Channel 4 News anchor Cathy Newman has apologized after claiming that she had been forced to leave a mosque in London last month.
Ms Newman had visited the South London Islamic Centre on ‘Visit My Mosque Day’, which had been organized by the Muslim Council of Britain as a way for local communities to engage with British Muslims.
However, moments after entering the mosque, Ms Newman tweeted she had been “ushered out” despite being “respectfully dressed, with head covering and no shoes”.
CCTV footage from the Centre later revealed that Ms Newman had not been asked to leave as she had implied but was merely pointed in the right direction as she was in the wrong venue.
On Thursday, the broadcaster issued an apology on Twitter and said she would “take a break” from the micro-blogging site.
She said: “I accept my tweets were inappropriate and regret using the word ‘ushered’. My language was poorly chosen and has caused a great deal of offence. I deeply regret this has happened.”
The mosque had reportedly received death threats following Ms Newman’s original Twitter messages.
Today a spokesman issued a statement saying the entire incident had been the “toughest” in the mosque’s 37-year history.
The statement said the mosque’s trustees were “deeply disappointed” that Ms Newman had “instinctively” assumed that she was being mistreated because she was a woman.
“Never before in our 37 years of welcoming worshippers from South London have we been thrust into the national spotlight as we have this month”, the statement said.
“If any good can possibly come out of this incident, we hope that it will remind public figures of the need to be judicious not just in the language they use, but in considering how their view of our faith is tainted by the fog of Islamophobia, which is increasingly clouding our national dialogue”, it added.