We first reported last month that officials in the United Kingdom were considering permanently banning Florida pastor Terry Jones, who garnered international attention last fall for threatening to burn copies of the Muslim Koran.
Although Jones eventually backed down from his threat, the UK's Home Office has decided to make good on their own, banning the pastor from entering the country. Jones was invited to deliver remarks on the expansion of Islam to a group called England is Ours next month.
According to the UK's Daily Mail, government officials decided that Jones' presence would not be "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," a Home Office spokesperson said. "Numerous comments made by pastor Jones are evidence of his unacceptable behavior. Coming to the UK is a privilege, not a right, and we are not willing to allow entry to those who 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."
A spokesman for England Is Ours told the Daily Mail that he hoped other members of Jones' outreach group would be able to visit and speak on his behalf:
Barry Taylor, secretary of the activists' group based in Milton Keynes, said Pastor Jones had planned to visit in mid-February to attend a number of meetings with other similar organisations.
He said: "I'm very disappointed. The whole object of the exercise is to have a discussion about the Islamification of the UK and just have dialogue about the problems. The idea isn't to cause trouble or kick up a stink. These things do need addressing and people do need to speak about them. We shouldn't be frightened about them."
Jones joins a short list of individuals who have also been "named and shamed" and banned from entering the UK, including sponsors of terrorism, Westboro Baptist Church leader Fred Phelps and conservative talk radio host Michael Savage.