'I think it was overdone': Katie Hopkins criticises Jacinda Ardern for putting Muslims first

Media personality Katie Hopkins has slung more scolding remarks at Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern for her actions after the Christchurch attacks while defending her controversial criticisms of Islam.

Hopkins, once called "Britain's most hated woman" for her criticism of Muslims in the United Kingdom, has courted further controversy over the last week for tweeting Ardern needed to "be dressed as the Pope " after the Sri Lanka bombings.

The comments were a reference to criticism of Ardern for donning a hijab following the Christchurch mosque attacks on March 15.

In an interview on Friday on Magic Talk's Ryan Bridge Drive show, Hopkins said watching Ardern "appease the Muslim community" after the shooting had been difficult while the United Kingdom, she claimed, dealt with Muslims forcing Christians out of their homeland.

"Watching her dress in a dress that is not hers, cover her head for some reason that even Muslims criticised her, watching her put the call to prayer right across New Zealand, one day of mourning wasn't enough so she had to have another national day of mourning," she told Ryan Bridge.

"The prostration of your country's culture in the wake of a terrible attack was unnecessary, I think it was overdone."

Ardern was widely praised for her actions in the wake of the attacks, including for the solidarity she showed the Muslim community and decision to air the call to prayer across the country.

A group of people, however, did criticise her for wearing the hijab, which they say is a symbol of female submission to men. The decision to air the call to prayer was also slammed by Destiny Church leader Brian Tamaki.

Hopkins said her criticism was fuelled by concern that New Zealand may transform into a place dominated by Muslims and that people with "globalist agendas" would "tip toe" around issues raised by "cultures that choose to join us and not defend the culture other people choose to join".

"I don't know… why people like Jacinda always want to put other people first. What happened to standing up for New Zealanders, what happened to standing up for your culture?"

Following the Sri Lanka bombings on several hotels and Christian churches, Ardern released a statement committing to standing up for freedom of religion.

"New Zealand rejects all forms of extremism and stands for freedom of religion and the right to worship safely," she said.

But Hopkins said Christians in the United Kingdom felt like second-class citizens and were being forced out by other cultures.

"As a white Brit, I am a minority now… we are being chased out of our own countries."

"We are being forced out, and it is not what I want for the people of New Zealand. I want New Zealand to stay as a place that people talk about as 'one day we would love to move to New Zealand', 'one day we want to go to New Zealand because it would be great for the kids'."

She gave the example of Savile Town in England as being predominantly Muslim, with Business Insider reporting in 2015 that between 97 and 99 percent of its residents were Muslims. Many had come to the town in the mid-20th century to help in the local wool industry.

But according to the Centre for Applied Cross-cultural Research, only one percent of the Kiwi population is Muslim.

Why only condemn Islam?

Hopkins was also challenged by Bridge on why she largely only criticised Islam and not other religions, like Christianity, for which terrorists has previously committed acts.

"Why are you only picking one particular group to stand up for, should you not condemn this type of behaviour in all of its forms, regardless of race, regardless of culture?," he asked,

She said there was "plenty" of condemnation of those acts and felt it was her "role" to be a voice for Christians.

"I believe there aren't any leaders standing up for our Christian culture."

However, leaders like United States President Donald Trump have been praised by Evangelist leaders for supporting the faith. Trump's administration was also criticised for not referring to the Muslim community in immediate condolences after the Christchurch attacks.

She said her condemnation of Islam was disproportionate because attacks by Muslims in the UK were disproportionate to those by people following other religions. 

But Bridge said that that wasn't relevant to New Zealand, where there have been no major terrorist attacks committed by Muslims.

Following the Christchurch attacks, charity Tell Mama, said hate crimes targeting Muslims instead increased by 593 percent in the UK.

Hopkins said she has a strong following because a large group of people agree with her views.

"The reason that so many people picked up on my tweet is that I am not the mad woman shouting at the sky, many people feel this way, many New Zealanders are sick of watching their culture prostrated to Islam.

"I know that I am not alone, I am not alone in my thoughts, and as much as you might despise everything I am saying right now, I am not alone in these views"

Reaction to the tweet

Finance Minister Grant Robertson referred to Hopkins as an "idiot" and "publicity seeker" after her tweet.

"The fact is, it doesn't matter to me whether you are worshiping in a mosque or worshipping in a catholic church. You have a right to be able to do that and express your faith.

"In New Zealand, it was a mosque and I think the Prime Minister behaved completely appropriately in those circumstances, and we have expressed our devastation at what's happened."

The tweet wasn't well received online, with some users telling Hopkins to "piss off" while others were confused if she thought Ardern was also the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka.

"Whatever the Prime Minister does will be immeasurably more welcome and useful than anything you have ever said," said one Twitter user, while another said: "Oh, is our PM the leader of Sri Lanka too? Do you regard her as leader of the world?"

'I think it was overdone': Katie Hopkins criticises Jacinda Ardern for putting Muslims first
Photo credit: Getty

Who is Katie Hopkins?

Hopkins is a former contestant in the British version of The Apprentice. After several appearances in the media, she became a columnist for a number of British tabloids, including The Sun

In 2015, she hosted a panel show called If Katie Hopkins Ruled the World.

She is well known for her right-wing views. Following the Manchester Areana bombing in 2017, Hopkins said there needed to be a "final solution". She left a Sunday morning talk show she presented after making the comments.

Listen to the full interview here.