UK

Fox News Apologises For Saying Birmingham And Parts Of France Were 'Muslim Only'

18/01/2015 14:35 GMT | Updated 18/01/2015 14:59 GMT

Fox News has apologised for claiming England and France had "no go zones" where only Muslims are allowed and which police fear to enter.

The broadcaster, which bills itself "fair and balanced", gave airtime to "terrorism expert" Steven Emerson, who claimed Birmingham was "totally Muslim", and Nigel Farage, who said "Sharia law" was now being applied in UK "ghettos".

Host Sean Hannity also said Muslims were "basically taking over portions" of European countries.

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But after Mr Emerson apologised for his "terrible, inexcusable error" and donated £500 to a Birmingham children's hospital, Fox News broadcast an apology for its assertions about "the Muslim population in Europe".

Fox News presenter Julie Banderas told viewers: "Over the course of this last week we have made some regrettable errors on air, regarding the Muslim population in Europe, particularly with regard to England and France.

"This applies especially to discussions of so-called no-go zones, areas where non-Muslims allegedly aren't allowed in, and police supposedly won't go."

She continued: "To be clear, there is no formal designation of these zones in either country, and no credible information to support the assertion there are specific areas in these countries that exclude individuals based solely on their religion.

"There are, certainly, areas of high crime in Europe, as there are in the United States and other countries, where police and visitors enter with caution.

"We deeply regret the errors and apologise to any and all who may have taken offence, including the people of France and England."

Last week, The Huffington Post UK investigated reports of "no go" zones in France after Fox News' claims.

Christian Mouhanna, director of France's Centre for Sociological Research on Law and Penal Institutions, told us: "Of course, I would not say that there is no tension with some Muslims, but to say that we have no go zones is unrealistic and stupid. There is no place where Islamic laws are enforced."