WASHINGTON, Jan. 12, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today called on Fox News to stop using Islamophobic commentators after self-proclaimed terrorism 'expert' Steven Emerson was forced to apologize online for falsely claiming that a city in the United Kingdom is "totally Muslim, where non-Muslims just simply don't go in."
[NOTE: A Twitter hashtag - #FoxNewsFacts – and a change.org petition have been initiated in response to the controversy. SEE: http://tinyurl.com/nguqt55 ]
On Fox News' "Justice with Judge Jeanine," Emerson said:
"In Britain, it's not just no-go zones, 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 Muslim, religious Muslim attire. So there's a situation that Western Europe is not dealing with."
Video: Islamophobe Steven Emerson Claims UK City is 'Totally Muslim' (CAIR)
Emerson is viewed by many as one of the nation's most notorious Islamophobes who has made a career out of promoting anti-Muslim conspiracy theories.
"Steven Emerson's long history of inflammatory and inaccurate claims should disqualify him as a commentator on any legitimate news network," said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad. "He has made a career out of bashing Islam and Muslims."
According to CAIR's Islamophobia.org website:
"Emerson said of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, 'This [the bombing] was done with the intent to inflict as many casualties as possible. That is a Middle Eastern trait.' Timothy McVeigh, a Caucasian American, was later convicted for committing the terrorist act.
"In 1996, after a plane exploded off the coast of New York, Emerson quickly asserted, 'I have no doubt whatsoever, at this point, that it was a bomb that brought down TWA Flight 800 - not a missile, but a bomb...' The National Transportation Safety Board concluded that the cause of the tragedy was vapor in a fuel tank, a tragic accident rather than a deliberate bombing."
CAIR Islamophobia Monitor: Steven Emerson
The Tennessean newspaper described Steven Emerson as "a leading member of a multimillion-dollar industry of self-proclaimed experts who spread hate toward Muslims in books and movies, on websites and through speaking appearances."
SEE: Anti-Muslim Crusaders Make Millions Spreading Fear
Steven Emerson's Crusade (Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting)
Video: Keith Olbermann Calls Emerson 'Worst Person in the World'
"Fox News' continued use of Islamophobes, such Steven Emerson and many others like him, only serves to harm the network's reputation and to promote hostility toward Islam and ordinary American Muslims," said CAIR Department to Monitor and Combat Islamophobia Director Corey Saylor.
He said Fox News continues to utilize the nation's most notorious Islamophobes and Islamophobia enablers - like Robert Spencer, Pamela Geller, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Brigitte Gabriel, and Zuhdi Jasser - as regular commentators on issues related to Islam and Muslims.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali
For example, hate blogger Robert Spencer recently made a claim similar to Emerson's on Fox.
Robert Spencer: 'No-Go Zones' Are Incubators of Islamic Jihad
Fox News hosts and guests continue to falsely claim that Muslims have been silent on the recent terror attack in Paris.
SEE: Fox News Still Falsely Claiming Muslim Leaders Have Been Silent On Charlie Hebdo Attack
What Fox Won't Show You: Muslim Leaders are Condemning the Paris Terror Attack
Video: CAIR Officials Nationwide Condemn Paris Charlie Hebdo Attack, Defend Free Speech
Last year, CAIR issued a public video response to a Fox News demand that an American Muslim leader come on the network to condemn "Islamic Extremism" and then failing to interview a leader who accepted that challenge.
CAIR Video Calls Out Fox News' Faux 'Condemn Islamic Extremism' Challenge to Muslim Leaders
CAIR offers a publication called "American Muslims: A Journalist's Guide to Understanding Islam and Muslims" to help promote an accurate image of Islam and American Muslims in the media.
American Muslims: A Journalist's Guide to Understanding Islam and Muslims
Media professionals may request a guide by emailing: email@example.com
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
CONTACT: CAIR Department to Monitor and Combat Islamophobia Director Corey Saylor, 202-384-8857, firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, email@example.com; CAIR Communications Manager Amina Rubin, 202-341-4171, firstname.lastname@example.org
SOURCE Council on American-Islamic Relations