Channel 4 News journalist Fatima Manji has slammed right-wing columnist Kelvin Mackenzie and The Sun newspaper after he wrote an article yesterday criticising her employers for letting her report on the Nice attack while wearing a hijab.
The article by the former Sun editor sparked more than 800 complaints to the press regulator Ipso.
Writing exclusively for the Liverpool Echo, which represents a city which disdains Mackenzie and The Sun after they slandered Liverpool fans during the Hillsborough tragedy, Manji said that she “pi**ed on Kelvin MacKenzie’s apparent ambitions to force anyone who looks a little different off our screens.”
Manji called the The Sun a newspaper “that appears at ease with its columnists describing refugees dying at sea as ‘cockroaches’”.
She continued: “But it’s dangerous to regard Mr MacKenzie and those who echo his Islamophobic sentiments as mere pantomime villains. Their soapbox allows them to spread their ill-informed, irresponsible and malevolent invective to millions of readers. Racist and Islamophobic rhetoric has real consequences – lives have been lost and shattered in our own country…
“Mr MacKenzie’s article was but one wild screed in a long-running and widespread campaign to intimidate Muslims out of public life. Young men and women of all backgrounds regularly ask me for advice on how to forge a career in journalism. Mr MacKenzie’s monologue will frighten many of them into believing that they will be on the end of tabloid attacks merely for daring to do their jobs…
“Kelvin MacKenzie has attempted to smear 1.6 billion Muslims in suggesting they are inherently violent. He has attempted to smear half of them further by suggesting they are helpless slaves. And he has attempted to smear me by suggesting I would sympathise with a terrorist.”