LEAVE.EU group forced to correct Islamophobic tweet – but are still completely inaccurate!
Categories: Latest News
Friday April 06 2018
The pro-Brexit campaign Twitter group, Leave.EU, notably backed by Mr Nigel Farage, posted a tweet on Tuesday, the 3rd of April 2018, and was forced to correct it. However, the corrected tweet is still completely inaccurate.
The original tweet contained an infographic about London, called “Londonistan” in the tweet, and stated: “423 new mosques”, “500 closed churches” and “100 Sharia courts”.
The group then admitted that the graphic was not completely “truthful”. Indeed, all three supposed “facts” were entirely inaccurate.
The facts were sourced from the conspiracy blog YourNewsWire, and promoted by the Gatestone Institute; a well-known US Islamophobic think-tank that has been known to report inaccurate and false stories about Muslims. The claims were exposed as being inaccurate by the fact check website Snopes.
They then reposted a similar graphic with the facts “corrected” yesterday, on the 5th of April.
However, these were still completely inaccurate.
The new claims were: “460 mosques in London”, “500 closed churches in London”, “85 Sharia “Councils” (Courts) in England & Wales, concentrated in London”.
460 Mosques in London
The statistic is taken from ‘Muslims in Britain’ which have attempted to catalogue places where British Muslims are able to pray in London, as well as across the country.
However, the statistics from the group ‘Muslims in Britain’ cover establishments which are not mosques but are rather multi-faith prayer rooms that cater to all faiths. The statistics also include establishments which are only available for Friday prayers only.
As such, the claim by Leave.EU is grossly inaccurate and illustrates lazy investigation on the part of the pro-Brexit group.
500 closed churches in London
This claim was founded upon a report by a 2006 Royal Institute of Surveyors – released more than a decade before Mr Sadiq Khan became Mayor of London.
The report’s figures related to the number of churches that were closed across the UK and converted into homes during the 2001 and 2006.
However, the figures did not take into account the number of churches that have been opened in recent years.
As such, there has been an increase in the number of churches in London in recent years.
85 Sharia “councils” (courts) in England & Wales, concentrated in London
This claim is allegedly founded upon information from the “Home Office”. However, to date, the Home Office has never stated, nor even estimated, the number of Sharia Councils in the country or in London.
It is assumed that Leave.EU were confused and were making the claim based on a study commissioned by the Home Office, ‘An independent review into the application of Sharia Law’.
The report estimated that around 35-85 Sharia Councils existed across England and Wales in total.
Therefore, Leave.EU utilised the maximum value of councils estimated for two countries (i.e. England and Wales) and reported it as being the number of councils present in one city (i.e. London).
Ironically, the report also spoke out against the incorrect use of the term “court” to describe Sharia Councils.
The report stated: “Common misconceptions around sharia councils often perpetuate owing to the use of incorrect terms such as referring to them as ‘courts’ rather than councils… It is important to note that sharia councils are not courts…It is this misrepresentation of sharia councils as courts that leads to public misconceptions over the primacy of sharia over domestic law and concerns of a parallel legal system”.