Fox News, the right-wing US cable news channel, has apologised to its audience after Nigel Farage and Katie Hopkins discussed internment camps for Muslims in Britain. The former Ukip leader said calls for such a drastic move would grow unless the government takes “genuine action” to shut down the terror threat, but Hopkins went further, actually saying, “we do need internment camps”.
Britain has used internment sporadically in the past, including to hold citizens of enemy nations during the world wars, but its most recent mass use was to arrest 1,981 Northern Irish people, mostly suspected of links to violent republicanism, between 1971 and 1975.
It has been linked to further radicalisation in the nationalist community.
‘All of us here find it reprehensible’
Clayton Morris, the co-host of Fox and Friends Sunday on which Farage and Hopkins appeared, said: “Earlier on the show, we had a couple of guests mention the word internment, the idea of internment camps, as a possible solution to this. “I think I made it well-known my feeling on that, which I find reprehensible, but on behalf of the network, I think all of us here find that idea reprehensible here at Fox News Channel. Just to be clear.” His co-host Pete Hegseth added: “No suggestions of that.” The topic was originally broached by Farage, who is a regular contributor to the programme.
Calls will grow
“We do need internment camps” Katie Hopkins “If there is not action, then the calls for internment will grow,” he said. “We have over 3,000 people on a sort of known terrorist list, and we’re watching and monitoring their activities, but a further 20,000 people who are persons of interest, mainly they’re linked in some way to extremist organizations.
“Unless we see the government getting tough, you will see public calls for those 3,000 to be arrested. “I’m not sure that that is the right approach, because the big danger with that is we might alienate decent, fair-minded Muslims in Britain.” Later in the programme, Hopkins denied that Farage’s concerns were valid. “We do need internment camps,” she said.
“Before, I would’ve bought the idea that, no, this gets more people radicalised. You know, that’s not the solution. “But we’ve gone beyond the tipping point. I tell you this country cannot take another attack.” She called for the 3,000 people on the watchlist to be “rounded up”. Fox News, which has been a strong supporter of Donald Trump, has an often combative attitude towards dealing with terrorism. The channel’s so-called terrorism expert Steven Emerson was branded “a complete idiot” by former Prime Minister David Cameron in 2015 for claiming that Birmingham is a “no-go zone” for non-Muslim Britons. However, the Fox and Friends presenters balked at the idea of internment. The US interned Japanese Americans during the Second World War, but ultimately apologised and paid compensation, acknowledging its injustice.
Japan and Northern Ireland
Almost 120,000 Japanese Americans were removed from their homes on the US west coast, with many losing most of their property, separated from anything they could not carry. Even many US citizens of Japanese origin were interned, kept in “tar paper-covered barracks of simple frame construction without plumbing or cooking facilities of any kind”. Internment in Northern Ireland Ireland led to a flare-up of sectarian tensions, with mixed communities becoming segregated, and largely failed in its goal of arresting important IRA figures. The non-violent nationalist party the SDLP led a civil disobedience campaign during which 16,000 households withheld rent.
This article first appeard on Inews.co.uk.