Northern Ireland

Kyle Paisley criticises Peter Robinson as 'condescending' over Muslim remarks

Kyle Paisley pictured with his father, Ian, in 1999 Image copyright PAcemaker
Image caption Kyle Paisley pictured with his father, Ian, in 1999

One of Ian Paisley's sons has called NI's first minister "condescending" and an "ignoramus" over comments he made in support of a controversial pastor.

Kyle Paisley criticised Peter Robinson on a news website.

His remarks came after Mr Robinson defended Pastor James McConnell who described Islam as "satanic" and "heathen".

The first minister said he would not trust Muslims involved in violence or devotees of Sharia law.

However, he said he would trust Muslims "to go to the shops" for him.

Mr Robinson has since clarified his remarks, claimed he was misinterpreted, and apologised to Islamic leaders in Belfast.

On Friday, Kyle Paisley, who is a minister in the Free Presbyterian Church, founded by his father, was interviewed by the BBC about the article he had written.

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Media captionKyle paisley

He told Radio Ulster's Evening Extra programme: "I think that the offence given to a certain section of the community, by what he said, was too serious not to say anything."

Mr Paisley was asked by BBC presenter Seamus McKee if the phrase "condescending ignoramus" was the kind of emotive language to which a Christian minister would otherwise object?

Mr Paisley replied: "If I was on the receiving end of that remark, and somebody said I wouldn't trust a Protestant except to go to the shop to buy me something, I would look upon that as a condescending remark."

He later said: "Look at the insult people have received on the end of the remark that was made.

"Would it be the remark of someone who's enlightened? No, it's not the remark of someone who's enlightened, it's somebody who's being ignorant.

'Forced out'

"So condescending and ignoramus I think are not over the top, I think they're perfectly fitting for this situation."

Ian Paisley (snr) has previously spoken about his dislike of Mr Robinson who succeeded him as party leader, claiming that Peter Robinson was one of a group of politicians that forced him out of the party Dr Paisley created.

It was put to Kyle Paisley by Seamus McKee: "There are those who might say that it's inevitable that a member of the Paisley family is going to be critical of Peter Robinson given the history?"

Kyle Paisley replied: "Had it been a personal assault on the man, I would have addressed the man, solely the man, and not the issue that the debate has all been about.

"I addressed the issue in the article that I put out in the news and that's the issue that I kept to, so no, I wasn't motivated by any anti-Robinson feeling.

"In fact, I have made it clear that had I not cared for the man himself, I wouldn't have made a remark about how he had left a stain on his own reputation."

Referring to Mr Robinson's subsequent apology over his comments Mr Paisley said: "The heat has been taken out of the situation by Mr Robinson humbling himself and acknowledging where he's gone wrong".

However, he said it was "just a pity that the apology couldn't have been public because the offence was public and that might have helped even more".

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