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Canadians Federal Court Slams Government for Threatening Free Speech Rights

By Khaled Mouammar 

Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, October 8, 2010

The Canadian Arab Federation (CAF) welcomes Justice Richard Mosley’s Federal Court ruling on Monday that the Government’s decision to ban British MP George Galloway from entering Canada in March 2009, by labelling him a terror supporter and a national security risk, had no legal basis.
The Court found that the main reason why the Harper Government sought to prevent George Galloway from entering Canada was that they disagreed with his political views. Weeks before the ban, Galloway had led a humanitarian aid convoy to Gaza as part of an international campaign to break Israel’s illegal blockade, and was scheduled to appear in four Canadian cities on a speaking tour called "Resisting War: from Gaza to Afghanistan.”

Regrettably, the Galloway ban is not an isolated incident but is part of a much wider pattern of government-led repression against voices in Canadian civil society that are critical of Canada’s domestic and foreign policies by cutting funding, and/or labelling them as supporters of terrorism and/or anti-Semites. The attacks on civil liberties have had particularly devastating effects on immigrants, refugees and religious and racial minorities targeted by racial profiling.
Since coming to power in 2006 the Government has exercised it political power to suppress dissent through blackmail and defamation. That record includes, but is not limited to, the cutting of funding to the Canadian Arab Federation, Kairos and Alternatives for advocating for Palestinian rights; the cutting of funding to indigenous and women groups; undermining the Rights and Democracy agency; proroguing Parliament to avoid incriminating disclosures; refusing to fund academic conferences and Pride Toronto because of their views on Palestine-Israel; bullying students involved in Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) and other Palestine solidarity campaigns; making defamatory remarks against Arab, Muslim and other organizations that expose Israel’s violations of  Palestinian rights; spending 1.2 billion dollars to turn Toronto into an occupied city during the G20 meeting and violating the freedom of expression of hundreds of people who were illegally detained and mistreated.
The erosion of fundamental rights has led Voices-Voix, a coalition of 187 Canadian civil society organizations, to issue a declaration in June 2010 accusing the Government of systematically undermining democratic institutions and practices, eroding the protection of free speech, eroding freedom of the press, abusing the right to prorogue Parliament, and other fundamental human rights. The declaration also accused the  Government of taking positions - domestically and within such key international bodies as the UN General Assembly and the UN Human Rights Council - that undermine essential human rights, international law, indigenous rights, women rights, children rights, and environmental and other global principles.
“The quality and health of democratic life in Canada is under serious threat. We join other Canadians in demanding that the Government acts in accordance with Canada’s traditions and values by actively promoting and supporting political diversity and public debate instead of imposing conformity,” said Khaled Mouammar, CAF National President.
For more information, please contact:

Khaled Mouammar                                
CAF National President                                        

Established in 1967, the Canadian Arab Federation is a national, non-partisan, non profit and membership-based organization.  CAF represents Canadian Arabs on issues relating to public policy.





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