Anti-Islamic Pastor Terry Jones Denied Entry to Canada

Terry Jones, a pastor from Florida who made headlines when he burned copies of the Qur’an on the anniversary of September 11th, was denied entry to Canada this week as he attempted to enter to attend a debate on free-speech and religion in Toronto.

Photo from the Toronto Star

Jones is the author of a book titled Islam is the Devil and garnered attention for announcing that he was going to burn copies of the Qur’an. In building up toward the event, mass protests against Jones resulted in at least 20 people being killed. He cancelled the event but later went ahead with Qur’an burning in April 2012.

Many media outlets are suggesting that Terry Jones’ views are what kept him out of Canada, but it is actually a criminal record that caused him to be denied entry to Canada.

Jones has a criminal record stemming from an incident in Germany where he used the title “doctor” illegitimately as well as a breaching the peace charge from Detroit.

While both of these decisions were appealed and overturned, Jones could not prove this to border officials and was denied entry to Canada.

It could be assumed that border officials were looking for any reason to keep Jones out of Canada as other people such as Zazir Naik and George Galloway have been barred from entering Canada for controversy outside of Canada. However, because of Jones’ criminal record and inability to prove the charges were overturned, they found it.

Keep in mind that a criminal record that relates to even minor, non-violent offences can get you barred from Canada.

And as an aside, one of the best things about Canada is that everyone is entitled to have their own viewpoints, thoughts and opinions without living in fear or being censored for them.

Even if some of these viewpoints, such as those of Terry Jones, are abhorrent, vile or upsetting to many of us – we cannot have it both ways. We can either have free speech and a society where different viewpoints are allowed, considered and debated, or a society that is the opposite and that is in fact, a society that many new Canadians have come to Canada to get away from.

Any information provided here does not constitute legal advice and is intended for general information only. Should you require legal advise, you are encouraged to contact a lawyer directly. All blog postings are public and are not subject to solicitor/client confidentially. Case results depend on a variety of factors unique to each case, and case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any further case undertaken by the lawyer.

Tags: Anti-Islam Pastor Terry Jones criminal inadmissibility to Canada denied entry to Canada free speech Immigration Refusals Pastor Terry Jones Refused Entry to Canada Terry Jones

About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the American Bar Association. He is frequently called upon to appear in the media to discuss Canadian and US immigration issues effecting North Americans. He has been interviewed by Canada AM, CTV, Canada News Net, the Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star and has given lectures on immigration topics overseas.

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