A controversial American preacher who threatened to burn the Koran has warned that he will fight moves to ban him from coming to Britain.
Home Secretary Theresa May is facing calls to bar Pastor Terry Jones from entering the country following the disclosure that he had been invited to address the far-right English Defence League (EDL).
Mr Jones caused outrage across the Muslim world earlier this year 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 insisted that he would be bringing a “positive message” for the English people when he makes his planned visit to address an EDL rally in Luton in February.
He made clear that he would resist any attempt by the Government to prevent him coming to the UK.
“I don’t know if I would just simply accept that. I think I would protest that,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
“I would hope that 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.”
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 Qaida – he suggested he would be a moderating influence on the EDL, which has been linked to a series of violent protests.
“If I am there and have anything to say and any type of influence, I will definitely demand that we have a peaceful demonstration or a peaceful rally. I do not advocate violence of any form,” he said.