Canada Bars ‘Infandous’ British Politician, Journalists Reach for DictionariesBy Robert Mackey Muhammad Alostaz,/Hamas, via Associated Press Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, right, handed British MP George Galloway a symbolic Palestinian passport during a meeting in Gaza City on March 10, 2009.
Five weeks after the British government barred a controversial Dutch politician from entering Britain to screen a film about Islam at the House of Lords, the Canadian government has decided to stop a Scottish member of the British parliament from entering Canada to make a series of speeches.
As The Toronto Star reported on Friday:
Canadian officials have denied outspoken anti-war British MP George Galloway entry into Canada on grounds he poses a threat to national security.
Alykhan Velshi, a spokesperson for Immigration Minister Jason Kenney, said today Galloway has openly supported Hamas, classified as a terrorist group in Canada, as well as other terrorists. And for that reason, Velshi said the minister is refusing to override the decision by Canada Border Security Agency officials under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.
“What we are not going to do is give special treatment to someone who has bragged about providing ‘financial support’ for Hamas … and who sympathized with the Taliban terrorists who are killing Canadians overseas,” Velshi said.
As Britain’s Press Association adds, Mr. Velshi also called Mr. Galloway an “infandous street-corner Cromwell.”
Sue Turton of Channel 4 News called Mr. Velshi to find out more about the thinking behind the ban and what led him to use the long-obsolete word “infandous” — which the Oxford English dictionary defines as a word that once meant “Unspeakable, not to be spoken of; nefarious,” but apparently fell out of use some time after 1708.
In video of the telephone interview Ms. Turton conducted on Friday with Mr. Velshi (embedded below), he suggested that he just might be “behind” the times in word usage, but strongly defended the decision to bar Mr. Galloway, who is a member of the Respect party in Britain and represents the Bethnal Green and Bow district of London in the House of Commons.
In the interview, Mr. Velshi charged that Mr. Galloway has “expressed sympathy for the Taliban murderers who are trying to kill Canadian and British soldiers in Afghanistan.” He added: “It is actually quite odious and I think it is entirely appropriate for our security agencies to say that if they have advanced notice that Mr Galloway is going to come to Canada to pee on our carpet, that we should deny him entry to the home.”
As The Guardian reported, Mr. Galloway said on Friday that he will fight to have the ban overturned, calling it: “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.”
Mr. Galloway is scheduled to speak on March 30 at an event called “Resisting War from Gaza to Kandahar,” organized by the Toronto Coalition to Stop the War.Earlier this month, Mr. Galloway met Ismail Haniyeh, the head of the Hamas government in Gaza during a visit to the Palestinian territory. Mr. Galloway’s planned speaking tour led Meir Weinstein, the national director of the Jewish Defence League of Canada to write an open letter to the Canadian government urging it to “do everything possible to keep this hater away from Canada.” In a telephone interview on Friday, Mr. Weinstein told The Lede that he is “very pleased,” by the government’s decision to bar Mr. Galloway.