Qur’an-burning pastor to visit UK


by Rumbold
12th December, 2010 at 8:23 pm    

Richard Bartholomew has the news that Pastor Terry Jones, who earlier in the year threatened to burn the Qur’an in America to protest against freedom of worship in New York, has been invited to come and address a national meeting of the English Defence League (EDL) in February in Luton. Richard has also highlighted some of Pastor Jones’ views which weren’t widely known before:

He claims that it is not racist to use the slur “nigger”, on the grounds that it doesn’t apply to intelligent black people but can be used to refer to foolish white people. He also reportedly at one point threatened to burn the Talmud as well as the Koran, although I haven’t been able to find an authoritative source for that.

This continues the EDL’s attempt to position themselves as a purely anti-Islamic group, with the media focus on the Pastor’s Islamophobia rather than his racist language. Will Theresa May ban him from coming here? Such a decision would undoubtedly be popular, but it would also feed into the narrative of the EDL that Islam is taking over the UK and that criticism of Islam and Muslims is being muzzled.


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  1. sunny hundal

    Blogged: : Qur'an-burning pastor to visit UK http://bit.ly/hMCJwv


  2. Roger Thornhill

    RT @sunny_hundal: Blogged: : Qur'an-burning pastor to visit UK http://bit.ly/hMCJwv // this




  1. joe90 — on 12th December, 2010 at 9:22 pm  

    Let him in i say, he can join his british equals in the edl and together they can be shown for what they are. 1 american racist and a bunch of NF and BNP morons who have jumped on the islamophobia bandwagon because calling muslims scum and terrorists is freedom of speech.

  2. bill — on 12th December, 2010 at 9:27 pm  

    Yep extremists insulting Muslims/Islam is freedom of speech. Extremist Muslims insulting others is however hate speech.

  3. Konnu — on 12th December, 2010 at 9:28 pm  

    what joe90 said, spot on

  4. Sarah AB — on 12th December, 2010 at 9:38 pm  

    Yes – I think there is an argument for letting him in on libertarian grounds (if he isn’t inciting violence) – but I like Joe90′s argument better.

  5. Don — on 12th December, 2010 at 9:45 pm  

    Let him talk.

  6. damon — on 12th December, 2010 at 9:59 pm  

    Let’s not forget who we’re talking about here.

    These people. They’re hardly Nazi Stormtroopers.
    http://casualsunited.wordpress.com/2010/12/12/edl-peterborough-march-smashing-the-lies-of-the-left/

    See their effort in Peterborough yesterday?

    I went to several Loyalist Orange marches in Northern Ireland this summer, just to see what they were like, and when you walk alongside the people in them, they don’t seem so scary as you thought.

    You can be totally opposed to them, but still see their humanity.
    I think that’s where UAF goes too far.
    I think the EDL are like the Orangemen of Northern Ireland.

  7. Refresh — on 12th December, 2010 at 11:13 pm  

    Let him in and Assange out!

  8. Waterloo Sunset — on 12th December, 2010 at 11:17 pm  

    On tactical grounds, lobbying for his entry into the UK would be a mistake. As has been pointed out, it would simply play into the chosen narrative of the EDL. That doesn’t mean we should go out of our way to support him coming here. It’s simply not something that’s worth spending effort on.

    That doesn’t mean that he shouldn’t be protested when he’s here. But not while calling for state bans, which is always counterproductive.

    @ damon

    “These people. They’re hardly Nazi Stormtroopers.
    http://casualsunited.wordpress.com/2010/12/12/edl-peterborough-march-smashing-the-lies-of-the-left/

    While it’s important not to overstate their capability (they’re a small core of hardened hooligans, surrounded by a far greater number of wannabees and hangers-on), neither can you take Marsh’s propaganda at face value on this. There are absolutely people with a history of far right activity in their ranks, including ‘Tommy Robinson’himself. You need to understand their ‘multiracial’ nature through the prism of football hooliganism. It’s nothing new. The Plymouth Argyle firm had a black member who sold BNP newspapers outside the ground, back in the 80′s. The Chelsea Headhunters were closely affiliated to Combat 18, despite having a black member in the rotund shape of “Chubby” Henderson.

    Actually browse their forum over a period of time for a better idea of what they’re about. Currently, they’re praising the NF member from “Young, Angry and White” to the skies. And talking about attacking student demos. The latter may be mostly bravado, but it’s still worth keeping an eye on.

    “You can be totally opposed to them, but still see their humanity.”

    Gosh, you mean that the far right are actually human beings? I’m not sure that revelation is as startling to most of us as it seems to have been to you.

    “I think the EDL are like the Orangemen of Northern Ireland.”

    Stopped clocks etc. That is one of their main reference points. Some of their main faces were heavily involved in the cross club firm that used to attack Irish Republican demos back in the late 80′s and 90′s.

    That’s not awfully reassuring though. Sections of the Orange movement, particuarly in England, have a long history of collaborating with fascists.

  9. jack — on 13th December, 2010 at 1:47 am  

    Let him in. Don’t let Islam control us. they blew up a car in Stokholm recently in an attempt to scare us, do not be scared, fight for freedom and support our country in its war against those who strike fear into the hearts of others. i would know this fear as i was checking in for a flight when a land rover ploughed into the front of Glasgow Airport. Stand strong.

  10. Niaz — on 13th December, 2010 at 2:37 am  

    Bet the anti Muslim bigots like jack and Damon who support Terry Jones right to come to the UK also supported the ban on Zakir Naik coming in. Hypocrites.

  11. Cauldron — on 13th December, 2010 at 4:05 am  

    Deny this “pastor” the oxygen of publicity and he will fade away. He’s a plonker, but he’s not threatening injury to anyone.

    Meanwhile, I note that Bedforshire is currently playing host to, and presumably paying benefits to, the wife and spawn of a suicide bomber.

  12. AbuF — on 13th December, 2010 at 7:46 am  

    Bet the anti Muslim bigots like jack and Damon who support Terry Jones right to come to the UK also supported the ban on Zakir Naik coming in

    What about those of us who opposed entry to clerical fascists and secularist fascists of whatever stripe?

    Naik is a clerical fascist scumball, incidentally.

  13. cjcjc — on 13th December, 2010 at 8:26 am  

    “What about those of us who opposed entry to clerical fascists and secularist fascists of whatever stripe?”

    We get squeezed out.

  14. Leon — on 13th December, 2010 at 1:53 pm  

    To hell ‘libertarianism’, the guy’s coming here to stir up race hate!

    There have been incidents (and arrests) of attempts or threats of Qu’ran burning across the country in recent weeks as it is. If this guy comes here more will follow and attacks on Muslim people.

    This isn’t about curtailing free speech, it’s about protecting it and British citizens from extremists like the EDL.

  15. MaidMarian — on 13th December, 2010 at 2:04 pm  

    There is a slight problem here Rumbold.

    ‘This continues the EDL’s attempt to position themselves as a purely anti-Islamic group.’

    Whatever I may think of them and their politics, they are doing a pretty good job in positioning themselves. Terry Jones may be a media created panto-dame, but the reason he got global media coverage was that he does provocation very well.

    I agree with Waterloo Sunset that, like the BNP before them, there is a world of difference between these people’s media profile and their actual capabilities. Notwithstanding that these people are however well able to play to media and talkboard hysterics. And the media, ever hungry, will give these people all the publicity they want regardless of the quality of their actual support. Being fair, I suspect that following the performance of the BNP at the last election, some of the media might just be realising that they got a bit suckered and are a bit more guarded now.

    What we need is not more discussion of the issues, but a normalisation of race-relations. We are a very long way off that. I would however add one thing here. We can bemoan the EDL all we like. For as long as people take stories like the Swedish terror attacks, look for some link to the UK an start to knee-jerk use it as a stick with which to beat UK society, its government and alliances those people are just as big a part of the problem.

  16. Sarah AB — on 13th December, 2010 at 2:24 pm  

    Niaz – I think it’s fair enough to compare Jones with Naik. I’d say that Naik’s slippery remarks about terrorism make it *possible* to defend banning him but not Jones. Jones seems an absolutely obnoxious person who, like Wilders, might be said to have the potential effect of provoking violence from both sides – but he doesn’t (AFAIK) directly incite violence -whereas Naik’s statements about terrorism are ambiguous.

  17. damon — on 13th December, 2010 at 2:51 pm  

    Bet the anti Muslim bigots like jack and Damon who support Terry Jones right to come to the UK also supported the ban on Zakir Naik coming in. Hypocrites.

    You keep calling me a bigot for some reason. I am in two minds whether people should be banned from coming to the UK or not. If pushed I’d say no.
    This Pastor Jones is a nobody with a congregation of 50 people, so to ban him because he’s a self-serving publicitist does seem a bit OTT.
    Zakir Naik on the other hand preaches in front of crowds of 50,000 in India, and draws fawning, (seemingly mainstream) audiences here.
    http://www.ilovezakirnaik.com/
    I only know about him from what I’ve read, and that’s not much. Niaz, maybe you could give us your opinion of Naik and then at least we’d have a better understanding of where we all stood.
    Btw, Lee Jasper rang into a radio phone in this morning and said that he’d ban everyone. Pastor Jones, foreign ”hate preachers”, the BNP and the EDL.

    Another difference between Jones and Naik coming to Britain is the way that they would be treated by those that who are oposed to them. If Jones does get to Luton he will be speaking standing on a soap box kettled in with the EDL in some park or industrial estate with arrests and the police lashing out at people trying to leave the kettle and a helecopter hovering overhead, while Naik would be at venues like Wembley Arena and the NEC.

    Also, it’s my opinion that an EDL march in Luton, even if Jones was to be there, and the press starts to go after Luton again, as being some hotbed of extremism, that mature people do not need to rise to the bait and get all worked up by it.
    Same as it’s best not to when some twerp on the internet throws ‘bigot’ jibes.

    Waterloo Sunset, what you say there is pretty sound I think.

  18. MaidMarian — on 13th December, 2010 at 3:41 pm  

    damon – yes.

    Put another way, this is a media battle. There was always something faintly artifical about Jones in that it all his book-burning seemed to be done with the media in mind.

    Rightly or wrongly it is too easy to get attention – I’d agree with you that attention seeking is no reason to ban anything. Of course, as the BNP found out, media attention does not necessarily translate into hard votes.

    I am yet to meet anyone who thinks that a 24 hour news cycle is a good thing, yet the oversupply of media grows by the day.

    There never was a golden age of race relations, but somehow there now seems to be more people who want the divide, who feed on division.

  19. KB Player — on 13th December, 2010 at 6:35 pm  

    Let him in ! Let him in!

    I’m dying to see the look on the EDL members’ face when he tries to bring them to Jesus.

  20. Caliope — on 13th December, 2010 at 8:58 pm  

    “Bet the anti Muslim bigots like jack and Damon who support Terry Jones right to come to the UK also supported the ban on Zakir Naik coming in. Hypocrites.”

    Equivalentist bullshit. Naik has made statements supporting terrorism and advocates the killing of homosexuals. Jones may have bigoted views – he dislikes Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, homsexuality, etc etc – but he hasn’t advocated violence against anyone.

    I would have no objectiong to Jones being excluded on the grounds that he is a bigoted arse who has no right to be here, just as no foreigner has any right to be here. But Naik, in openly approving of murder, is a bloodthirsty order of magnitude worse.

  21. KJB — on 13th December, 2010 at 10:54 pm  

    Meanwhile, I note that Bedforshire is currently playing host to, and presumably paying benefits to, the wife and spawn of a suicide bomber.

    Mmmm, what a charming comment! ‘Spawn,’ yes, nice and dehumanising. I had no idea being born to a suicide bomber was reason enough to make such comments about innocent children.

    While it’s unclear whether Taimur Abdulwahab al-Abdaly had a job, his wife Mona Thwany happens to have a life of her own besides being the spouse of a dead godbag, and has her own beauty business, so no, Cauldron, Bedfordshire is not ‘paying benefits to her.’ You, however, are a parody of the kind of right-wing scum who hate people merely for having the temerity to be without jobs.

    As for Pastor Jones – we should let him in and subject him to a live, televised quiz with the express purpose of humiliation. It’s what we Brits are so good at.

    Let’s get the most out of Anne Robinson. Make him answer questions on America, Christianity and Islam with possible children’s-gameshow-style additions such as dunking him in green custard if he gets 3 answers wrong in a row. He could even have a tag-team thing with the bestest of his EDL buddies.

  22. Caliope — on 13th December, 2010 at 11:34 pm  

    “As for Pastor Jones – we should let him in and subject him to a live, televised quiz with the express purpose of humiliation. It’s what we Brits are so good at”

    Or alternatively we should get Ken Livingstone to embrace him and defend him as a ‘moderate’ and hope he’ll say something critical about Israel. Or the SWP to describe him as a ‘scholar’ whose eclusion would demonstrate bigotry against Christians. Or the Guardian to give him a column.

    And if he can be filmed by Channel 4 encouraging a congregation to kill Muslims, we should get the West Midlands Police to threaten the programme makers with prosecution for fomenting religious hatred against… Christians.

    And if he likens Muslims to animals, maybe the New Statesman can give him a senior post.

    It’s what the left is so good at.

  23. AsifB — on 14th December, 2010 at 3:30 am  

    I’m with KJB, let him be free to speak, most people in Britain can see him and the EDL for the unpleasant bigots they are, without the help of Anne Robinson.

    Personally, I’m only offended that Pastor Terry Jones shares the same name as the director of Life of Brian, this is a Python worshipping country after all (NT9OCnews)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kqilW8OpeGc

  24. Rumbold — on 14th December, 2010 at 10:11 am  

    As for Pastor Jones – we should let him in and subject him to a live, televised quiz with the express purpose of humiliation. It’s what we Brits are so good at.

    Heh KJB.

  25. Kisan — on 14th December, 2010 at 11:07 am  

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-11986228
    EDL blocks Koran protest pastor Terry Jones from event

    Still seems the crazy Pastor has plans to come in February without the EDL platform to spread his gospel.

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