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Fox News expert's mistake leads to hilarious Twitter rebuttal

Technically Incorrect: Appearing on Fox News, terror expert Steve Emerson claims that the UK's second-biggest city, Birmingham, is a place non-Muslims dare not enter. This is severely untrue, as Twitter wittily explains.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


bham9.jpg
The City of Birmingham. A hive of subversive humor. Didier Soulier/YouTube screenshoy by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Birmingham is so Muslim, they recently voted to remove "ham" from the (city's) name.

A little tip for our American friends, it's pronounced worst-sharia sauce.

Duran Duran was actually a misreading of Quran Quran.

I've been laughing all morning. It's becoming uncontrollable. When I was growing up, we used to call things like this "bostin."

Please let me explain. I'm from the city of Birmingham, England. It's the second-biggest city in England. It's a place that can be rough, dour, enlightened, hardy and deeply realistic. It was home to some of the world's great music (and also Duran Duran, hence the above witticism).

It's also not far from the county of Worcestershire (hence another of the jokes above.)

However, at the weekend, Steve Emerson, a terrorism expert, appeared on Fox News to paint a difficult picture of my home town. He claimed that the UK had no sovereignty over cities like Birmingham.

He described Birmingham as "totally Muslim." He said: "Non-Muslims simply don't go in."

I called my uncle and aunt, who are as Polish as the best vodka and have lived there for 50 years. "Have you converted?" I asked. "Only to nonfat milk," said my uncle.

Birmingham is 21.8 percent Muslim. Indeed, if you're looking for a majority there, it is Christians at 46.1 percent. Those who claims to have no religion at all comprise 19.8 percent. (Figures from 2011 Census.)

This story, though, is not about criticizing Fox News. It's not as if any network is devoid of error. There seem quite a few experts appearing on TV whose expertise lies in appearing on TV.

Moreover, as the Huffington Post reports, Emerson has apologized. His analysis was so far wide of the truth as to be laughable.

Which is why the Twitter hashtag #FoxNewsFacts is so glorious. Within it, there are the usual bitter diatribes. However, there is also such an outpouring of pure British humor as to render Emerson's enormous error its true worth.

In Britain the weather switches between Sunni and Shi'ite.

You may not be familiar with the British expression "sh**e." It's a very beautiful thing .

This hashtag is proof that wit can triumph over aggression, buffoonery and invective, even if only for a moment. The #FoxNewsFacts hashtag has been trending today. It is the humor that has risen to attention.

British Prime Minster David Cameron gave the Guardian his reaction: "When I heard this, frankly I choked on my porridge and thought it must be April Fool's Day. This guy is clearly a complete idiot."

But how much more penetrating is the image of the Queen of England wearing her headscarf with the caption: "The Queen is now being forced to wear a hijab by 'Moslems' due to the sharia law enforcement in the UK?"