A PR boss who asked a Muslim woman to ‘explain Brussels’ has been arrested on suspicion of inciting racial hatred.
Matthew Doyle, an LSE alumnus and partner at a south London-based talent agency, sparked outrage on social media after he ‘confronted’ a Muslim woman about the Brussels attacks which killed 34 people.
He wrote on Twitter: ‘I confronted a Muslim woman in Croydon yesterday. I asked her to explain Brussels. She said “nothing to do with me”. A mealy mouthed reply.’
His initial post was followed by a number of like-minded tweets such as ‘no more Muslim migration’ and ‘Trump for president’.
On the Twitter account of Matthew Doyle (pictured) there was a post saying: ‘I confronted a Muslim woman in Croydon yesterday. I asked her to explain Brussels. She said ‘nothing to do with me’. A mealy mouthed reply’
The comment went viral, being retweeted hundreds of times before it was eventually removed from Twitter.
The Metropolitan Police issued a statement confirming that a man had been arrested.
‘A 46-year-old man was this evening arrested at his home in Croydon on suspicion of inciting racial hatred on social media,’ said the Metropolitan Police.
‘He has been taken to a south London police station and enquiries continue.’
‘Croydon’ became a trending topic following Mr Doyle’s tweet, as people flooded the social network with both furious and witty put-downs.
But Mr Doyle, who attended private Wellington College, defended his post telling MailOnline: ‘I am not out of sync…I think people who are criticising me are out of sync.’
He said: ‘I am having a hard time about this. I am not a fall guy in all of this.
‘The incident did happen. I didn’t confront the Muslim woman, I just saw her coming towards me and I was emotionally fuelled.
‘She said “it was nothing to do with me”. I said “have a good day” and then turned around and said “bye”. It’s not like I’m a guy with tattoos who pushed her against a wall.
‘I don’t think it’s stereotyping. Would you be afraid of me on the Tube? Any Londoner has to be vigilant and alert as the Islamic threat is a big one. It could happen here and it probably will. There was 7/7 and then look what happened with Lee Rigby, that was horrific.
‘I never meant for the post to go viral. Bonnie Greer, whom I don’t particularly like, has been passing judgement on it.’
Referring to some of the accusations levelled against him, he replied: ‘The Norway attack was an isolated incident with one madman. What we are facing is a collective group of terrorists operating under the umbrella name of ISIS.’
When asked about his later posts, the history graduate responded: ‘I didn’t have a thousand followers on Twitter until today. I don’t care anymore. I am just making a point. I am not out of sync. I think people who are criticising me are out of sync.’
The 46-year-old added: ‘I have the right in a democratic society to speak my own mind.’
It comes after yesterday’s bomb attacks on the Belgian capital’s main airport and Metro system left at least 34 people dead and 198 injured.
His post on Twitter was met with a flurry of responses, with some joking about ‘confronting a white man’ and asking them to explain atrocities such as Dunblane and the 2011 Norway attacks when mass murderer Anders Breivik murdered 77 people.
In a similar vein, others likened it to asking a ‘random white man’ for an explanation for ‘colonialism’, ‘slavery’ and ‘British imperialism’.
Another quipped: ‘I confronted a German about bombing my Grandad’s shed in WW2. “Nothing to do with me”. A mealy mouthed reply.’
Elsewhere, social media users mocked the ‘mealy mouthed reply’ part of the post with one joking: ‘Confronted a self-service machine in Tesco, Asked it to explain Brussels. It said “Please place items in bagging area”. Mealy mouthed reply.’
Others focused on the picture of Mr Doyle saying: ‘I’d confront the bloke who sold you them sunglasses first’ [sic].
The post on the account of Matthew Doyle was met by a series of mocking responses
Sorry we are not currently accepting comments on this article.