Quran Burner Banned from Entering the United Kingdom

After his controversial stint of burning a Quran in Denmark and Sweden during protests, far-right Danish-Swedish politician and activist Rasmus Paludan said he would travel to the United Kingdom to perform his act again last Wednesday to coincide with Ramadan.

Paludan said in a Twitter video last Sunday that he intends to travel to Wakefield in the West Yorkshire region to "fight back" against "undemocratic forces,” adding that he would burn the Islamic holy text in the city’s public square.

But before he could set foot in the country, the British government’s security minister Tom Tugendhat announced that Paludan was added to the “warnings index” and “will not be allowed access” to the United Kingdom, barring him from entering Britain.

During a hearing in the House of Commons, Simon Lightwood, a member of parliament (MP) from the Labour Party for Wakefield, raised concerns over Paludan’s potential visit to the city.

His threats to burn the Quran in the city come after the city was embroiled in a controversy surrounding an autistic Year 10 student earlier this month when he received death threats after allegedly damaging a Quran inside his school’s premises.

"Far-right Islamophic Danish politician Rasmus Paludan said he is going to travel from Denmark to Wakefield for the sole purpose of burning a Quran in a public place,” Lightwood said. “Mr. Paludan was previously jailed in Denmark for his hateful and racist statements. He is a dangerous man that should not be allowed into this country.

"Can the home secretary assure me and my community that the government is taking action to prevent this?" Lightwood also said, addressing Tugendhat.

In response to his concerns, Tugendhat replied to Lightwood, briefly explaining his steps regarding Paludan by adding him to the UK’s immigration watchlist.

Mr. Paludan has been added to the warnings index, and therefore his travel to the United Kingdom would not be conducive with the public good, and he will not be allowed access,” Tugendhat replied.

Paludan stirred controversy across the Muslim world in January when he burned a copy of the Quran during a protest in Stockholm, Sweden. The protest harmed Sweden’s application to join NATO when Turkey, a member of the alliance, held the country’s application to join NATO, which comes at a crucial time when Russia invaded Ukraine in February last year.

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