Reporter Apologizes for Identifying London Stabber as Having ‘Muslim Appearance’

Nick Robinson (BBC)

BBC News political editor Nick Robinson is sorry for initially identifying the London stabbing suspect as having “Muslim appearance.” He was quoting directly from information given to him by law enforcement.

On the day of the grisly Woolwich attack, Robinson explained that his law enforcement sources told him that the suspect in the stabbing was of “Muslim appearance” and had reportedly been screaming “Allahu Akbar,” the Arabic phrase for “God is great.”

After some supposed outrage expressed by the United Kingdom’s Muslim community, Robinson felt compelled to apologize for the potential “racist generalization.”

Robinson posted his lengthy apology on the BBC website:

That phrase “of Muslim appearance” clearly offended some who demanded to know what it could possibly mean. Others were concerned that it was a racist generalisation.


I’m sorry for using a phrase that, on reflection, was both liable to be misinterpreted and to cause offence. Many Muslims were quick to condemn the attack and to distance themselves and their religion from the brutal savagery seen on the streets of Woolwich.

Watch Robinson’s original interview via Mediaite below:

Do you think an apology was necessary?