The Muslim journalist derided by Kelvin MacKenzie for reporting on a terror attack in Nice has branded him “ill-informed, racist and Islamophobic”, and vowed not to let him stop her doing her job.
Fatima Manji, a journalist for Channel 4 News, hit back at the claims published by MacKenzie in the Sun, the paper he formerly edited.
She claimed not to be expecting an apology from him “any time soon” and drew links to the columnist’s late apology for tarnishing victims of the Hillsborough disaster.
“The Sun, you will recall, is the newspaper that appears at ease with its columnists describing refugees dying at sea as ‘cockroaches’,” she wrote, referencing a controversial column by Katie Hopkins.
“I will not be deterred in this mission by the efforts of those who find the presence of Muslims in British cultural life offensive.”
Manji went on to accuse MacKenzie of attempting to smear the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims, adding that he had attempted to paint her as someone who “would sympathise with a terrorist”.
The Sun columnist had written off headscarf-wearing Manji: “With all the major terrorist outrages in the world currently being carried out by Muslims, I think the rest of us are reasonably entitled to have concerns about what is beating in their religious hearts. Who was in the studio representing our fears?”
Manji ended her blog for the Liverpool Echo by referencing The Sun’s infamous 1989 front page which bore the headline ‘THE TRUTH’, blaming Liverpool FC fans for the disaster at Hillsborough stadium which left 96 dead.
“THE TRUTH?” she wrote, “I confess. I pi**ed on Kelvin MacKenzie’s apparent ambitions to force anyone who looks a little different off our screens, and I’ll keep doing it.”
A spokesperson for The Sun reiterated the paper’s “no comment” stance it took in light of the original storm yesterday.
Many people reacted angrily to the column by MacKenzie yesterday, one branding it “vile”.