So it seems the other day that Fox News took their already shoddy reputation for journalistic accuracy and made it worse when a guest on their channel, “terrorism expert” Steven Emerson, claimed that the British city of Birmingham was a “Muslim only city” where “Muslim religious police” beat anyone not dressed according to Sharia law.
Just to be clear, according to the last census (2011, posted here on the BBC News website) the Muslim population of Birmingham is 234,411 of an estimated population of 1,073,045 compared to 494,358 who identified as Christian (denominations were not broken down in the article, they were in the census as I recall). There were also 206,821 who recorded having “no religion” and that's not taking into account those who recorded being Sikh, Hindu, Buddhist or Jewish.
So, yeah. Totally a Muslim city, Fox News. I'm not going to pretend there hasn't been religious or racial violence in Birmingham because... well, its Birmingham, but it is factually not 100% or even a majority-Muslim city, Sharia law has not been instituted there or anywhere else in the UK on any official level. In some areas Muslims adhere to Sharia law voluntarily, in others they feel forced to and that is unequivocally a bad thing that should be addressed.
Twitter has, of course, spawned a hilarious backlash with the hashtag #foxnewsfacts where people post such gems as “Croydon is an entirely Catholic city. Any non-Catholics are beaten by squads of nuns armed with rulers.”.
Emerson has posted an apology on his website but refused to state how and where he gained his “information” about Birmingham but there has yet to be an on-air apology.