Sting Newz Web Desk: A Muslim television reporter for a British news channel today filed a complaint against a columnist for Rupert Murdoch’s ‘Sun’ newspaper who singled her out for wearing hijab while reporting on the recent terror attack at Nice in France.
Fatima Manji, ‘Channel 4 News’ correspondent, was reporting on the Nice terrorist attack that killed 84 people from the channel’s London studio earlier this month when Kelvin MacKenzie questioned in his column whether the Muslim presenter should have appeared on the bulletin.
‘Channel 4 News’ editor Ben De Pear said the channel would not “simply stand by when an employee is subject to an act of religious discrimination”.
“Channel 4 News correspondent Manji made an official complaint to Ipso [Independent Press Standards Organisation].
ITN believes the article was in breach of a number of provisions of the Editor’s Code, in particular discrimination, harassment by intimidation and inaccuracy,” he said.
Ipso said it received some 1,700 complaints over MacKenzie’s remarks after Manji co-presented the ‘Channel 4 News’ bulletin – produced by ITN – from London while Jon Snow reported from France during the coverage of the attacks in Nice on 15 July.
Pear said a “further complaint” had been made by ITN chief executive John Hardie “which fully supports and endorses the grounds and reasoning of Fatima’s complaint”.
He added: “ITN accepts and understands that our reporters and presenters are in the public eye and can expect criticism and comment from many quarters, including newspaper columnists.
“What it cannot accept is an employee being singled out on the basis of her religion.”
Mackenzie wrote that he “could hardly believe (his) eyes” when he saw “a young lady wearing a hijab” presenting from London about the lorry attack in the French beach town which killed more than 80 people.
In the latest edition of the ‘Sun’, MacKenzie said his question was a “simple” one and “a reasonable inquiry”.
He wrote: “A reasonable inquiry, you would have thought with the sensitivities that currently exist in this nation and the rest of Europe. Then the Twitterati got involved and it became a national debate with a record number of complaints to the press regulator IPSO.”
A spokesperson for the newspaper said it was making “no comment” on the issue. (Courtesy: PTI)