• Monday, May 20, 2024

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Rachel Riley apologises for controversial tweet ‘promoting Islamophobia’

She co-presents the Channel 4 daytime puzzle show Countdown and its comedy spin-off 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown. She is a mathematics graduate. (Photo: @RachelRileyRR)

By: Vibhuti Pathak

Rachel Riley, the host of Countdown, has apologised after her controversial tweet regarding the Sydney mall stabbings, which led to calls for Channel 4 to dismiss her. Riley was accused of promoting Islamophobia when she incorrectly suggested the attack was a Palestinian uprising.

The attack in Sydney, which resulted in six fatalities on Saturday, was carried out by Joel Cauchi (40), who had mental health issues. Assistant Commissioner Anthony Cooke confirmed that the attacker was fatally shot by a police officer.

Riley referred to her initial tweet, which claimed the assault was due to a globalised Intifada and has since been deleted. In her apology, Riley expressed regret if her comments were misunderstood and clarified that her intention was not to link the attack to Islamic extremism.

Her statement emphasised the importance of condemning violence, regardless of the perpetrators or victims. She restricted comments on her post to those she follows or mentioned in the tweet.

Riley is known for her advocacy against antisemitism, and she was awarded an MBE in 2023 for her work in Holocaust education.

The attack in Sydney shocked the world, as the assailant stabbed shoppers at random, including a nine-month-old baby. The incident took place at the Westfield Bondi Junction centre around 3:30 pm. Assistant Commissioner Cooke mentioned that detectives haven’t ruled out terrorism as a motive but have not found any evidence of an ideology driving the attack.

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