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Paris mayor to sue Fox News over ‘no-go zones’ furore

National Security expert Nolan Peterson tells Fox News that certrain areas of Paris resemble Baghdad
National Security expert Nolan Peterson tells Fox News that certrain areas of Paris resemble Baghdad Fox News screengrab

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo told CNN on Tuesday that her city intends to sue Fox News after it broadcast interviews asserting that there are “no-go zones” in the French capital where police and non-Muslims fear to tread.

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In an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, Hidalgo said Fox had “insulted” the city.

"When we're insulted, then I think we'll have to sue, I think we'll have to go to court, in order to have these words removed," Paris’s Socialist mayor said. "The image of Paris has been prejudiced, and the honour of Paris has been prejudiced."

Hidalgo’s comments come despite an apology from Fox news following its incendiary interview with “National Security expert” Nolan Peterson in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attacks, in which he claimed that certain districts of Paris were comparable with Baghdad.

His comments were echoed by Nigel Farage, the leader of Britain’s eurosceptic UKIP party, who told Fox that the so-called no-go zones matched a rise of “big ghettos” across Europe.

Fox was widely ridiculed for its comments on the French capital, with TV channels airing ironically sinister interviews with bemused residents of these districts who insisted that Fox’s negative portrayal of the city was laughably off the mark.

Fox was also shamed by residents of the English city of Birmingham which another self-proclaimed expert on Islamist groups in Europe, Steve Emerson, told the news network was “totally Muslim” and that “non-Muslims simply don’t go in."

A 2011 census shows that 21 percent of Birmingham is Muslim. A similar number said they had no religion at all, while just under half identified themselves as Christian.

Residents of the city, and members of the British public, took to Twitter en masse to ridicule the American broadcaster under the hashtag #FoxNewsFacts, with posts including a picture of the Queen wearing a headscarf (which she often wears in wind and rain) joking that she had been forced to convert to Islam.

In the wake of public indignation in both France and the UK, Fox on Sunday said it “deeply regrets the errors," but added the caveat that "there are certainly areas of high-crime in Europe, as there are in the United States and other countries, where police and visitors enter with caution".

 

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