By lauracohn
July 20, 2016

The Sun, Britain’s No. 1-selling tabloid, published a column this week in which it questioned why Channel 4 News had a female anchor wearing a hijab reporting on the recent terrorist attack in Nice.

In the column, former Sun editor Kelvin Mackenzie wrote: “Was it appropriate for her to be on camera when there had been yet another shocking slaughter by a Muslim?” The TV station said the comments about Fatima Manji, an award-winning journalist, were “arguably tantamount to inciting religious and even racial hatred.” The National Union of Journalists also rushed to her defense, and more than 1,400 complaints were filed with the Independent Press Standards Organization.

Clearly, the Sun realized its mistake. It deleted the tweet that mentioned the piece, and then published another story by female columnist Anila Baig, who wrote that Manji’s headscarf “shows how great Britain is.”

But this is my favorite part. Manji responded with a column of her own yesterday in the Liverpool Echo. She wrote that brushing off Mackenzie would be “dangerous.” She argued, “Racist and Islamophobic rhetoric has real consequences—lives have been lost and shattered in our own country.” Manji tweeted out her response, with the comment, “The truth: I’m here to stay, Kelvin MacKenzie.”

Fighting back against hate won’t stop the haters and the Twitter trolls. But, as Manji says on her Twitter page, “there’s no such thing as the voiceless, only the deliberately silenced and the preferably unheard.” I’d have to agree.

Laura Cohn



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