Britain ponders ban on US pastor Terry Jones

Published: December 13, 2010

Pastor Terry Jones expected to speak against "the destructiveness of Islam". PHOTO: FILE

LONDON: Home Secretary Theresa May on Sunday said she was “actively” considering whether to ban US pastor Terry Jones — who was behind the controversial ‘Burn a Quran Day’ — from entering Britain to speak to far-right activists.

According to his website ‘Standupamericanow’ Jones “will join the English Defense League (EDL) during their biggest demonstration to date on February 5, 2011, in Luton, England. During the protest, he will speak against “the evils and destructiveness of Islam in support of the continued fight against the Islamification of England and Europe.”

In an interview with Sky News, May said she would be actively considering his case. She told Sky News Sunday Live, “The home secretary has the right to exclude people who are not conducive to public good or on national security grounds,” she said, adding, “Pastor Terry Jones has been on my radar for a few months now. It wasn’t clear that he was definitely coming to the UK but if it is now clear that he’s definitely coming to the UK, then of course this is a case that I will be actively looking at.”

Jones told Sky News he would “respect the laws” of any country he visited. “I would by no means advocate something, preach something, speak something that will cause that type of riot or disturbance,” he added.

Terry Jones is the head of a small Florida church and was condemned across world when he threatened to burn copies of the Holy Quran on the last anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. EDL is a far-right organisation the focus of which is anti-Islam. Its members have clashed with Muslim groups in Luton on a number of occasions in the past. EDL’s last demonstration in Luton resulted in a rampage in which shop windows were smashed, property damaged and a number of people attacked.

A group calling itself ‘Hope Not Hate’ has launched a campaign to urge May to ban the preacher from entering the UK. Its online petition called “Stop the Preacher of Hate” states that Terry Jones’s presence in Luton will be “incendiary and highly dangerous … and cause concern and fear among Muslims across the country”.

(With Additional input from AFP)

Published in The Express Tribune, December 13th, 2010.

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Reader Comments (6)

  • MAD
    Dec 13, 2010 - 11:45AM

    Terry Jones in Luton is bound to cause problems. the city has a huge muslim population and most of isnt that educated. The BRitish Government banned Zakir Naik, now its time to prove it isnt impartial. Recommend

  • KNS
    Dec 13, 2010 - 3:02PM

    They would not ban him, after all he is their puppet against IslamRecommend

  • Sikandar
    Dec 13, 2010 - 6:04PM

    We guys have an uncanny way of inviting trouble, We guys from Pakistan, India & Bangladesh go abroad even migrate for better living. Soon they forget the benevolent country which has given you so much and strike back at them.

    So what if they are not conducive for your religion, it is after all their country and you do what ever you want in your country. Please try and trace your roots we were also kaffirs if you really look back now that we are following a religion does not mean that everyone should follow the same, please do find out on what circumstances that we have been converted and do not bite the same hand which has provided and that sets a bad precedent.

    No wonder our religion has a very very bad understanding because of we trend we are setting. If you cannot just digest their culture leave and come back to wherever you were before. Simply telling that the whole world is blaming our religion is not right. Without reason non one will blame another.

    All the Zionist US theory is all shams in this present world. First of all We have to eradicate Religious fanaticism and then concentrate on educating people to live in harmoney.

    I know it is a herculean task but why not give it a try. Recommend

  • Pakistani
    Dec 13, 2010 - 8:42PM

    @ Sikandar Harmony.. lol try imagining harmony with predators, clustor bombs and drones dropping like rain on your heads.

    benevolent? sorry brown sahab its give and take they have more than paid their dues in tax and cheap labour by working triple the amount done by natives

    I agree no one should force religion on others but EDL has a history of violence and racism they delibrately set up protests at muslim majority areas of britain to pick a fight, and his coming to join their rallys is hardly going to promote harmony no one has right to disgrace my religion and expect me to smile and say thank you very much

    “speak for thy lips are free!”Recommend

  • Mir Agha
    Dec 15, 2010 - 1:33AM

    Freedom of speech should never be curtailed. Ever. Everyone has the inalienable right to be stupid. A better way would be to counter the assertions of one Mr. Jones instead of putting a lid on them, however disgusting they might be.Recommend

  • Ducky
    Dec 15, 2010 - 3:33AM

    Why would they ban him? He epitomizes freedom of speech doesn’t he? Only people like Julian Assange, and that teenager who spoke up against Obama, or that CNN reporter who dared to insinuate the truth about how the American media was biased towards Jews should have their licenses revoked and stuff… Dear West, hypocrite much? Recommend

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