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Sunday, January 25, 2015

Promotion of terrorism to be proscribed in Canada's new Anti-Terrorism Legislation

The proscription against the promotion of terrorism in Canada's new anti-terrorism legislation, which will be introduced on Friday, could have serious ramifications for Islamists currently advocating for listed terrorist groups.

Activities by Toronto's Palestine House, and the anti-Semitic, Islamist rallies supporting terror groups like Hamas, such as those organized by the Khomeinist hatemonger Zafar Bangash, the Imam of the Islamic Society of York Region, under the wording of the new Bill, possibly could be violations of the Criminal Code and subject them to anti-Terrorism prosecution.

At events conducted by those groups and at the anti-Israel hub, Beit Zatoun in Toronto, speakers have said, in support of Hamas, that "all resistance is legitimate," and at an al Quds Day rally have even gone so far as to advocate the actual shooting of Jews.

OTTAWA The Conservative government's overhaul of anti-terrorism legislation will be introduced by the end of week and will make it a crime to promote terrorism, Stephen Harper told party faithful on Sunday.
The measures, which are also expected to give police greater ability to restrict the movements of purported extremists, will not be an assault on civil liberties, the prime minister said.
"These measures are designed to help authorities stop planned attacks, get threats off our streets, criminalize the promotion of terrorism, and prevent terrorists from travelling and recruiting others," Harper told a campaign-style event in the Ottawa-area.
"To be clear, in doing so, we shall be safeguarding our constitutional rights of speech, of association, of religion and all the rest."
Restricting the movement of suspected radicals can be done by lowering the threshold for obtaining a peace bond, a federal source who asked to remain anonymous told The Canadian Press last week.
In addition, the government wants to retool Canada's no-fly list procedures to make it easier to stop a suspected terrorist from boarding an airplane.
See also in the Globe and Mail: Harper's anti-terror bill to criminalize the ‘promotion of terrorism’


Unknown said...

It almost certainly doesn't survive judicial review on free speech grounds, particularly since many terrorist movements are aligned with political parties, and political speech is explicitly protected under the Charter.

The bill is also disturbing in that "terrorism" is such a fluid and flexible term. As recently as the 1980s, supporting either the Contras of the African National Congress could, in theory, have been prosecuted.

On the other hand, like the prostitution bill, I don't think this is crafted to actually become enforceable law as much as be used as a political cudgel.

Richard K said...

We'll see. That idiot who went to jail last week for saying he hates Muslims on the subway wasn't calling for killing people the way that the Islamofascists at the al Quds Day rallies and Palestine House have been.

Of course we see a double standard in the application of law when it comes to "protected official victim groups" and it's high time that ended.

I'm of the view you should be able to say anything other than to actually advocate killing or injuring someone. But that's precisely what many of our domestic Islamists have been doing for a long time, and they should be subject to the law the same way everyone else is.

Unknown said...

The advocacy of murder or genocide on religious grounds is, as you noted, already against the law. The application of the hate speech law is something that Stephen Harper, who I can't help but notice has been in power for a decade now, should look at.

He won't do that, of course, so his natural solution is make the same thing criminal twice.

Also, this bill isn't about Islamism, it's about terrorism, and that's a very slippery slope.

Let's say that Northern Ireland is starts disintegrating again, which isn't outside the realm of possibility. There's a downtown pub I frequent that's still basically a holdout of the IRA. Does the federal government shut it down and lock-up everybody that turned out for Happy Hour?

What about the Kurds, who are increasingly using suicide bombing as a tactic? And then there's the MEK, who are terrorists, but employ it against people we don't like?

Since 9/11, the government - both Liberal and Conservative - have gone hog wild on civil liberties. It's time to say "enough."

Richard K said...

The Globe made that point too: "Overseas, “glorification of terrorism ” prosecutions have included offences ranging from inciting crimes, to selling extremist propaganda, to publishing documents or drawings that are seen as applauding terrorist attacks. Such laws exists in Europe and Britain, but could be difficult to reconcile with the freedom-of-expression provisions in Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms. "

Even though it came in the form of a Private Members' Bill, it was with the approval of this government that we finally saw a move in the right direction by the motion to kill the Section 13 thought crimes provisions of the Human Rights Commission Act.

But your scenarios aren't quite the same as what the legislation is likely to address, in the same way a private conversation/correspondence is not subject to hate speech laws.

Again, we'll have to see how it works. I'd be a little bothered if we criminalized cartoons like these,


as vile as they are.

But on the other hand, when we get assholes holding signs saying, "behead those who insult our prophet" and screaming "shoot the Jews" at Queens Park, then you're right, we do have laws dealing with it. But the enforcement, as it currently stands, falls to the provincial government, and they have consistently demonstrated they lack the spine to pursue them when it comes to Islamists. So maybe having it fall under federal jurisdiction isn't such a bad thing.