After the condemnation of his disgusting racist bigotry earlier in the week, some might have thought that former Sun editor Kelvin McFilth would desist from any more of his less than choice rants at presenters like Channel 4’s Fatima Manji, because she covered her hair by wearing a hijab. But that would have been to misunderstand Kel: he just doesn’t care what anyone else thinks. So he’s at it again today.
And there’s the same lack of research apparent in the latest Kel crap that was evident not only in the earlier rant, but also all those stories that caused the Sun so much trouble when he was editor: “The hijab is a religious statement… would TV regulators allow a Christian cross that prominent?” he demands. Why does he need to ask that question? HE SHOULD KNOW. But he hasn’t bothered checking.
What, in any case, is the problem with a practising Christian wearing a cross, apart of course from it not being a requirement for devotees? “After all it only seems like yesterday that a middle-aged lady employed by British Airways at Heathrow was under fire for wearing a hairclip-sized crucifix”. BA’s uniform policy lays down rules. The woman in question had broken them. NOT A LIKE WITH LIKE COMPARISON.
Besides, Kel’s headline says “Sun columnist says telly presenters shouldn't wear artefacts that advertise their religion”. A cross is an artefact. YOU JUST BANNED IT YOURSELF. Plus a hijab is not an artefact - it’s an article of dress, of clothing. One has to wonder whether Kel threw his column together in a quarter of an hour, or on this occasion allowed even less time than usual. But all the criticism is not his fault, honest.
“ALL I did was ask a simple question … Then the Twerperati got involved and it became a national debate with a record number of complaints to the press regulator Ipso”. Yes, the only reason there has been a backlash is because of this new-fangled social media thingy. In the good old days, he’d have had sole control of the megaphone and anyone who took umbrage at his racist bigotry would have had to lump it.
Fortunately, we can nowadays take Kel’s columns apart and expose them for the excuse for decent journalism that passes as acceptable at the Sun. “Wearing a hijab is a matter of choice for Western women” he says. This is true. SO WHY MAKE SO MUCH FUSS ABOUT ONE PRESENTER EXERCISING THAT CHOICE?
It gets worse: “I’m told feminists in the Muslim community are really worried at the march of the hijab as they see it as a rejection of progressive values”. YOU DON’T KNOW BECAUSE YOU COULDN’T BE ARSED FINDING OUT.
Then he falls back on “Instead of accusing me of Islamaphobia (yawn! yawn!) Channel 4 might like to try finding a Muslim presenter to front a documentary about Islam’s attitudes towards the gay community, or perhaps on how women are treated as second-class citizens in Muslim countries”. THERE IS NO SINGLE “ATTITUDE OF ISLAM”. Like there is no single “attitude of Christianity”, or “attitude of Judaism”.
Not only is Kelvin McFilth a racist bigot, he’s stupid with it. So ideal Sun material, then.
Mackenzie is merely a low level symptom of racism in the West.
In France this took the form of a legal ban on hijab head dress. A stupid move if ever there was one. And one certain to drive some mentally disturbed creatures into outright lethal madness. To say nothing of France currently STILL trying to impose its modern version of the Sykes-Picot Agreement in Syria.
As an atheist I regard all religion as superstitious nonsense. But if it gives individuals comfort, then so be it as long as it does no harm. A head dress does no harm. The superstitions will evolve out sooner or later anyway.
But you can't expect a racist, hate-filled moron like Mackenzie to understand that.
“After all it only seems like yesterday...Lots of things probably seem like only yesterday to him.
The stupid thing about this is that MacKenzie had sort of grasped a reasonable point and mangled it beyond recognition. We do expect journalists to avoid not only conflicts of interest, but the _appearance_ of conflicts of interest. There were years of sniping at the BBC's Nick Robinson on the grounds of his student (!) involvement in the Conservative Party, for example. There's a reasonable summary of the problems with perceived conflicts of interest here: http://www.mediaideas.co.uk/VJTC/PDFs/6%20Ethics/Integrity%20for%20journalists.pdf -- is a visibly Muslim woman reporting on an Islamist terrorist attack a conflict of interest? Not automatically. Could it be perceived as one? Well, it could, couldn't it. A tough editorial call for the C4 News producer, who must be relieved that MacKenzie's stupidity has allowed C4 news to (rightly) claim the moral high ground.
Possibly a deflection from anyone remebering The Sun's previous attacks on the Beeb for their culture and possible connection from those to the sacking with more than adequate compensation (shades of Becky Sharp, sorry Brooks) of Roger Ailes?
But not being an avid reader of The Sun I wouldn't know if they have covered that story.
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