- Sana Uqba
The Sun trolls hijab-wearing Muslim for reporting 'Muslim terror'
Global outrage quickly struck last week when reports emerged suggesting a tragic and appalling attack in the French city of Nice.
At least 84 people, including dozens of children were killed when a man rammed a truck more than two kilometres into crowds watching celebratory fireworks to mark the French national Bastille Day.
As the story developed, the identity of the man was unknown, the motive for the attack remained vague and his religion was unspecified.
For Fatima Manji – a well-respected broadcast journalist on Britain's Channel 4 – and for millions of Muslim journalists across the world, this was a heart-breaking story yet, unfortunately, a normal day at thousands of newsrooms reporting in the current climate.
And yet, one of Britain's leading national newspapers audaciously published a vile article questioning the supposed absurdity of a "hijab-wearing Muslim" reporting a "slaughter by a Muslim."
Provocatively-headlined 'Why did Channel 4 have a presenter in a hijab fronting coverage of Muslim terror in Nice?' Kelvin Mackenzie spews a tirade of Islamophobic rhetoric that almost pathetically implies Manji supported the attack, falling short of accusing the young journalist of being at the wheel of the truck herself.
"With all the major terrorist outrages in the world currently being carried out by Muslims," he says, "I think the rest of us are reasonably entitled to have concerns about what is beating in their religious hearts."
Mackenzie's dangerous 'us versus them' mentality was reiterated widely among the unfortunate global Islamophobe committee, including Donald Trump, Newt Gingrich, Katie Hopkins and France’s own Marine Le Pen, just hours into the horrific event.
Former US House Speaker Newt Gingrich took advantage of the climate of fear to raise hysteria about a global "war" between two monolithic entities.
He suggested Muslims should take compulsory tests to see if they believe in Sharia law – with little regard for the fact that "Sharia" is not a solid set of rules and encompasses a broad range of understandings – from the literalistic and puritanical to more liberal interpretations.
"Let me be as blunt and direct as I can be. Western civilization is in a war. We should frankly test every person here who is of a Muslim background, and if they believe in Sharia, they should be deported," Gingrich said in an interview with Fox News' Sean Hannity.
Unsurprisingly, during another Fox News interview with US Republican Donald Trump on the day of the attack, right-wing political commentator Bill O'Reilly said "I believe it’s a world war now. We are in a world war scenario. It's no longer just isolated ISIS attacks. Do you agree with that?"
Despite no claim of responsibility at that point, Trump assuredly replied, "I certainly do... And I've been saying it for a long time. It's out of control. We have a president that doesn't want to call it what it is. And you know you look at World Trade Center, you look at San Bernardino, you look at Paris, 130 people killed and so many injured in Paris from that attack, and you look at Orlando. It's out of control," he said, citing previous attacks claimed by the self-proclaimed Islamic State group.
So what exactly offended The Sun's outdated bigot who was not only dropped from The Telegraph, accused of inventing stories, but was also Britain's most hated man for arguably the single biggest controversial headline accusing fans at the Hillsborough disaster of being thieves and thugs?
Of course, it was the female practising Muslim's headscarf.
"Was it done to stick one in the eye of the ordinary viewer," Mackenzie asks, confidently suggesting this same, ordinary viewer "looks at the hijab as a sign of the slavery of Muslim women by a male-dominated and clearly violent religion."
The Muslim – yes, Muslim – journalist has worked at the channel for four years and has been praised and hailed for her performance reporting on live television. Despite this, Mackenzie suggests the channel was forced to throw her in front of camera to avoid a backlash.
"Presumably the C4 twerps felt to remove her would cause a bigger row," he predicted, as he failed to foresee the fury to be unleashed in response to his unsubstantiated and unnecessary xenophobic trolling. Following the article, many took to Twitter to not only defend, but also to applaud Fatima Manji and her work while rebuking The Sun's column
So Kelvin, to sum up, hijab-wearing, British, Muslim mainstream journalist Fatima Manji reported the Nice terror attack because... it is quite simply her job to do so.