A Fox News commentator is under fire after he said the U.K.’s second-largest city has become “totally Muslim.” Speaking on a segment about the terrorist attacks in Paris, Steven Emerson, who founded The Investigative Project on Terrorism, which studies radical Islamic terrorist groups, said Birmingham was a "totally Muslim city where non-Muslims don't go in."
“In parts of London, there are actually Muslim religious police that actually beat and actually wound seriously anyone who doesn’t dress according to religious Muslim attire,” Emerson added in the segment, which aired Sunday.
Birmingham, a city with a population of about 1 million, has a Muslim population of about 234,000, or 21.8 percent, according to the city’s 2011 census. That's far greater than the Muslim population in London, 12.4 percent, but it's far from “totally Muslim.”
In response to Emerson’s claim, Twitter erupted with the new hashtag #FoxNewsFacts, being used to poke fun at the news outlet and to discuss the role of Islam in British society.
As someone born and raised in Birmingham, I must admit there was a pressure to read the Kerrang.
— unklerupert (@unklerupert) January 11, 2015
— David Broadfield (@David_Link2) January 12, 2015
— Robin Wigglesworth (@RobinWigg) January 11, 2015
#foxnewsfacts Pigeons must wear niqabs at all times. These are all hand-knitted by a slave army of grannies.
— Oscar Power (@oscarpower) January 12, 2015
Paul McCartney is converting to Islam and changing his name to Paul Meccartney #foxnewsfacts
— Matthew Flint (@Flintster) January 12, 2015
Emerson issued an apology Sunday, admitting his comments “were totally in error.”
“There was no excuse for making this mistake and I owe an apology to every resident of Birmingham,” Emerson said in a statement on his website. More than 2,700 people have signed a change.org petition to have Emerson apologize on air.