Ofcom rejects complaints over Fatima Manji presenting news after Nice attack

Fatima Manji

Broadcast regulator Ofcom has rejected complaints that it was inappropriate for Channel 4 News to allow a Muslim journalist to present coverage of the Nice truck attack.

Ofcom received 17 complaints about Channel 4 using Fatima Manji to present news of July’s mass killings in Nice.

Channel 4 News has previously made it clear that Manji was rostered to present that day 10 days before the Nice attack.

The complaints followed an attack by the right-wing former Sun editor Kelvin Mackenzie who wrote: “Was it appropriate for her to be on camera when there had been yet another shocking slaughter by a Muslim? “Was it done to stick one in the eye of the ordinary viewer who looks at the hijab as a sign of the slavery of Muslim women by a male-dominated and clearly violent religion?”

Manji subsequently accused Mackenzie of attempting to “smear” her religion and “intimidate Muslims out of public life”. More than 800 people have complained to the Independent Press Standards Organisation about McKenzie’s column.

Ofcom assessed the 17 complaints it received that using Manji was inappropriate but deemed that there is no grounds to launch a full investigation into any potential breach of the broadcasting code.

“We received a small number of complaints that it was inappropriate for a presenter wearing a hijab to present a report on the attack in Nice,” said a spokesman for Ofcom.

“We won’t be taking the matter forward for investigation. The selection of a presenter is an editorial matter for the broadcaster, and the way in which the presenter chose to dress in this case did not raise any issues under our rules.”

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