An American preacher who threatened a mass public burning of the Koran has been banned from entering the UK.
Pastor Terry Jones provoked international outrage when he organised the stunt to coincide with the anniversary of the September 11 attacks last year. Pressured by the White House, he eventually called off the mass burning.
Jones had been invited to speak at rallies organised by the small far-right group “England Is Ours.” But the Home Office has prevented him entering the country. A spokesman said:
“The government opposes extremism in all its forms which is why we have excluded Pastor Terry Jones from the UK. Numerous comments made by Pastor Jones are evidence of his unacceptable behaviour.
Coming to the UK is a privilege, not a right, and we are not willing to allow entry to those whose presence is not conducive to the public good.”
Jones has said he is “disappointed” at the decision and has asked the Home Office to reconsider, claiming it is against his human rights and the freedom of expression. He added it was also unfair as his daughter and grandchildren live in England. He insists he is “not against Islam” but rather against its radical element.
“England Is Ours” said on its website that it had invited Jones to join “demonstrations against the expansion of Islam and the construction of mosques” in the UK.