Fatima Manji – A response from The Sun Ombudsman

I recently wrote a blog about my thoughts in relation to the disgraceful article written by Kelvin MacKenzie about Channel 4 newsreader Fatima Manji – you can read it here https://hifsahiblog.wordpress.com/2016/07/19/when-the-sun-doesnt-shine-on-muslims/ 

I reproduce below the response I have received from the Sun Ombudsman Philippa  Kennedy OBE:

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Dear Mrs Haroon-Iqbal,

Ref: Kelvin MacKenzie’s column about presenter wearing a hijab.

Thank you for your email. I am sorry that this column has upset you.

Kelvin MacKenzie is a columnist for The Sun but does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the newspaper. The Sun’s views on this issue are better reflected in this piece by our reporter Anila Baig https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/1463714/anila-baig-the-fact-that-fatima-can-present-a-news-bulletin-and-also-wears-a-headscarf-shows-how-great-britain-is/ and our ‘United Against IS’ campaign https://www.thesun.co.uk/archives/news/393327/united-against-i-s/.”

The Sun carries a wide range of columnists whose views are often robust and controversial. The newspaper believes that it is its job to give writers freedom to express these views that are often shared with many readers.

You may be aware that this matter is now being investigated by the Independent Press Standards Organisation. They have already rejected several similar complaints on the grounds that the article was ‘opinion’ and the columnist was entitled to express that opinion. They also rejected complaints that the article was discriminatory on the grounds that the Editors’ Code of Practice is designed to protect individuals mentioned and does not apply to groups of people such as Muslims.  

Until IPSO has concluded its enquiries, I would prefer not to send you a formal response but your concerns have been noted by the Editor.

Yours sincerely

Philippa Kennedy OBE

Sun Ombudsman

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