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Dublin: 12 °C Wednesday 8 July, 2020

Man arrested after tweeting about confronting Muslim woman over Brussels attacks

Matthew Doyle said she gave him a “mealy-mouthed” response.

Updated: 10.30pm

A BRITISH MAN who sparked a strong backlash online after claiming to have confronted a Muslim woman about yesterday’s attacks in Brussels has been arrested.

Matthew Doyle from London said on Twitter that he asked the woman to explain the suicide bombings, which killed 31 people in the Belgian capital.

Doyle wrote: “I asked her to explain Brussels. She said ‘nothing to do with me’. A mealy-mouthed reply.”

Capture Source: Matthew Doyle/Twitter

Croydon Metropolitan Police have now arrested him. In a statement to the Croydon Advertiser, the force said: “A 46-year-old man was this evening arrested at his home in Croydon on suspicion of inciting racial hatred on social media.

“He has been taken to a south London police station and enquiries continue.”

Doyle’s initial tweet, which has since been deleted, was immediately criticised by social media users.

Some felt the same logic could be used to blame him for the violence of other white men.

Other responses struck a more light-hearted tone.

Tweet by @rob manuel Source: rob manuel/Twitter

Doyle later appeared backed down on his comments, saying in a tweet to one critic: “It was a wind up.”

He also denied “confronting” her as he originally described the interaction.

But as criticism continued to pour in, he went back on the offensive.

- with reporting by Órla Ryan

Read: Third suspected Brussels attacker on the run after ‘leaving biggest bomb’ in airport

Read: Timeline: How the Brussels terror attacks unfolded

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About the author:

Catherine Healy

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