In his latest on-air clash, Piers Morgan and the former leader of the English Defence League, Tommy Robinson, went head to head over Islamophobia.
On Monday morning Darren Osborne ploughed a white van into a crowd of Muslims outside a mosque in Finsbury Park, north London, killing one man and injuring 10 people.
Following an inflammatory tweet accusing the mosque of ‘creating terrorists’, Robinson, 34, appeared on GMB where he brandished a copy of the Koran live on air, calling it a ‘violent and cursed book’ and adding: ‘This book is the reason we are in such a mess.’
But Piers, who is known for aggressively challenging his guests, responded with: ‘Show some damn respect for people’s religious beliefs.
‘You’re sounding like a complete lunatic. You’re sounding like a bigoted lunatic. You’re stirring up hatred. You’re being a complete disgrace.’
‘We’re in this mess because people take Islam, they are terrorists and they abuse the nature of Islam and… perpetrate evil.’
But Robinson, a dad-of-three, refused to accept Islam was a religion, saying: ‘Islam is an idea – a bad idea.’
And when asked if he was Islamophobic, he replied: “There’s no such word as Islamophobia. A phobia is an irrational fear, it’s not irrational to fear these things.”
Earlier this year Robinson was given a suspended jail sentence after ‘gatecrashing’ a courthouse where four men were on trial for gang rape.
He was arrested after filming outside Canterbury Crown Court – which is illegal and in contempt of court – and creating a ‘piece to camera’ for his far right website Rebel News.
The QC asked for a prison sentence to be suspended because Robinson had received death threats after his association with the right-wing EDL – although he has not been a member since 2013.