Fox News figures scapegoated Islam and promoted Islamophobia following an attack in London reportedly perpetrated by radical extremists which has been denounced by Muslim organizations in Britain.
Man Killed In London Attack
NY Times: Man In London “Was Rammed By A Car And Then Hacked To Death By Two Knife-Wielding Assailants.” The New York Times reported that a man was killed in London on May 22 by two men, one of whom reportedly was from Nigeria and who appeared on a cellphone video offering “what seems to be a political message”:
In an attack that raised new fears of terrorism in Britain, a man walking near a military barracks in south London on Wednesday was rammed by a car and then hacked to death by two knife-wielding assailants, according to witness accounts carried by British news media.
Two suspects were shot and wounded by the police, officials said, and were in separate hospitals under police guard, one in serious condition. One of the men shouted “Allahu akbar,” or “God is great,” as the attack proceeded, government officials said.
ITV News showed a video taken with a cellphone at the scene in Woolwich in which a man who appears to be in his 20s or early 30s holds a cleaver in one of his bloodied hands. He offers what seems to be a political message before the police arrive.
“I apologize that women had to see this today, but in our lands women have to see the same thing,” he says. “You people will never be safe. Remove your governments! They don't care about you.”
He then refers to what appears to be a motive for the attack, saying it was carried out “because of what's going on in our own countries.”
The BBC reported Wednesday night that British security officials had identified at least one of the two men as having family origins in Nigeria.
Organizations representing Britain's 2.5 million Muslims were quick to condemn the attack. “No cause justifies this murder,” the Muslim Council of Britain said in a statement on behalf of the network of mosques, schools and charities it represents. It described the killing in Woolwich as “a barbaric act that has no basis in Islam,” and added that the “vast majority of British Muslims acknowledge the armed forces for the work they do.” [The New York Times, 5/22/13]
CNN: “UK Muslim Groups Condemn London Slaying.” A CNN report headlined “UK Muslim groups condemn London slaying, urge leaders to act” reported that British Muslim groups had condemned the attack and that the Muslim Council of Britain described the attack as “a truly barbaric act that has no basis in Islam”:
British Muslim groups voiced their horror and condemnation Thursday over the slaying of a soldier in a London street by attackers who said they were acting to avenge Muslim deaths overseas.
But Muslim commentators also suggested there is more that the country's leaders can do to address issues within the Muslim community, particularly among alienated young men.
The Muslim Council of Britain condemned what it called “a truly barbaric act that has no basis in Islam.”
It urged Muslims and non-Muslims alike “to come together in solidarity to ensure the forces of hatred do not prevail.” [CNN.com, 5/23/13]
Fox News Responds To Attack With Islamophobia
Fox News' Brian Kilmeade: “So They Looked At The Quran And Said Grab A Meat Cleaver And Hack Somebody Up. Fantastic.” On Fox & Friends, co-host Brian Kilmeade claimed the London attacker was inspired by the Quran, saying, “So they looked at the Quran and said grab a meat cleaver and hack somebody up. Fantastic.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 5/23/13]
Fox News' Bob Beckel Blames Attack On “High Percentage” Of Muslims “Who Are Terrorist By Training.” Fox News co-host Bob Beckel claimed on The Five that the attack could be explained by the fact that “London has an extraordinary high percentage of Muslims that they allowed in”:
BECKEL: London has an extraordinary high percentage of Muslims that they allowed in--
ANDREA TANTAROS (co-host): A lot of countries in Europe do.
BECKEL: Yeah, but I mean, London is particularly packed with Muslims and there's a lot of these elements that are unemployed who are terrorist[s] by training from their clerics. I think this probably is a terrorist attack. [Fox News, The Five, 5/22/13]
Fox News' Michelle Malkin: London Attacker Was “Quoting Chapter And Verse, Sura And Verse, From The Quran The Justification For Beheading An Innocent Solider.” On Fox & Friends, Fox News contributor Michelle Malkin claimed it was “obvious” the attack was “Islamic jihad,” and claimed the attacker was “ranting on the streets, quoting chapter and verse, sura and verse, from the Quran the justification for beheading an innocent solider”:
MALKIN: There's no reason to second-guess, first-guess, pussy-foot around what exactly happened here. I mean what more do you need, I said last night, do you need it in big neon klieg lights, Islamic Jihad, Islamic Jihad? Do these people need to present their official Muslim jihad membership card before people can conclude the obvious?
They have these people who march around in the squares there, exercising their free speech rights to tell people to behead all infidels who insult them. Do you remember during the 2006 Mohammad cartoons that happened. And of course here's this -- one of those jihadist who was taped yesterday, ranting on the streets, quoting chapter and verse, sura and verse, from the Quran the justification for beheading an innocent solider there, and of course they've targeted civilians as well. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 5/23/13]
Fox News' Allen West Blames Violence On “Appeasement” Of “Islamists.” Fox News contributor Allen West tweeted “Religion of peace: Somali Islamists behead UK solder on London street. See what appeasement gets you? Horrific”:
Fox News' Todd Starnes: “Islamic Fanatics Butcher British Soldier ... Just Remember Folks - It's A Peaceful Religion.” Fox News Radio reporter Todd Starnes tweeted, “Islamic fanatics butcher British soldier ... Just remember folks - it's a peaceful religion”:
Fox News Has A History Of Pushing Islamophobia
Roger Ailes Biography Reveals Fox News' Islamophobia Goes Straight To The Top. As a Media Matters review of Zev Chafets' biography of Fox News president Roger Ailes noted, the book revealed Ailes hasn't donated to any Muslim charities, quoting Ailes as saying he would only support those organizations “if they disarm.” [Media Matters, 3/18/13]
Fox News' Bill O'Reilly: “Muslims Killed Us On 9-11.” In an appearance on ABC's The View, Fox host Bill O'Reilly declared “Muslims killed us on 9-11.” O'Reilly used the claim to justify his opposition to a planned Islamic community center located two blocks away from New York City's ground zero. O'Reilly later said, “If anybody felt that I was demeaning all Muslims, I apologize.” [ABC, The View, 10/14/10, via Media Matters]
Fox News' Brian Kilmeade: "Not All Muslims Are Terrorists, But All Terrorists Are Muslims." Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade defended O'Reilly's statement the next day by saying “there was a certain group of people that attacked us on 9-11. It wasn't just one person. It was one religion. Not all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims.” On his radio show later in the day, Kilmeade asserted that it's a “fact” that “every terrorist is a Muslim.” Following widespread criticism of his remarks, Kilmeade “clarified” his comments, saying “I'm sorry about that, if I offended ... or hurt anybody's feelings. But that's it.” [Media Matters, 3/18/13]
Fox News' Eric Bolling: “Every Terrorist On American Soil Has Been A Muslim.” On The Five, co-host Eric Bolling falsely claimed “every terrorist on American soil has been a Muslim.” [Fox News, The Five, 6/6/12, via Media Matters]