American News Channel Ridiculed After Labelling Birmingham “Muslim-Only City”
American terrorism investigator Steven Emerson has apologised after mistakenly calling Birmingham a “Muslim only city” where “non-Muslims could not go”. He claimed “Muslim religious police” beat “anyone who doesn’t dress according to Muslim, religious Muslim attire”.
Mr Emerson, who founded a group called The Investigative Project on Terrorism, was giving his view on the terror attacks in France to Fox presenter Jeanine Pirro. The subject was on supposed Muslim controlled areas in Europe.
Since the blunder the hashtag #FoxNewsFacts began trending on twitter with members of the public writing comedic ‘facts’ about Birmingham in reference to Emerson’s claims:
‘The Vicar of Dibley was reproduced for transmission in Birmingham as “The Imam of Dudley” #foxnewsfacts’
‘Mecca Bingo, probable proof of the Islamic domination of Birmingham according to #foxnewsfacts’
‘As a non-Muslim I wasn’t sure how I was going to get to work in #Birmingham today #foxnewsfacts’
Birmingham City Council said Mr Emerson’s “curious” comments had no basis and welcomed an apology, whilst Birmingham Edgbaston MP Gisela Stuart called the remarks “stupid”.
Shabir Vanat, aged 61, who left Uganda for Birmingham almost 40 years ago, described it as “a very cosmopolitan city”.
Also a Muslim, he said, “I’ve been in this shop for 29 years and I’ve never had one single problem – I am a big fan of Birmingham.”
Birmingham City Councillor James McKay commented on the issue, “We are amazingly diverse, and that’s one of the things that makes us brilliant – all this fuss is a reminder of how it’s always best to check your facts before getting into a debate.
“Maybe Fox News could come and visit some time, and see for themselves what a great city we have here?”
Mr. Emerson has since apologised for his remarks and tweeted, ‘My comments on FoxNews about Birmingham were totally inaccurate. Birmingham, please accept my apology; I was wrong. Steve Emerson’
He added, “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.”
Mr. Emerson even offered to donate to Birmingham Children’s Hospital.
Now more than 1,000 people have signed an online petition calling for Mr. Emerson to make an “on-air apology to the people of Birmingham UK for saying non-Muslims cannot enter our beloved multi-cultural city”.
Maryam Snape, who started the petition, said, “The fact of the matter is the American people saw this story and they are still going to believe it is the truth until he puts it right.”