Anti-Islamic pastor Terry Jones ***BARRED*** from entering Canada for a public debate on free speech!
Rev. Terry Jones, who leads Florida’s tiny Dove World Outreach Centre, was held up at the Canada-U.S. border in Windsor for four hours Thursday before being denied entry into Canada to attend Freedom Showdown.
The vehicle Jones shared with Pastor Wayne Sapp, as well as their cellphone records and computers, was searched while the two were interrogated by Canada Border Services Agency about the intent of their visit and what he was prepared to preach at the event.
Authorities also seized two 1-by-1.5-metre cardboard signs that said, “Koran burning site” and “Islam is the new Nazism.”
“Dr. Jones is obviously very disappointed. It’s a big blow to him and all of us,” said his spokesperson, Fran Ingram, in Florida. “This is not about him. This is about free speech in the West.”
In barring Jones, border officials cited a fine he got in Germany in 1993 for using the title “doctor” there (as a recipient of an honourary doctorate in theology), as well as a criminal charge of breaching the peace at a planned rally in Detroit last year.
Ingram said Jones got both decisions overturned on appeal. However, unconvinced border officials demanded proof.
“You are required to provide a criminal records check before returning to Canada,” said a notice issued to Jones at the border, obtained by the Star. “Failure to provide this criminal history record, while attempting to enter Canada, may result in your arrest.”
Jones was invited by a group calling itself Canadians United Against Terror to take part in a debate on “free speech” in Toronto at 6 p.m. Thursday.
Event organizer Allan Einstoss said the government’s actions show “great cowardice” and that the event would go on without Jones. “It will be offensive on both sides,” said Einstoss.
CBSA should let Jones into Canada.
When you wake up this morning, Terry Jones may or may not be in Toronto. He’s the controversial Florida pastor who once threatened to set 200 Qur’ans ablaze in memory of those who perished in 9/11. Already banned in Britain and Germany, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is still deciding his fate.
As far as I’m concerned, there’s nothing to decide.
Sure, many of Jones’ beliefs about Islam are either odious or repulsive. But if you truly believe in freedom of speech, you’ll support his right to come to our city, deliver his vile positions at a Queen’s Park event against equally controversial Imam Steve Rockwell, and head back to the U.S.
This is unfortunately becoming a recurrent issue in Canada. We’ve had problems with other controversial foreign nationals trying to enter our borders. The list includes British historian David Irving (accusations of Holocaust denial and anti-Semitism), British MP George Galloway (donation to Viva Palestina during the Israel-Gaza conflict, which Ottawa associated as support for Hamas), and the late far-right Austrian leader Jorg Haider (reports of pro-Nazi comments).
Each and every time, various individuals and groups got riled up and demanded these interlopers be refused entry into Canada.
When you attempt to ban individuals and groups, you’re playing right into their hands. They crave this type of media exposure. They become martyrs for their particular causes. They attract larger audiences when they’re finally allowed to come in, such as Galloway. And they always have the last laugh.
I wasn’t ecstatic about these individuals coming to Canada, but that’s not the point. We shouldn’t restrict different opinions simply because they don’t mesh with our own views. To put it another way, there’s nothing tolerant about being intolerant just because you’re too thin-skinned to handle opposing points of perspective.
Not that this is surprising. Free speech is something many Canadians claim to treasure, but very few are willing to defend in a proper context. To wit, it’s the defence of ideas that we feel are appealing as well as unappealing. This means that the rights of people who love Jews or hate Jews, as well as the people who love Muslims or hate Muslims, must be defended at all costs in a free society. As long as people don’t incite or participate in violent behaviour, everyone has a right to be heard.
This includes Jones. For example, I believe he’s right to be worried about the growth of Islamic fundamentalism. He’s right to hate the terrorists who caused 9/11. Heck, he’s even right to promote the abominable film Innocence of Muslims in the name of free speech.
At the same time, Jones was wrong to suggest burning a Qur’an was a justifiable action. He’s also wrong about various aspects of Islam, as there are moderate followers of this faith — including Sun columnists, Salim Mansur, Tarek Fatah and Farzana Hassan.
That’s how free speech works, folks. You agree with some ideas, and disagree with others. You can’t force people to either like or respect something or someone — and reducing their freedoms only serves to make the situation worse. Instead, you defend and debate your positions and move on to the next topic.
The CBSA should keep out of this matter altogether. Let Pastor Terry Jones come to Canada, warts and all.
We don't want anything to do with this hatemonger.
Canadians United Against Terror used to be called Canadians United Nullify Terror.
But that didn't really work out too well in the acronym department.
Why R3 ?
Fuck that, R1, and fuck his idea of free speech. Why should hate mongers be tolerated OR accommodated? And really, I completely agree with the requirement to produce a criminal record check if he ever wants to enter Canada. He's getting off easy. The U.S. border agencies, at their discretion, can require you to get a waiver to cross the border if you have a criminal record. That can take months to process, and it costs, I'm told, about $1200 and is only good for a certain length of time. And that can be for Mickey Mouse crimes, or crimes that don't make you any sort of threat to U.S. security.
Canada is much tougher on cracking down on right-wing nuts than America is.
They also turned the Phelps family away.
His stupid placards sound like a fanatic with a marker pen. He does have a point though. Have a look at the treatment of/ legislation against homosexuality in Islamic countries. The country that Mecca is in is one example. I'm not anti-Muslim, but Islam as the majority of leaders and followers of Islam practice it is on the whole a fundamentalist and intolerant religion. Many Muslims are neither, and my post does not refer to them.
Christianity is often as bad, although it's a target that the anti-Muslim right won't touch, just as Christianity is a target that the left go for due to extremism, but almost pretend that the death penalty doesn't exist in many Islamic countries.