LONDON – A British daily, The Sun, has come under fire after attacking Channel 4 for using a Muslim reporter in hijab to cover Nice’s lorry attack, with angry tweets criticizing the publication for inciting violence against Muslim women.
The criticism was published in a piece ran in today’s edition of the tabloid under the heading “Why did Channel 4 have a presenter in a hijab fronting coverage of Muslim terror in Nice?” Herald Scotland reported on Monday, July 18.
After Nice attack, Channel 4’s Fatima Manji, who wears a hijab, lead the coverage of the channel’s coverage.
The decision was criticized by the Sun columnist, who wrote that they would not have employed an “Orthodox Jew to cover the Israeli-Palestine conflict” so it should not have used Manji to cover the Nice attack.
“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?” he added.
Social media reacted angrily after The Sun Tweeted out the column on Monday morning. The paper later deleted the Tweet.
“What is it with sad middle aged men & their obsession with what women wear? Mid life insecurity me thinks! #getalife,” Sayeeda Warsi wrote.
Some accused the publication of inciting violence against Muslim women by suggesting the hijab is a symbol of Islamic extremism.
“@SayeedaWarsi by suggesting the hijab or veil is a symbol of Islamic extremism and terror The Sun is inciting violence against Muslim women,” one added.
“@Channel4News put @fatimamanji as presenter because she’s a great journo. Her hijab is irrelevant. Mackenzie’s objection: also irrelevant,” a tweet answering the Sun read.
“Appalled by the Sun’s @kelvmackenzie. Criticism of @Channel4News’s decision to put @FatimaManji as presenter, just because she wears hijab.”
The hostility towards Muslims in the UK has deepened over the past years, with more than a quarter of 18 to 24-year-olds in the country saying they do not trust them.
Tell MAMA, an anti-Muslim hate monitoring group based in London, said in its annual report that Islamophobic incidents in the UK increased by 326 percent last year, rising from 146 to 437 cases.