Complaints to Ofcom about Channel 4 news presenter Fatima Manji wearing a hijab while reporting on the Nice terror attack have been dismissed by the communications regulator.
The 17 complaints are understood to have been submitted after Sun columnist Kelvin MacKenzie called on readers to send them in, according to the Guardian, although MacKenzie is not thought to have complained himself.
A spat between MacKenzie and Manji (pictured top) emerged after he called into question the appropriateness of her wearing the hijab, a sign that someone is a follower of Islam, while anchoring news about an Islamic extremist attack that claimed the lives of 86 people in France on 14 July.
He said in his column: “Was it appropriate for her to be on camera when there had been yet another shocking slaughter by a Muslim
“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?
“Would the C4 editor have used a Hindu to report on the carnage at the Golden Temple of Amritsar? Of course not.
“Would the station have used an Orthodox Jew to cover the Israeli-Palestine conflict? Of course not.”
The piece saw more than 800 complaints lodged with press regulator the Independent Press Standards Organisation.
Manji hit back with a piece in the Liverpool Echo, writing, in an apparent reference to the Sun’s coverage of the Hillsborough Disaster: “THE TRUTH?
“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.”
An Ofcome spokesperson said: “We received a small number of complaints that it was inappropriate for a presenter wearing a hijab to present a report on the attack in Nice.
“We won’t be taking the matter forward for investigation.
“The selection of a presenter is an editorial matter for the broadcaster, and the way in which the presenter chose to dress in this case did not raise any issues under our rules.”