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Dublin: 13 °C Thursday 20 June, 2019

Ian Paisley Jr apologises for sharing Katie Hopkins tweet about Ramadan

The tweet had linked the Muslim practice of fasting for a month to murder rates in London.

 Ian Paisley Jr.
Ian Paisley Jr.
Image: Charles McQuillan

DUP MP IAN Paisley Jr has apologised for sharing a comment made by the controversial right-wing presenter Katie Hopkins about Muslims.

The former LBC broadcaster said on Twitter that last month “London had a higher murder rate than New York… And Ramadan’s not yet begun”.

Ramadan is one of the five pillars of the Islamic faith. During that month, adult Muslims fast from dawn until sunset, as well as refraining from other activities such as smoking.

North Antrim MP Paisley retweeted the message, sparking disapproval from commenters and his own party.

KTHopkins Source: Twitter/@KTHopkins

Late last night, Ian Paisley apologised for his actions, saying he hadn’t read the latter part of the tweet:

Mea culpa earlier today I glanced at a tweet and retweeted about [the number] of murders in London. Didn’t take cognisance of [the Ramadan reference].
 Once it was brought to my attention I immediately deleted. Apologise profusely for offence caused.

In a statement on the Belfast Islamic Centre’s Facebook page, it said that it welcomed Paisley’s apology, but asked for him to clarify his position.

We have contacted Ian Paisley MP directly to clarify his position on the controversial tweet and to ask him to confirm his commitment to equality for all citizens, regardless of faith, and his abhorrence of bigotry.

The Centre also invited him to meet some of the local Muslim community.

Hopkins has made a number of controversial comments in the past regarding immigrants, refugees, and Muslims.

In May last year, she called for a “final solution” to prevent terrorist attacks.

Read: McDonald: Sinn Féin Senator’s suspension for ‘unacceptable’ retweet is a ‘severe’ punishment

Read: RTÉ already has 641 complaints about Katie Hopkins on tomorrow’s Late Late Show

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