Sun. May 26th, 2024
alert-–-countdown-star-rachel-riley-is-accused-of-islamophobia-after-falsely-comparing-sydney-mall-attack-that-killed-six-to-a-‘globalised-intifada’-in-now-deleted-x-postAlert – Countdown star Rachel Riley is accused of Islamophobia after falsely comparing Sydney mall attack that killed six to a ‘globalised Intifada’ in now-deleted X post

Countdown star Rachel Riley has issued a grovelling apology after being accused of Islamophobia following her tweet about the Sydney mall massacre. 

The 38-year-old presenter is now facing calls to be sacked from Channel 4 after she falsely compared Saturday’s horror attack in to a pro-Palestinian uprising.

The bloody rampage was carried out by English tutor Joel Cauchi, 40, from Queensland, who police said had been suffering from mental health issues. 

In her now-deleted tweet, Riley appeared to compare the shopping centre attack, in which six people were killed before Cauchi was shot dead by police, to the ‘globalised Infitada’ movement.

‘Globalize the Intifada’ is a term often used by pro-Palestinian activists that calls for aggressive resistance against Israel and those who support the country – and has been linked to wide-spread demonstration and protests in London. 

Riley – who is Jewish and has been a staunch supporter of Israel following the October 7 attack by terror group Hamas – has since released a statement on X in which she said she was ‘sorry’ if her message had been ‘misunderstood’.

‘Just to clarify, my intention with this tweet was not to say this attack was caused by any ideation or to link it to Islamic extremism,’ the presenter wrote.

Countdown star Rachel Riley has apologised after being accused of Islamophobia following her tweet about the Sydney mall massacre

Countdown star Rachel Riley has apologised after being accused of Islamophobia following her tweet about the Sydney mall massacre

The 38-year-old presenter faced a huge backlash after she falsely claimed Saturday's horror attack in  was the result of pro-Palestinian uprising (pictured: knifeman Joel Cauchi who carried out the deadly attack)

The 38-year-old presenter faced a huge backlash after she falsely claimed Saturday’s horror attack in was the result of pro-Palestinian uprising (pictured: knifeman Joel Cauchi who carried out the deadly attack)

Riley was slammed for this tweet, which she has since deleted, in which she claimed the attack was part of the 'globalised Infitada'

Riley was slammed for this tweet, which she has since deleted, in which she claimed the attack was part of the ‘globalised Infitada’

The former Strictly Come Dancing star continued: ‘At the time we did not know who the attacker was, and as such I made no reference. 

‘My aim was to highlight the weekly calls for ‘intifada’ being tolerated in London and around the world, which in actuality means violence on our streets.

READ MORE: Police officer Ashley Wildey rushed to the scene as the Bondi stabbing horror unfolded… only to learn his fiancee was among the victims

‘For 6 months now, I have avoided taking the tube, or going with my kids to anywhere near the marches each Saturday, and each week we see the extremist chants on proud display with little outcry.

‘Sadly, the type of attack seen in Sydney yesterday is exactly the kind of violence the previous intifada involved and I hope to avoid in future, but in my opinion ignoring the problem won’t make it go away.

‘Attacks on Jews have recently become repackaged as ‘resistance’ in some circles, and we should in one voice condemn all acts of violence, whoever the perpetrators and whoever the victims.

‘I am sorry if this message was misunderstood, that was not my intention.’

has approached Riley for comment.  

Her apology came after she sparked mass outrage on X and was accused of writing a racist statement about the Sydney stabbing.

Riley's apology came after she sparked mass outrage on X and was accused of writing a racist statement about the Sydney stabbing (she is pictured on Countdown)

Riley’s apology came after she sparked mass outrage on X and was accused of writing a racist statement about the Sydney stabbing (she is pictured on Countdown)

The bloody rampage in Sydney was carried out by English tutor Joel Cauchi (pictured), from Queensland , who police said had been suffering from mental health issues

The bloody rampage in Sydney was carried out by English tutor Joel Cauchi (pictured), from Queensland , who police said had been suffering from mental health issues

Shoppers run though Bondi Junction as police lock down the centre following reports of a major incident

Cauchi is pictured running through the shopping centre armed with a knife

Shoppers run though Bondi Junction as police lock down the centre following reports of a major incident (left) with Cauchi (right) pictured running through the shopping centre armed with a knife

Cauchi was later shot and killed by hero police inspector Amy Scott, after he reportedly refused to drop his knife when told to by the officer (Scott is pictured with Cauchi after he was shot)

Cauchi was later shot and killed by hero police inspector Amy Scott, after he reportedly refused to drop his knife when told to by the officer (Scott is pictured with Cauchi after he was shot)

In the now-deleted tweet, Riley wrote: ‘For 6 months now, people have been out on our streets proudly calling for the ‘Intifada Revolution.’

‘If you want to know what ‘Globalised Intifada’ looks like, see the Sydney Mall.

‘5 victims stabbed to death and 8 transferred to hospital, including a baby, due to one man and a knife.

‘In the second intifada over 1,000 Israelis were murdered in restaurants, on buses and in the streets by suicide bombings, stabbings, stoning, lynching, shooting rockets. The youngest victim was just 9 hours old.

BREAKING NEWSREAD MORE: Sydney is rocked by ANOTHER mass stabbing with a priest and multiple worshippers attacked at a church

‘Sydney mall, multiple times over is what they’ve been proudly calling for.’ 

Riley has previously spoken out about the amount of hatred she has witnessed for British Jews since the attack on Israel – telling the it had left her ‘shaking with fear’.

The 37-year-old Jewish star, who has had long running battles with the Corbynite wing of the Labour party over antisemitism, told how the events have left her frequently in tears.

Speaking last year, the star told : ‘Sometimes I go online and I’m terrified by this huge overwhelming amount of people who seem to be baying for blood.

‘For me and my Jewish friends, the pain and the stress are something we are all struggling with.

‘We are crying when we wake up, we are struggling to sleep and the images of carnage are hard to get out of your head.

‘People are scared, they are hiding themselves, antisemitic attacks have gone up by more than 1,000 per cent in London. The last global survey found there were 1.09billion people in the world who hold antisemitic views – so for every Jew on the planet there are 70 people who hate them. This is the scale we are dealing with.’

Her tweet over the weekend sparked mass outrage on social media, with @TocquevilleJnr among those who called her comments racist and demanded her employer, Channel 4, take action.

Riley was condemned online following her tweet on Saturday, with some accusing her of Islamophobia

Riley was condemned online following her tweet on Saturday, with some accusing her of Islamophobia

In her apology, Riley said her message had been 'misunderstood' and that this was 'not my intention'

In her apology, Riley said her message had been ‘misunderstood’ and that this was ‘not my intention’

They wrote: ‘Dear Alex Mahon, CEO of publicly owned @Channel4. Is it right that a regular contributor to your station (Ms Rachel Riley) is IMO so outrageously divisive, hateful & racist ? Based on a complete falsehood.

‘This person should NOT be a role model on our MSM @krishgm.’

Another person added: ‘Where’s your apology @RachelRileyRR? Islamophobic to its core. @Channel4- you need to consider whether Rachel Riley represents your values.’

And Professor Ahmed Hankir wrote on X: ‘I cannot, in good conscience, remain silent. We must not remain silent. When we see such bigotry, Islamophobia, racism & hatred we must call it out. Rachel Riley must be held accountable for these vile & divisive comments.’

READ MORE: Westfield Bondi Junction stabbing: Faces of the lost – what we know about each of the victims

A spokesperson for Channel 4 said: ‘We have reminded Rachel of her obligations as a contributor to Channel 4 programming.’

Also coming under fire for comments about the attack was TalkTV presenter Julia Hartley-Brewer. 

She wrote on X: ‘Another day. Another terror attack by another Islamist terrorist. Six dead, others seriously injured, including a baby.

‘Today it’s ‘s turn, the other day it was France’s. It’ll be our turn again next.’

She later wrote that her tweet had been ‘incorrect’ and that the Sydney massacre ‘was not an Islamist terror attack’.

But British Jewish comedian David Baddiel was among those to hit out – and blasted people for sharing false information and rumours while the news of the attack was breaking. 

Among the misinformation shared widely on social media before the Sydney killer was identified, was that it was a Jewish man called ‘Ben Cohen’ – or was an Islamist extremist. Neither of these theories were proven to be true, Sydney police said. 

Taking to X, Baddiel wrote: ‘The crazed rush to insist that the Bondi killer was Muslim by some and Jewish by others – when in fact he was neither – is another example of how much this platform is just somewhere people come to have their confirmation biases further confirmed.’

Victims pictured L-R top row: Yixuan Cheng, 27, Ashlee Good, 38, and Pikria Darchia, 55. Pictured L-R bottom row: Jade Young, 47, Dawn Singleton, 25, and Faraz Tahir, 30.

Victims pictured L-R top row: Yixuan Cheng, 27, Ashlee Good, 38, and Pikria Darchia, 55. Pictured L-R bottom row: Jade Young, 47, Dawn Singleton, 25, and Faraz Tahir, 30. 

Jewish comedian David Baddiel also hit out over the 'crazed rush' to insist the man behind the Sydney massacre was a 'Muslim' or a 'Jew'

Jewish comedian David Baddiel also hit out over the ‘crazed rush’ to insist the man behind the Sydney massacre was a ‘Muslim’ or a ‘Jew’

Journalist and socialite Jemima Khan also lashed out at those on social media - and even appeared to take a pot shot at Riley the language used in the Countdown star's now-deleted post

Journalist and socialite Jemima Khan also lashed out at those on social media – and even appeared to take a pot shot at Riley the language used in the Countdown star’s now-deleted post

Journalist and socialite Jemima Khan also lashed out at those on social media – and even appeared to take a pot shot at Riley the language used in the Countdown star’s now-deleted post. 

The 50-year-old, who was once married to the former leader of Pakistan, Imran Khan, wrote: ‘Why are those high profile people on X who rushed to claim that the Bondi killer was a Muslim terrorist who killed women and attacked babies in or a “globalise – the – intifada” jihadist not deleting their posts & expressing remorse now they know that not to be true ? 

‘AND why are those on here who claimed the killer was a Jewish man called “Benjamin Cohen” not deleting, apologising & correcting their posts now they know that not to be true? It’s not only depressing. It’s dangerous to create this kind of division & hatred ‘

Cauchi was shot and killed by a police inspector Amy Scott, who confronted him by herself during his deadly rampage at the Westfield shopping centre at Bondi Junction in the east of Sydney.

Six people died in the mayhem, with 12 others – including a nine-month-old baby girl – left injured.  

In a statement released through Queensland Police, the Cauchi family said: ‘We are absolutely devastated by the traumatic events that occurred in Sydney yesterday.

‘Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of the victims and those still undergoing treatment at this time.

‘Joel’s actions were truly horrific, and we are still trying to comprehend what has happened.

‘He has battled with mental health issues since he was a teenager.’

They added: ‘We are in contact with both the New South Wales Police Force and Queensland Police Service and have no issues with the police officer who shot our son as she was only doing her job to protect others, and we hope she is coping alright.’

error: Content is protected !!