Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

“Let’s just get over it”: Channel 4’s Fatima Manji on ‘fixation’ with women wearing the hijab

Fatima Manji Twitter.jpg

Channel 4 newscaster Fatima Manji found herself at the centre of a racist furore earlier this year, when The Sun columnist Kelvin MacKenzie publicly criticised her wearing of a headscarf while reporting on terror attacks taking place in Nice.

Not one to take bullying lying down, however, Manji brilliantly hit back at both MacKenzie’s vitriol and the controversial press regulatory ruling, which claimed the columnist was ‘entitled’ to question the wearing of ‘religious symbols’ on TV.

Now, the award-winning journalist has spoken out again, this time to address the media’s current fixation with women who choose to wear a hijab.

Fatima Manji

In an interview with The Guardian, Manji confronted the ongoing dialogue about the clothes she chooses to wear, which often results in abusive messages from trolls on social media.

“For me it’s less about what people think than how happy I am with the outfit,” she says.

“At the moment, I’m excited by jumpsuits and dungarees. That sounds weird. But yes, sometimes people come out with all kinds of mad things, some of which are amusing, some of which are racist.”

Read more: Channel 4’s Fatima Manji hits back at hijab criticism

She then moved on to discuss the media’s unbalanced representation of Muslim women who wear headscarves, and the way in which it contributes to the current climate of Islamophobia.

“There’s a fixation with my headgear, obviously, which I find tiring. Not just about me, but I’m so bored of media depictions of women in headscarves,” she explains.

“It’s either, ‘Oh, look at this terribly oppressed woman’, or, ‘Oh, how exciting, woman in headscarf can play football!’ Let’s just get over it.”

Manji, who joined Channel 4 as a reporter in 2012, also revealed that her ambitions to become a journalist began as young as eight.

But while her desire to be a part of history was one driving force, sadly, racial abuse was also another.

“I often say I made a really informed career decision at the age of eight. I wanted to be where history is made, I wanted to be in the centre of things,” she tells guardian.com.

“I have very early memories of reading broadsheets when they seemed really massive, and that statement in itself now feels so dated.

“When you’re a minority in a country, you are inevitably more exposed to politics because you’re having to understand why you look different and why you do certain things differently. Or why someone’s calling you a Paki, quite honestly.”

Images: Twitter/Channel 4 News



Fatima Manji hits back at Kelvin MacKenzie over anti-hijab comments

Elle Halliwell.jpg

Journalist welcomes healthy baby boy after refusing cancer treatment


Amanda Knox on why innocent women confess to crimes they didn’t commit


20 soothing, beautiful songs guaranteed to help you fall asleep

An expert picks the ultimate classical music playlist

by Sarah Biddlecombe
20 Oct 2017

Puppy dog eyes are a thing and your dog makes them just for you

A study says dogs change their facial expressions when humans are looking

by Amy Swales
20 Oct 2017

Here’s how to buy a house or a flat for the princely sum of £1

It's time to enter the real-estate raffle

by Megan Murray
20 Oct 2017

Oxford University under fire for shocking lack of racial diversity

One MP called the revelations an example of “social apartheid”

by Moya Crockett
20 Oct 2017

This prosecco festival is the best way to start feeling Christmassy

Bubbles, bubbles everywhere

by Susan Devaney
20 Oct 2017

Missing your 16-25 railcard? We have good news for you

Rail bosses have taken pity on cash-strapped millennials

20 Oct 2017

This man’s response to his friend’s period while hiking is everything

“I had NOTHING on me and I was wearing shorts”

by Susan Devaney
20 Oct 2017

Why anxiety makes it harder to follow your intuition

It can have a paralysing effect on decision-making

by Anna Brech
19 Oct 2017

“Why all men must work to stamp out sexual harassment and abuse”

In wake of the Weinstein allegations, one writer argues why men need to be counted

19 Oct 2017

Rage, lust, power and warmth: how it feels to experience ‘red emotions

“I grew up being told my body was terrifying and my voice was unimportant”

by The Stylist web team
19 Oct 2017