Mrs May said: “I have excluded Dr Naik from the UK. Numerous comments made by Dr Naik are evidence to me of his unacceptable behaviour.
“Coming to the UK is a privilege, not a right, and I am not willing to allow those who might not be conducive to the public good to enter the UK. Exclusion powers are very serious and no decision is taken lightly or as a method of stopping open debate on issues.”
Dr Naik has risen to international prominence and popularity in the Muslim community as a result of his appearances as a television evangelist for Peace TV satellite channel. He was due to start a speaking tour of Britain at venues including Wembley Arena in London, Sheffield Arena and Birmingham’s LG Arena.
But some of his remarks have led to him being called a “hatemonger” by Monmouth Tory MP David Davies.
He has said that former US president George W Bush was behind the attack on the Twin Towers, that “every Muslim should be a terrorist” and that “people who change their religion should face the death penalty.”
A spokesman for the CST welcomed the decision, and said: “Zakir Naik is known for his derogatory attitude towards non-Muslims and he has an ambiguous attitude towards terrorism. The concern is that anyone should be wanting him here in the first place, particularly to address such large venues.