Extremist pastor Terry Jones barred from Germany
Germany has barred notorious US pastor Terry Jones from entering the country after protests across the Muslim world sparked by an anti-Islam film he backs, the interior ministry says.
A visit by Jones would be contrary to the “interest in maintaining public order”, a ministry spokesman said, referring to plans by a far-right group to invite the Florida pastor to Germany.
Jones, who sparked deadly protests in the past with plans for a public Koran burning, has said the provocative low-budget movie, Innocence of Muslims, was not intended to insult Muslims.
The small Pro Deutschland group reportedly wants to stage a Berlin screening of the film that ignited a wave of protests and sometimes deadly violence in the Muslim world last week.
“For us, it’s a question of art and freedom of expression,” the group’s leader, Manfred Rouhs, told the latest edition of newsmagazine Der Spiegel.
German Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich also told Der Spiegel he would use every legal means at his disposal to stop the group showing the film.
“Such groups and organizations only want to provoke Germany’s Muslims,” he said, accusing them of recklessly pouring oil on the fire.
Pro Deutschland is known for its provocative demonstrations. Last month, its activists called for protests outside three Berlin mosques, in action they said was aimed at Islamist extremists.