Kelvin Mackenzie, anxious to know more about the Nice massacre, did something on Friday night he usually avoids: He watched Channel Four News.
The Sun(h/t Brenda K) After Jon Snow had conducted a poor interview with a young man who had come perilously close to death the action switched back to the London studio, where he could hardly believe his eyes.
The presenter was not one of the regulars — Krishnan Guru-Murthy, Matt Frei or Cathy Newman — but a young Muslim woman wearing an Islamic headbag (hijab).
Her name isFatima Manji and she has been with the station for four years. Was it appropriate for her to be on camera when there had been yet another mass 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.
Further editorial stupidity of the station, they had sitting in the studio a French guy who was worried about Islamophobia.
On that basis why didn’t they send her to Nice instead of Snow? Of course, there was a very good reason for that. The people of Nice, and the people of France, would view a foreign reporter wearing a hijab in these tense times as massively provocative. I’m not sure Muslim reporters in secular France are even allowed to wear headscarves on screen.
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?
It is coverage like this that raises a question mark over the future of Channel Four. They are a licensed business. Let’s sell that licence to somebody who can supply balance in these difficult times.