There is nothing the Brits do better than dry humor and Fox News, America's most watched cable television news channel, provides ample opportunity for England to enjoy its national pastime.
In January, the Twitter hashtag #FoxNewsFacts swung into action following a broadcast with terrorism expert Steve Emerson, where he remarked:
“In Britain, there are actual cities like Birmingham that are totally Muslim where non-Muslims just simply don't go in. And 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.”
Host Jeanine Pirro opines, “What's happening is [that] this is metastasizing into a simple takeover,” calling Muslim communities “a caliphate within a particular country.”
Highly credentialed, Emerson is an award-winning investigative journalist, author of the acclaimed film “Jihad in America,” and founding director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism. Pirro is the Emmy-winning television host of “Justice with Judge Jeanine,” a judge, and legal analyst.
Responding to the segment, British Prime Minister David Cameron reported:
“When I heard this, frankly, I choked on my porridge and I thought it must be April Fool’s Day. This guy’s clearly a complete idiot.”
Not to be outdone by their fearless leader, Twitter users quickly got into the game, trending #FoxNewsFacts globally. Social search engine Topsy reports that the tag has been tweeted more than 400,000 times this week.
— Barry Butler (@barryjbutler) January 12, 2015
User Grill Griliopoulos posted a screenshot of Emerson's Wikipedia page, showing that its open source content had been tampered with for the sake of ridicule. Wikipedia's revision history reveals that content was removed due to usage violations as it was considered “partisan,” scolding, “stop using the encyclopedia to vent your anger. DISPASSIONATE TONE.”
— Grill Griliopoulos (@GriddleOctopus) January 11, 2015
Other users got into the act, professing their ignorance and purported job skills.
— Josie Fraser (@josiefraser) January 11, 2015
And the comical:
Birmingham is entirely populated by muslims. Unlike nearby Wolverhampton, which is entirely populated by wolves. #foxnewsfacts
— Ian Rennie (@theangelremiel) January 11, 2015
Rabeb Othmani, who identifies herself as a Muslim Tunisian Brit, leverages #IllRideWithYou (I'll Ride With You), a hashtag that trended worldwide on December 15, 2014, in the wake of the Sydney, Australia café attack.
— Rabeb Othmani (@Rabeb_Othmani) January 11, 2015
Following the incident, Muslims reported feeling unsafe in public spaces, fearing backlash due to the high scale visibility of the Islamic flag that was hung in the storefront window during the 16-hour siege. The I’ll Ride With You Movement started when non-Muslim Australians began posting their locations and destinations on social media, offering to accompany and protect anyone who felt unsafe. The movement garnered huge popular support, marking 150,000 tweets in its first 12 hours, and offered a clear statement against racism and Islamophobia.
Othmani's tweet has been shared over 5,000 times.
On the trend of commentary about Muslim traditional dress, the hijab played a starring role, challenged only by the burka.
— YasminWaQahwa/Dima S (@YasminWaQahwa) January 12, 2015
— Ahmad Fraz (@Ahmad_Fraz9) January 12, 2015
Not to be outdone, classical and pop culture asserted their rightful role, invoking both Shakespeare and the 1980s British Invasion rock band Duran Duran.
Residents of Stratford-upon-Avon are forced to speak in iambic pentameter. Those who fail to do so are fed to angry swans #foxnewsfacts
— Jen Evans (@JenElizaEvans) January 11, 2015
The top selling Birmingham music act of all time is 80s halal pop supergroup Qur'an Qur'an #foxnewsfacts
— Chris Kehoe (@MrKehoe79) January 12, 2015
A bit of espionage was added into the mix.
— Sir. Mad (@Sermadd) January 12, 2015
— kristyan benedict (@KreaseChan) January 12, 2015
— Darcy Byrne (@MayorDarcy) January 12, 2015
And we would never deign to discuss Britain without a mention of its sunny (or is it Sunni?) climes.
— Ahmad Fraz (@Ahmad_Fraz9) January 12, 2015
Lastly, the BBC has been leveraging the #FoxNewsFacts tag throughout, positioning itself as a credible source in the commentary. Here they note that the Muslim population of Birmingham, one of Britain's largest cities, is less than a quarter of its population, featuring a piece that promotes the “real people of the city.”
— BBC Trending (@BBCtrending) January 12, 2015
— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) January 12, 2015
After that, dear friends, we leave you to your own devices. Quips of your own are welcome in the comments.
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