London, Jan 20(ANI): The U.S. preacher who sparked outrage by saying that he was going to burn copies of the Koran has been banned from entering the UK.
Pastor Terry Jones had earlier last year caused an outrage when he announced plans by his Florida-based church to burn copies of the Koran to mark the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on America.
He had been invited to England to address an English Defence League (EDL) rally in Luton in February.
However, the Home Office has decided that his presence in country 'is not conducive to the public good'.
"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," the Daily Mail quoted a Home Office spokesman, as saying.
"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. The use of exclusion powers is very serious and no decision is taken lightly or as a method of stopping open debate," he added.
Earlier, pastor Jones had said that he would resist any attempt by the government to prevent him from coming to Britain.
"I don't know if I would just simply accept that. I think I would protest that. I would hope that would not be the case, because I have given my word that we will not do anything against the law, or do anything that would cause an uprising or violence," pastor Jones had said.
Despite the controversy caused by his plans to burn the Koran - eventually called off after President Barack Obama warned it would be a "recruitment bonanza" for Al Qaeda - he suggested he would be a moderating influence on the EDL. (ANI)