Together at Last: Pastor Terry Jones and the English Defence League

As is being widely reported, Pastor Terry Jones is back in the news, with plans to come to the UK to take part in an English Defence League rally. Jones is famous world-wide for his aborted plan to burn a heap of Korans at his church in Gainesville and for his “Islam is of the Devil” slogan, but he also has some other controversial views: he claims that it is not racist to use the slur “nigger”, on the grounds that it doesn’t apply to intelligent black people but can be used to refer to foolish white people. He also reportedly at one point threatened to burn the Talmud as well as the Koran, although I haven’t been able to find an authoritative source for that.

Jones’ Dove World Outreach Center website has the details:

We are pleased to announce that the English Defence League (EDL), the American Defense League (ADL), and all the international Defense Leagues connected with those groups have confirmed and support our work. The English Defense League has also invited Dr Jones to come to a historic Rally of theirs, February 5, 2011, Luton, England. 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.

The EDL Facebook page is also confirming Jones’ attendance:

The English Defence League are proud to announce our guest speaker for what will be our biggest demo to date LUTON “LUTON Demo update “The Big One” DR TERRY JONES AND STAND UP AMERICA! WILL JOIN THE ENGLISH DEFENCE LEAGUE ON FEBRUARY 5TH, 2PM, LUTON, ENGLAND, TO SPEAK OUT AGAINST THE EVILS OF ISLAM.” -D-

This “Stand Up America!” appears to be a new project of Jones, and it is distinct from another right-wing group of that name, run by Paul Vallely. According to the website of the of Jones group:

Stand Up America! is holding rallies in major cities all around America. Dr. Terry Jones of Dove World Outreach Center is the primary speaker. The purpose of Stand Up America! is to encourage Americans and the Church to stand up.  In other words, it’s not only geared towards the Christian community, but its geared towards us as Americans to stand up on issues that we feel are important.

It is about issues like the national debt, that our President is running us into at an almost unrepairable rate….

Currently, Stand Up America! is standing up for the Christians & minorities in Islamic dominated countries. In Egypt Christianity is persecuted everyday and America closes its eyes. Even the Christian churches in America refuse to see to the brutality and inhumane treatment of those that do not accept Islam as their religion. Stand Up America! will continue to protest and speak out on these issues as well as abortion, homosexuality, same-sex marriage and other areas that the modern church of today shy away from…

Jones – whose book Islam is of the Devil was quietly scrubbed by the publisher, Creation House – isn’t the first fringe anti-gay religious-right figure from the USA with whom the EDL has made links: back in October, “Surfing Rabbi” (and Tea Party activist) Nachum Shifren was a speaker at an EDL rally in London. Jones’ planned Koran-burning inspired six EDL members to burn the book in Gateshead in September, leading to arrests “on suspicion of inciting racial hatred”.

However, it’s likely that both groups will get the publicity they need, without the EDL having to worry about any embarrassing comments Jones might make about homosexuals and “niggers”: there are calls for Jones to be denied entry to the UK, and given that a number of other extremists have been banned already, it is likely that Jones will be excluded. It’ll then be story of free speech and the supposed “Islamization of Europe” rather than of the preposterous and mutually-discrediting alliance itself.