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Ottawa must deny entry to Islamophobe Robert Spencer

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Image: Ben Ostrowsky/flickr

Canada has continued to deny entry to people like Chelsea Manning, but it seems Robert Spencer, co-founder of Stop Islamization of America (SIOA) and the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), and the director of the Muslim-bashing Jihad Watch, is planning his third visit to Grande Prairie, Alberta.

The SIOA has been described as a hate group by the Jewish Anti-Defamation League (ADL), the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), and the United States Military.

The Groupe de recherche sur l'extrême droite et ses allié-e-s (GREDA) has put together the open letter below to Justin Trudeau and members of his government asking that Robert Spencer be denied entry into canada. The letter is pasted below and was originally posted on GREDA's website. 

Please feel free to write your own letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his ministers. You can also call the Stonebridge Hotel of Grande Prairie hotel at 1 (780) 539-5561. Here is another post from GREDA with additional information about the event.

Open letter: urgent appeal to ban Robert Spencer from Canada

October 22, 2017
An open letter to:

Right Honourable Justin Trudeau,
Prime Minister of Canada

Honourable Ahmed D. Hussen,
Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

Honourable Ralph Goodale,
Minister of Public Safety

Honourable Melanie Joly,
Minister of Canadian Heritage

As Canada celebrates the 10th anniversary of Canadian Islamic History month, enacted on October 25, 2007 by a unanimous motion tabled by the late Mauril Bélanger in the House of Commons under the conservative government of Stephen Harper, you must act now.

As a clear act of defiance, a major figure of the Islamophobic movement from the United States, Robert Spencer is scheduled to speak at a conference on October 29 in Grande Prairie, Alberta.

Robert Spencer is the co-founder of Stop the Islamization of America (SIOA), which has been described as a hate group by the Jewish Anti-Defamation League (ADL), the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), and the United States Military. Spencer also the director of the Muslim-bashing Jihad Watch website and a director of the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI).

In June 2013, after a personal intervention by then Home Secretary Theresa May, now Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Spencer was been banned from the United Kingdom. In her letter, published by the Huffington Post UK on June 26, 2013 Theresa May says,

"After careful consideration, the Home Secretary personally directed that you should be excluded from the United Kingdom on the grounds that your presence here is not conducive to the public good. The Home Secretary has reached this decision because you have brought yourself within the scope of the list of unacceptable behaviours by making statements that may foster hatred which might lead to intercommunity violence in the UK."

The letter also described the SIOA as an "anti-Muslim hate group." Spencer and his associate Pamela Geller were scheduled to speak at a rally organized by the Far-right English Defence League (EDL).

In October 2011, the Homeland Security Advisor removed Spencer as a trainer for the FBI and military groups. Spencer claimed it was a plot by Muslim Brotherhood linked groups. In 2013, the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), a right-wing think tank in the US, excluded Spencer from speaking at their annual gathering. Spencer then said that "CPAC is a sharia-compliant conference." Only two others had been removed from CPAC. CPAC banned white supremacist Richard Spencer in 2017, who was the mastermind of the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in August 2017 that resulted in one death and 19 injured after a supporter attacked demonstrators. CPAC also banned Milo Yiannopoulos in 2016, the "alt-right" and anti-Muslim blogger who claimed that "Muslim gang rapists are springing up everywhere." 

Robert Spencer has stated that, 

"Islam is not a religion of peace. It has an inherently political character that is being brought to the West by immigrants, and will cause more trouble in the future. The jihadists have not hijacked it … This is the revival of a 1,400-year-old war, and we need to be prepared for the fact that it will not end anytime soon and prepared to defend ourselves militarily and ideologically." 

The October 29 conference in Grande Prairie is even promoted by the ferocious anti-Muslim organization, The Gates of Vienna. The organization's motto is "at the siege of Vienna in 1683, Islam seemed poised to overrun Christian Europe. We are in a new phase of a very old war."

Robert Spencer has been in Canada on numerous occasions in the past. With the far-right Jewish Defence League (JDL) in 2012, in November 2013, and in 2016 in Calgary. Spencer has also visited other organizations in Grande Prairie in 2013 and 2016, and in Ottawa and Montreal in 2016. Despite numerous broad interfaith appeals, your government has let this member of hate groups cross the border. Never again!

You must act now to stop hatred
Canada has the power and duty to stop hatemongers from entering our country and spreading their messages. In 1992, we stopped Holocaust denier David Irving, and Canada also stopped Denis Mahon from the KKK. In 2012, the pastor Terry Jones, who claimed that "Islam is the new Nazism" was barred from entry from the United States for a "freedom fest" in Toronto. More recently, the Anti-Semite Dieudonne M'bala M'bala was banned in May 2016. In March 2016, Augustus Invictus, a member of the Proudboys, was banned from attending a neo-Nazi gathering in Vancouver. On June 25, Bill Finlay, known as WildBillFinlay, was denied entry when he was invited by the Worldwide Coalition Against Islam (WCAI) Canadian section for a gathering in downtown Calgary.

Now, it is time to send a clear message. Robert Spencer should not be allowed to spread his Islamophobic and provocative message in Grande Prairie. It is ironic that, at a time when an 8-year-old fight to get his name removed from the Canadian "no-fly list," we have been letting one of the major anti-Muslim advocate enter Canada.

We are asking you the make the necessary steps, within your existing powers, to deny entry to Robert Spencer into Canada. You will find links to document about Spencer.


Research group on the Far-right and it's allies/Groupe de Recherche sur l'extrême-droite et ses allié(e)s

We have more on the issue at www.gredacanada.wordpress.com

Here are some documents to support our case:

On the recent history of extremists banned from Canada:

The Canadian Islamic History Month motion adopted in 2007 by the Canadian government:

"By unanimous consent, it was resolved, That, in the opinion of the House, due to the important contributions of Canadian Muslims to Canadian Society, the cultural diversity of the Canadian Muslim community, the importance of Canadians learning about each other to foster greater social cohesion, and the important effort now underway in many Canadian communities in organizing public activities to achieve better understanding of Islamic history, the month of October should be designated Canadian Islamic History Month."

Image: Ben Ostrowsky/flickr

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