy.” Kabuli, who is also a member of parliament, said the arrest may have been masterminded by his political enemies.

    The arrest comes days after Afghanistan’s top Muslim clerics called on the government to block stations from “airing prohibited and hypocritical anti-Islam programs and immoral scenes and movies.”

    Afghanistan’s culture minister has warned that the Taliban use racy broadcasts like those on Emrose as a tool in their culture war – recruiting villagers who feel that the government is too influenced by Western morals.

    Last year, the Afghan government tried to ban a number of popular Indian soap operas. Some stations took the shows off the air but others refused, saying the programs broke no laws.

    Faqiyar said Khodamani will be held up to 15 days while an inquiry is conducted into the station’s actions.

    Emrose started broadcasting about 10 months ago and still has a very small viewership, which is a possible reason why it has only recently become a target of the media oversight commission.

    Also Tuesday, the UN refugee agency said the deteriorating security in Afghanistan last year increased the number of citizens requesting asylum in industrialised nations by 85 per cent to 18,500. The number of security incidents in Afghanistan increased 31 per cent last year, according to UN statistics.

    In the latest violence, NATO troops on a foot patrol shot and killed an Afghan civilian south of Kabul on Tuesday after he ignored their signals to stop as he sped toward them in a car, the coalition said.

    Meanwhile, Afghan’s Interior Ministry said a bomb blast in a mosque in southern Afghanistan killed the mosque’s mullah and injured six others. Ministry spokesman Zemarai Bashary said an investigation was continuing into Monday’s explosion.

    © 2009 AP


  3. Galloway hearing put on hold

    Canada: A federal court hearing on a bid to lift the country’s entry ban on British Respect MP George Galloway has been put on hold until Wednesday.

    Mr Galloway’s lawyer was taken to a hospital with a foot injury on Monday morning, when the hearing was initially scheduled to go ahead.

    PM Stephen Harper’s right-wing government refused entry to Mr Galloway on national security grounds last year, asserting that he provided money to the Hamas administration in Gaza, which Canada blacklists as a terrorist organisation.


  4. Pingback: Pentagon keeps killing Afghan civilians | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  5. Pingback: Tony Blair, enemy of democracy | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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