“Newspapers were a green light to discriminate against black communities after the press watchdog ruled that rules banning ‘prejudiced’ articles were meant only to protect individuals. The bizarre decision came as a result of complaints to the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) about an article in The Sun newspaper written by columnist and broadcaster Jon Gaunt.
“This website, and many of our readers, took issue with a column on 24th October last year, which claimed human rights were ‘just for foreigners, fanatics, freeloaders and perverts’…. It accused a Muslim schoolteacher Aishah Azmi of wanting to ‘stitch up our way of life’ by contesting an employment courts’ decision to ban her wearing the full veil in class even when adult male colleagues are present….
“But in a ruling received today by Blink, the PCC noted that their code of conduct (Clause 12) was ‘designed to protect the individual and is not generally applicable to groups of people. As such, the complaint that the article discrimiated against Muslims in general could not raise a breach of the Code. In this instance the Commission noted that the only individual who might have been the subject of prejudicial or pejorative reference was Ms Aishah Azmi, who had not raised a compliant about the matter’.”
Lester Holloway reports, BLINK website, 8 January 2007