Speaking to the Finnish media on Saturday, controversial Muslim cleric Bilal Philips denied extremist ties or preaching violence against homosexuals. Philips, who started a two-day visit to Finland on Saturday, urged Finland's Muslims to actively participate in society and warned young men against going to Syria to take up arms.
Answering questions from the press, Philips flatly denied that he promotes radical views. He stressed that his aim is to teach the truth of his religion, which is not a call for violence.
"My main message to Muslims, wherever I go is to know what the true teachings of Islam are, because these true teachings do not allow terrorism. They don't allow those extremist acts like suicide bombing. It doesn't allow it. So how does it spread? How does it happen to be amongst the people? Because of ignorance where some individuals, extreme individuals, exploit the ignorance of people and promote this. So actually by banning me, by not allowing me in the country, and people like myself, they are actually opening the door to terrorism," he said.