London: UK Home Secretary Theresa May is reportedly under immense pressure to halt a visit by anti-Muslim US preacher Terry Jones, who had threatened to burn copies of the Quran on the anniversary of 9/11 this year, to Britain after far-right activists said he had agreed to address them at a demonstration about "the evils of Islam".
Earlier, the English Defence League (EDL) said it was "proud to announce" that Jones would be attending the event in Luton in early February.
The Guardian quoted Jones’ website as saying that he intended to visit the EDL`s "biggest demonstration to date" in February, adding: "During the protest, Dr Terry Jones will speak against the evils and destructiveness of Islam in support of the continued fight against the Islamification of England and Europe."
However, the British anti-extremist campaign, Hope Not Hate, launched its own petition urging May to ban Jones from Britain, while MPs demanded immediate action from the home secretary, the paper said.
"Pastor Jones`s presence in Luton will be incendiary and highly dangerous. He will attract and encourage thousands of English Defence League supporters to take to the streets of Luton,” Nick Lowles, Hope Not Hate`s campaign co-ordinator, said.
"Like the EDL, Pastor Jones indiscriminately targets all Muslims and their actions can only lead to increased tensions and racism in our communities. His appearance will rightly cause concern and fear among Muslims across the country," he added.
Meanwhile, Jon Cruddas, Labour MP for Dagenham, said he would table an urgent parliamentary motion tomorrow demanding that the pastor be banned from coming into the country.
May has the power to exclude or deport an individual if she thinks their presence in the UK could threaten national security, public order or the safety of citizens, the paper added.
She has already acted against the EDL, banning a march in Leicester in November.