Belfast Telegraph

'Don't tell me how to do job' - BBC's Nolan slams Katie Hopkins during debate on shock anti-Muslim comments

'Here's the score, I've nine shows, you've one weekend show'

By Jonathan Bell

It was a meeting of two shock jocks, but it was BBC heavy-weight broadcaster Stephen Nolan who came out on top against controversial columnist and radio talk show host Katie Hopkins telling her not to tell him how to do his job.

On Tuesday, during a debate on Donald Trump's immigration ban caller Janice, from Belfast, rang in to ask why "so many Muslims wanted to come to our country when there are so many Muslim countries they could go to?"

Saying Donald Trump was "absolutely right in his actions," she also said she would not like to be treated by a Muslim doctor in hospital and would rather "go home and die".

The woman also said that Muslims "wanted to take over the country".

The comments sparked a huge reaction from callers to the show and also online throughout the day.

Mr Nolan also defended giving the views airtime saying it was important for them to be heard.


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On Wednesday, The Stephen Nolan show reported on social attitudes as reported in the  2015 Life and Times survey.

It shows that 45% of people would not accept a Muslim as a resident, 50% say they would not accept a Muslim as a colleague and another 60% would not have a Muslim as a close friend.

To discuss the survey and Janice's comments on the show the previous day, chief executive of Muslim thinktank the Ramadhan Foundation Mohammed Shafiq was joined by Daily Mail columnist and radio host Katie Hopkins.

Mr Shafiq said that there was an "inherent anti-Muslim hatred" coming from politicians, commentators and certain elements of the media.

"People see Muslims as aliens," he said "and not viable members of the community.

"Yes you can have problem with Muslim faith, you can question it, challenge it, ridicule it.

"But what isn't acceptable is to tarnish a whole faith system based on the actions of a minority."

He added: "There are 4million refugees in Muslim countries and the idea everybody wants to come to the West... actually is a vote of confidence in our democracy and our freedoms which is something to cherish."

Ms Hopkins, who presents a radio show on London-based station LBC, said Trump's ban on people from entering America from some countries was not anti-Muslim but rather an "invitation to be American".

And she said that Mr Nolan was "wrong" to say the woman's views were "extreme".

She did, however, say that Janice's statement over not accepting treatment from a Muslim doctor would not be supported by anyone saying that at times those inexperienced in calling radio programmes can "get worked up".

Mrs Hopkins said: "I think you are being unkind to your caller calling her extreme. I think what she is trying to articulate is very common sense viewpoint.

"Which is if you love Islam so much why not stay in countries which practise Islam?"

"It is right to question why Muslims don't go to Muslim countries, when they are fleeing terror or war, if Islam is so fantastic.

"It is a valid question to ask.

"And the reason why this has flown is because the woman has tapped into something. The reason people are interested is because no one is answering that question.

Ms Hopkins then went on to ask why Stephen Nolan was not discussing the travel ban on the Israeli people.

"Israels have been banned from 16 Muslim countries for decades now and no one complained about that. Is it just because this is to do with Muslims?

"Are you aware of it Stephen, why are you not talking about it, why is there no fuss about it?"

Mr Nolan responded: "Katie, here is the score. You have got a weekend radio show, I present nine radio shows a week.

"Don't tell me how to do my job."

Later the controversial columnist tried to turn the tables on host Nolan by asking him a question on if the vetting of people trying to enter the UK was right.

"It's tiring," answered Mr Nolan, "You know it's not my role to answer questions.

"In the role I have it is not appropriate to answer."

On Gary Lineker's attendance at a anti-Trump rally, Mr Nolan said it was not his place to talk about what the Match of the Day host does and that he was also a sports host and not involved in news coverage.

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