Catherine Thompson

Catherine Thompson is a reporter for Talking Points Memo. Before joining TPM, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She is a graduate of New York University, where she served as the deputy managing editor of NYU's student newspaper, the Washington Square News. She can be reached at

Articles by Catherine

Much hay has been made this week over Fox News' disavowal of the term "no-go zones," which alleges that some neighborhoods of European cities are ruled by Sharia law and off-limits to local police. CNN's resident media critic Brian Stelter noted that Fox apologized last weekend for four separate errors involving Muslims and "no-go zones."

But as the Washington Post's Erik Wemple detailed on Tuesday, CNN aired some chatter about "no-go zones" earlier this month in the immediate aftermath of the Paris terror attacks. TPM also found other examples.

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Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) was widely ridiculed Monday when he slammed so-called Muslim “no-go zones” during a speech to a conservative London think tank. He made the statement even after the term had forced Fox News to disavow it no less than four times.

A terrorism expert for the network, Steven Emerson, had injected the term into the national and international conversation earlier this month when he said "there are actual cities like Birmingham [England] that are totally Muslim where non-Muslims just simply don't go in." The backlash was swift and Emerson issued an apology.

It would take Fox News a week to issue four separate corrections for its coverage of so-called Muslim "no-go zones" and admit there was “no credible information” to support the notion that there were areas in Europe that excluded anyone based solely on their religion.

So where did Jindal's debunked, anti-Islam talking point come from? Here's a brief history of the myth.

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