Quran-burning far-right politician banned from entering UK

Danish Swede Rasmus Paludan has previously been jailed in Denmark for his hateful and racist statements

A Palestinian schoolgirl holds a copy of the Quran during a Gaza Strip protest against Rasmus Paludan burning the holy book in Sweden in January. EPA
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UK Security Minister Tom Tugendhat has said he "will not allow" a far-right politician who plans to burn a copy of the Quran during a visit to Wakefield to enter the country.

Danish-Swede Rasmus Paludan, the leader of the Stram Kurs party founded in 2017, has been added to the “warnings index” and will be barred from entering the country, Mr Tugendhat said.

Mr Paludan has held several protests in which the Quran was burnt, some of which have led to violent counter-protests.

In a Twitter video on Sunday, he said that he planed to burn a copy of the Quran in a public square in the English city of Wakefield, West Yorkshire, this week to coincide with Ramadan.

Speaking in the House of Commons during Home Office questions, Labour MP Simon Lightwood, who represents Wakefield, raised concerns about the visit and protest.

“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," Mr Lightwood said.

Iraqi protesters in Baghdad after Rasmus Paludan, leader of the Danish far-right political party Hard Line, burnt a copy of the Quran outside the Turkish embassy in Stockholm, Sweden, in January. Reuters

“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?”

Mr Tugendhat replied: "May I inform the House that 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."

Updated: March 21, 2023, 5:22 AM

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