Columnists, politicians and right-wing tabloid newspapers have been accused of “radicalising” people against Muslims, amid a van attack on worshippers in London’s Finsbury Park.
One person was killed and another ten were injured in the incident, which is being treated by police as a terrorist attack.
The 48-year-old driver of the van, who reportedly shouted that he wanted to “kill all Muslims”, has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.
Harry Potter author JK Rowling sent several messages to her 10.7 million Twitter followers this morning, accusing former UKIP leader Nigel Farage and Mail Online columnist Katie Hopkins of motivating extremists.
Rowling later wrote: “Those who dehumanise & stereotype muslims have no moral high ground from which to deplore demonisation of secular westerners by Islamists.”
Hopkins lost her job at radio station LBC last month after she suggested their needed to be a “final solution” in the wake of the Manchester bombing, with some suggesting she was calling for ethnic cleansing.
The phrase “BREAKING POINT” was printed over a photo of thousands of refugees crossing into Slovenia from Croatia during the height of the migrant crisis in October 2015, while voters were urged to “take back control”.
Other social media users today also turned on the pair, as well as English Defence League founder Tommy Robinson, who is now at the helm of the UK anti-Islam movement Pegida, with some accusing them of being “extremist hate preachers”:
Brendan Cox, whose MP wife Jo Cox was murdered by a far-right extremist last year, said it was “pathetic to see far right now try& portray their incitement to violence as simple commentary”.
“You hear same excuses from islamist apologists,” he added.
Newspapers including The Sun, The Daily Mail, The Daily Express and The Daily Star have also been accused of peddling anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim sentiment, with social media users sharing these front pages:
Singer Lily Allen echoed the message, speculating that the van driver was “radicalised by the British media”.
TalkRADIO representer Julia Hartley-Brewer responded to Rowling’s criticism of Farage, by suggesting he has a right to speak about immigration limits as an “elected politician”.
Hopkins meanwhile accused the left of double standards.
The former Apprentice contestant claimed Rowling was guilty of being “christianophobic”, while Farage also hit back at the writer.