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Controversial Florida Pastor Barred from Britain

Wednesday, 19 Jan 2011 06:45 PM

LONDON (AP) — A U.S. pastor who had threatened to burn a Quran on an anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks has been barred from visiting Britain, its government said Wednesday.

Florida pastor Terry Jones had planned to address a right-wing group, England is Ours, and join it for meetings and demonstrations from Feb. 9 to Feb.16.

Stand Up America, a Florida-based group affiliated with Jones, said he was going to speak out against what the group called radical elements of Islam. It said his visit to Britain was to be part of a European tour.

Britain's Home Office said that Jones has been "excluded from the U.K." because the British government opposes extremism in all its forms.

"Numerous comments made by Pastor Jones are evidence of his unacceptable behavior," it said in a statement. "Coming to the U.K. 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 preacher, the leader of a small Christian congregation in Florida, generated worldwide headlines last year when he threatened to burn a copy of the Quran on Sept. 11.

His plan drew widespread condemnation, and he eventually called it off.

Wayne Sapp, another pastor belonging to Stand Up America, said the group would consider appealing the British government's decision.

© Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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