An American “Terrorism Expert” has apologized after claiming that Birmingham is a “Muslim enclave” where “non Muslims” are not allowed.
Steve Emerson, a journalist and author who claims to be an authority on terrorism and Islamic terrorism, made the comments during a discussion about the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris on US channel Fox News.
“In Britain, it’s not just no-go zones, there are actual cities like Birmingham that are totally Muslim where non-Muslims just simply don’t go in,” he said.
“Parts of London, there are actually Muslim religious police that actually beat and actually wound seriously anyone who doesn’t dress according to Muslim, religious Muslim attire.”
Emerson added that there were Sharia Courts operating openly in Birmingham where “Muslim density” was “intense”.
He also claimed that Birmingham was a “country within a country” where police dare not go and that the British government did not “exercise any sovereignty” there.
Host Jeanine Pirro, maintaining a remarkably straight face, then responds: “You know what it sounds like to me, Steve? It sounds like a caliphate within a particular country.”
Fox News is frequently lampooned for its often outrageous tone and right-wing bias and Mr Emerson’s comments saw the Twitter hashtag “FoxNewsFacts” trending worldwide.
Scores of British politicians, journalists and artists took to Social Media sites to mock the channel.
Labour MP Tom Watson retweeted a message which said: “Birmingham is home of Black Sabbath and other terrifying Muslim musicians. #FoxNewsFacts.”
Best-selling author Irvine Welsh said: “I warn you, @FoxNews, I have an Ocean Colour Scene download and I’m not afraid to use it! (Well, maybe a wee bit…).”
BBC Asian Network presenter Nihal Arthanayake tweeted: “After watching Fox News I will not be visiting Birmingham. I have received threats from the Talibrum. #Foxnewsfacts.
A Twitter user going by the name of GoNawaz said: “In the UK, the Queen must wear a Hijab by Sharia Law when she visits Birmingham. #foxnewsfacts”
Goodness Gracious Me star Sanjeev Bhaskar tweeted: “The Archers, M6, M5 and UB40 are all weapons made in and around #Birmingham #foxnewsfacts.
The best of the lot thus far though was from a Muslim journalist Rabeb Othmani who said: “If you are a non-muslim and would like to visit Birmingham #illridewithyou #FoxNewsFacts.
The best image, goes to this:
Mr Emerson later apologised but did not elaborate on where he got his “facts”.
“I have clearly made a terrible error for which I am deeply sorry. My comments about Birmingham were totally in error. And I am issuing an apology and correction on my website immediately for having made this comment about the beautiful city of Birmingham.
“I do not intend to justify or mitigate my mistake by stating that I had relied on other sources because I should have been much more careful. There was no excuse for making this mistake and I owe an apology to every resident of Birmingham.
“I am not going to make any excuses. I made an inexcusable error. And I am obligated to openly acknowledge that mistake.”
He added that he planned to make a donation to “a Birmingham charity called the Birmingham Children’s Hospital”.