Piers Morgan, co-host of "Good Morning Britain," angrily denounced Tommy Robinson, an author and famous British critic of Islam, Tuesday and called him a "bigoted lunatic" while debating his controversial response to the recent attack on Muslims in London.
In the hours following the attack that occurred shortly after midnight Monday morning near a London mosque in which a suspect drove a van into a crowd of Muslims, Robinson brought up the extremist history the nearby mosque. Many saw Robinson's tweet as a justification for an attack on the location; however, Robinson has denied that was the motivation behind his missive.
The mosque where the attack happened tonight has a long history of creating terrorists & radical jihadists & promoting hate & segregation
— Tommy Robinson 🇬🇧 (@TRobinsonNewEra) June 19, 2017
"You followed up that particular tweet with another one," Morgan's co-host, Susanna Reid, said. "'Finsbury Park mosque was a UK government protected planning centre for hundreds of Jihad attacks/plots which killed British soldiers and children.' The fact of the matter is Finsbury Park mosque is a pioneering mosque doing all sorts of great community work. By implying that it's somehow involved in terrorism, it's actually whipping up a feeling which is not helpful, considering what happened yesterday."
Finsbury Park mosque was a UK govt protected planning centre for hundreds of Jihad attacks/plots which killed British soldiers and children pic.twitter.com/LEPKaaZs5V
— Tommy Robinson 🇬🇧 (@TRobinsonNewEra) June 19, 2017
"When you say that," Robinson responded, "all I done was repeat what newspapers across our country have said. Those were facts. The facts are they did create terrorists, it was a hotbed for jihadists, that's a fact. That's all I done, is give a history and that's from many newspapers, one of the newspapers you work for, Piers. So it's not me saying that."
Morgan registered his objection, saying, "Here's my point. Right, I've read a lot of stuff that you've said and done. I know your history, I know all of it. Good, bad and ugly. Some of it is ugly, some of it, I agree with."
"My issue with what you did, yesterday," he continued, "is within one hour of this utter lunacy, this terrorist, driving from Wales, and deliberately mowing down innocent people, as it turned out, all Muslims, outside the Muslim welfare house, not the Finsbury Park mosque, killing one, maiming maybe 10 others, is your first thought process was not to express sympathy, for what had happened."
"I read the tweets in sequential order, right," he added, "within one hour your thought process was to go on the attack, to talk about another mosque, not the one that had been attacked, to talk about it in historical context, of when everybody knows the Finsbury Park mosque at the turn of the century was a bad place, with Abu Hamza, and everything else, right. And what you were doing, was fomenting hatred and almost suggesting that somehow this attack, this revenge attack as you put it, was somehow deserving because of the historical behavior of certain people at a completely different mosque — that was my problem."
"OK, Piers," Robinson responded, "the newspaper you work for said exactly the same within an hour — Abu Hamza's mosque. Were they fomenting hate, the newspaper you work for? Were they? Were they inciting hate?"
"I don't run the Daily Mail," Morgan protested.
"OK, but you've just said I was, so was the newspaper you work for, who said exactly the same within an hour—" Robinson said before being interrupted.
"I want to do a public service," Robinson said later in the segment when Morgan brought up the guest's violent past. "I want to address the issues, I want to talk about why we've got dead kids in Manchester, I want to prevent what's happening. I could pick things with your history, you've been involved in one of the biggest media scandals in the country's history. I'm not here to do that with you."
"I think what you've done on the last three weeks," he said, "you've repeated what I've said for 10 years, speaking better English. And in three years, you'll be repeating what I'm saying now — you're all playing catch up."
"Now, if I hold up this book up and say, 'There will never be peace on this Earth so long as we have this book, it's a violent and cursed book,' Can I say that? Sir William Gladstone said that," Robinson continued, referring to the 19th century prime minister of Great Britain's description of the Quran.
"Would you say that of the Bible? Show some respect," Morgan retorted.
"Show some respect? Have you read this book?" Robinson shot back. "Have you read this book? There are a hundred verses in this book that incite violence and murder against us."
"Put that book down," Morgan commanded angrily, "show some damn respect for people's religious beliefs, right?"
"I should show some respect for a book that incites murder against me?" Robinson responded.
"Put it down," Morgan said. "Put it down."
"No, I won't put it down," Robinson said defiantly. "Sir William Gladstone held this book above his head in Parliament and he said, 'There will never be peace on this Earth so long as we have this book. It's a violent and cursed book.' Was Sir William Gladstone, who we have statues across our capitol, was he a bigot or an Islamophobe?"
"See now you're sounding like a complete lunatic," Morgan said. "You're sounding like a bigoted lunatic."
Morgan called Robinson a "complete disgrace" for holding up the Quran in his hand "in a disgraceful manner," while Robinson continued his argument against Islam.
Robinson addressed the rancorous debate on his social media afterward.
I was called a "bigoted lunatic" by @piersmorgan for repeating our greatest 🇬🇧PMs Gladstone and Churchill views on Islam.
Let that sink in
— Tommy Robinson 🇬🇧 (@TRobinsonNewEra) June 20, 2017
The attack on Muslims in London killed one and injured 10 when a driver plowed his van into a crowd outside a mosque. Many speculated that the attack was intended as revenge for recent Islamist terrorism in Britain.