Britain's government announced Thursday that it has denied a visa to hardline Egyptian cleric Sheik Youssef al-Qaradawi, saying it will not tolerate visitors who seek to justify terrorism. The Muslim Council of Britain criticized the decision, saying al-Qaradawi is a widely respected scholar throughout the Muslim world. The Home Office issued a brief statement confirming it had denied al-Qaradawi a visa and saying: "The UK will not tolerate the presence of those who seek to justify any acts of terrorist violence or express views that could foster inter-community violence." It declined to say when the decision was reached or why al-Qaradawi had sought to enter Britain. The Egyptian-born preacher was reportedly seeking to come to the UK for medical treatment.