Qur’an-burning pastor Terry Jones headed for Canada - Macleans.ca

Qur’an-burning pastor Terry Jones headed for Canada

… question is, will Canadian Border Services let him into the country?


Update: Our Emma Teitel reports that Terry Jones has been held up at the border, though intends to speak in Canada on Friday.

Terry Jones, the U.S. pastor notorious for burning the Qur’an, is planning a trip to Toronto to participate in a debate about the film Innocence of Muslims, to be held outside the Ontario legislature.

Not only did Jones proclaim September 11th “International Burn A Qur’an Day,” he also authored the book Islam is the Devil and he wants to debate with Toronto Imam Steve Rockwell about a film that has incited violence in the Muslim world and has been responsible for at least 75 deaths.

Given his track record, not all Canadians are ready to welcome Jones with open arms, and there are questions about whether Canadian Border Services will let him into the country.

Even free-speech defending National Post columnist Jonathan Kay argues that Jones shouldn’t be allowed in. Kay argues that since Jones isn’t a Canadian citizen, we have no reason to allow him, particularly when his speech is very likely to incite violence. “And it’s no act of censorship for Canada to tell Jones that he’s free to spout all the hate he wants, but that as an American citizen he has no right to enter Canada for the purpose of using the Ontario legislature as his sound stage,” Kay writes.

For his part, the pastor expects to be granted access into Canada from the Detroit border crossing. “There has been at this point, no problems, just a lot of people are questioning that. We have not been contacted and don’t anticipate any problems,” Jones, 61, told QMI Agency.

Even if Jones is allowed into Canada, there is also a chance his appearance won’t draw the anticipated crowds. A report on Michigan news website Mlive, says that an anti-Islam rally Jones planned outside a school in Dearborn, Michigan, on Wednesday attracted only about a dozen supporters, who were largely outnumbered by both security and media.

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Qur’an-burning pastor Terry Jones headed for Canada

  1. ah,hell. We let George Bush in so why not Terry?

    • Until Bush is found guilty in a court of law not a court of public opinion he can come and go as he pleases

  2. Well, we barred purported Islamic supporter George Galloway, British MP from entering, I think it took an appeal to the courts to get the decision reversed. Will we bar this redneck “man of god” from polluting Canada’s air?
    I’m waiting for Anders to elucidate the CRAP policy……

  3. This is not that complicated:
    1. Canada allows free speech
    2. Free speech includes the right to say offensive things
    3. Jones should not be barred from Canada simply to prevent him from engaging in free speech that likely will be offensive to some.

    • This is certainly true (amazing how many people pretend toforget we have the right to say offensive things, and pretend hate speech laws are triggered only on offence!)

      of course it follows….

      4. If Jones goes beyond offensive speech into hate speech and violates Canada’s laws, he should be held accountable and punished.

      • While I personally don’t agree with hate speech laws (because I think they are dangerous and unnecessary), yes, you are correct.

        • As long as you realize this danger, over several decades, never amounted to anything more than theoretical danger.

          • Free speech is pretty much the foundation of all our other rights, both civil and democratic. It’s why I’m a proud free speech extremist.

  4. As a right winger I fully support the right to free speech for those I detest like Maher,Moore or Galloway. Wonder if the so called progressives feel the same way about Pastor Jones

    • “FREE speech”, which, i don’ think the term is appropriate, because like everything else, it has consequences, so it cannot be FREE, when you PAY for the consequences, wether it’s positive or not. It’s more like ” talking before thinking”, and then, justified by “free speech”

      • I am sure Rev.Jones is very aware of the consequences

    • I’m definitely on the left, and I support free speech in the same way you do.

      I am disappointed that it always seems to be the right that mostly cares about free speech issues, but there you go.

  5. more shit disturbers from the states, we don’t need them. GO BACK,

    • Yup all those Yanks protesting the pipeline are free to leave

  6. To all those “free speech” people, free speech is not and has never been absolute. Ever heard of defamation/libel? There are lots of restrictions
    on free speech. Just try to lie on your application for a loan or credit
    card. It’s called obtaining credit through deceit and can get you in
    prison for a while. The answer is simple: Jones is a radical Christian,
    Harper and most of his cabinet are radical Christians. A match made in
    heaven. Did no-one follow the recent news in which the government
    cancelled funding for non-christian pastoral care in Canadian prisons? Did any of the “free speech” people go up in arms to protect religious freedom guaranteed in our constitution? Probably not…

    • Sorry, but that’s rather incoherent because you are conflating a bunch of things.

      Yes, there can be reasonable limits to free speech. However, not giving offense to someone by criticizing their religion isn’t one of them.