A Florida pastor who made headlines for threatening to burn the Koran was asked Thursday to stay away from UC Irvine, where he had planned to speak to students in front of a school library.
Campus police said they asked the Rev. Terry Jones not to come on campus after receiving information about suspicious activity associated with the visit that raised safety concerns. Several areas on campus, including Aldrich Hall where the university's administration is housed, were closed.
Jones, who threatened to burn the Koran on the anniversary of of the September 11 terrorist attacks and eventually did so in March, had applied for a permit to speak at an area near the campus flagpoles but was denied permission because another organization had already applied for the same time slot.
Instead, several students waited for the pastor in front of Langson Library, some sitting on blankets.
Soraya Azzawi, a third-year student, said she understood the security concerns.
"I'd say the security concerns are definitely valid if he's incited violence and used hate speech before," she said.
Ilgiz Khismaov, a UC Irvine graduate and a Muslim, came on campus to see how students were responding.
"He came here to stir hatred and raise tension," he said. "The awesome thing is that Jewish and Muslim students have come together against it."