TORONTO – A controversial anti-Islamic pastor from Florida has been denied from entering Canada for an evening rally.
Event organizer Allan Einstoss says Terry Jones was turned back at the Canada-U.S. border when officials couldn’t confirm whether or not he had a criminal record in the U.S.
Jones was slated to take part in a multifaith debate on free speech in front of the Ontario legislature this evening.
Organizers had planned to have Jones square off against a Toronto imam, a Sikh community leader and Muslim author to discuss the film “Innocence of Muslims,” which has incited mass riots around the world.
Jones made international headlines two years ago when he marked the ninth anniversary of 9-11 by burning copies of the Qur’an.
Organizers say the debate is still scheduled to get underway at 6 p.m.
Einstoss lamented Jones’ absence, however, saying interference from border officials has quashed an opportunity for a meaningful discussion on free speech.
“That’s the government’s choice, that’s what they wanted,” Einstoss said. “We could have had a nice civil evening, but that’s their decision.”