Controversial Floria Pastor Terry Jones has been refused entry into Canada, confirming the fact that terrorism works. Just the possibility of the threat of violence by Muslims , not even a real threat, is enough to shut down any semblance of free speech.
The Province (H/T Robin H) An anti-Islam American pastor who earned an international reputation after burning copies of the Islamic holy text has been denied entry into Canada hours before he was to speak at a free speech rally in Toronto, organizers said Thursday.
Allan Einstoss said Terry Jones was turned back at the Michigan-Ontario border after being held there for five hours. Jones was told he was barred from entering the country when officials could not verify whether or not he had a criminal record in the U.S., he said.
Einstoss decried the decision to keep Jones from attending a multifaith debate on freedom of speech, which was slated to take place in front of the Ontario legislature on Thursday evening. He poured scorn on the official reason for the denial, saying it defied logic. “In terms of checking for criminal records, I would make the assumption that’s what they do on a daily basis,” Einstoss said in a telephone interview.
Word that Jones had been turned back at the border spread rapidly through social media, drawing a slew of wide-ranging reactions. Some touted the decision as an attack on freedom of expression, while others celebrated the fact that a man who commemorated the ninth anniversary of 9/11 by burning copies of the Qur’an at his church in Gainesville, Fla. would not have the opportunity to bring his message to Canadian soil.
“Yeah, Canada for standing up to hate & racism,” read one Twitter post. “I would’ve loved to check out the debate! But I’m glad Terry Jones isn’t being let in,” wrote another.
Others took a more nuanced position, arguing his hateful views of Muslims are not reason enough to bar him from the country. Amin Elshorbagy, president of the Canadian Islamic Congress, said Jones ought to have been allowed to air his views regardless of how extreme they may be.
Jones was scheduled to be the primary attraction at a multifaith debate on the film “Innocence of Muslims,” whose negative portrayal of the Islamic prophet Mohammad has incited violent riots around the world.
Jones was slated to square off against Toronto imam Steve Rockwell, U.S.-based Muslim author Masud Ansari, and Sikh community leader Bikram Lamba. The event was also to feature a memorial to Cpl. Christopher Speer, a U.S. a medic killed in Afghanistan by Canadian war criminal Omar Khadr.
Einstoss said the event will go ahead as planned, but lamented Jones’ absence from the proceedings. Interference from border officials, he said, has quashed an opportunity for a meaningful dialog on free speech.