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A commentator who appeared on Fox News has apologized after arguing that the British city of Birmingham was “totally Muslim” and a place where “non-Muslims just simply don’t go in.”
Steven Emerson, who was speaking as part of the news channel’s coverage of the Charlie Hebdo murders in Paris, also claimed that there were parts of London where “Muslim religious police” beat “anyone who doesn’t dress according to religious Muslim attire.”
The statements caused a firestorm on social media in the U.K., especially from residents of Birmingham. Approximately 80 percent of the city’s population of almost 1.1 million is non-Muslim. The hashtag #FoxNewsFacts began trending after being used by those mocking Emerson’s comments.
However, on hearing of his mistake, the terrorism pundit, author and filmmaker behind 1993 PBS documentary Terrorists Among Us: Jihad in America issued a statement in which he said he was “deeply sorry” for his “terrible error.”
“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,” he said, adding that he owed an “apology to every resident of Birmingham” and would be making a donation to the city’s children’s hospital.
Emerson was criticized after the Boston marathon bombings in 2013, when he claimed on the Fox News show Hannity that he had received information from an unnamed U.S. immigration official claiming a Saudi national was linked to the attack.
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