United Kingdom (Web Desk) – The press regulator has unsurprisingly received more than 1,400 complaints about remarks Kelvin MacKenzie made in The Sun criticising a journalist for wearing a hijab while reporting the Nice attack.
Although the Sun deleted a tweet that promoted the column it did so on the grounds that it failed to make it clear that it was MacKenzie’s viewpoint and not that of the newspaper.
The paper’s former editor questioned whether Fatima Manji should have been allowed to appear on Channel 4 News.
The Independent Press Standards Organisation (Ipso) said it would assess the complaints.
Channel 4 News said the comments were “completely unacceptable”.
It is also understood Manji is considering her other legal options.
Ipso said the complaints it received related to accuracy, harassment and discrimination.
Manji wrote a response to MacKenzie’s comments in the Liverpool Echo, saying she was “not expecting an apology from him any time soon”.
“Mr MacKenzie’s article was but one wild screed in a long-running and widespread campaign to intimidate Muslims out of public life,” she said.
“He 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.
“I will not be deterred… by the efforts of those who find the presence of Muslims in British cultural life offensive.”
Eighty-four people were killed by French-Tunisian Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel when he drove a lorry through crowds gathered in Nice to celebrate Bastille Day.
“The comments published in The Sun by Mr MacKenzie are offensive, completely unacceptable, and arguably tantamount to inciting religious and even racial hatred,” Channel 4 News said.
“It is wrong to suggest that a qualified journalist should be barred from reporting on a particular story or present on a specific day because of their faith.
“Fatima Manji is an award-winning journalist. We are proud that she is part of our team and will receive, as ever, our full support in the wake of his comments.”