A Muslim woman in Manchester, England, was criticized for wearing a burka embellished with weapons in a Wednesday television interview about the recent terror attack at Manchester Arena.
The woman, named ‘Sid’, was part of a group of Muslims interviewed by Channel 4 in the Rusholme area of Manchester, a section of which is the largest Libyan community in Europe.
The Muslim group strongly condemned the attack at an Ariana Grande concert by 22-year-old suicide bomber Salman Abedi, a man of Libyan descent.
Sid claimed to be “devastated” while wearing a burka printed with a pistol, grenade, knife and machine gun spelling the word “love.” Her choice of attire met with criticism from viewers.
One tweeted: “Channel 4 news contributor in full hijab, top to toe with comedy glasses, images of knife & hand grenade emblazoned across the front!”
Another Twitter user posted: “Channel 4 actually broadcast this. Nothing says love like a hand grenade & flick-knife.”
Others called Sid “disgusting,” despite her urging people to “stand together.”
“I don’t need to prove anything,” she said. “I’m a good Muslim, I know I’m a good Muslim, my friends, everyone I interact with, they know I’m a good Muslim.
“I’m not here to prove anything, but I’m here to say that we need to stand together, stand united, and help fight this. As Manchester, we are standing together. I was at the vigil yesterday, fantastic crowd. We were there together to support each other and that is what we are here for. We will tackle it together.”
Channel 4 responded to complaints with the following statement: “When it was brought to our attention that the woman being interviewed was wearing a gun-themed t-shirt, we removed the online versions to investigate. We are now satisfied that the intention of that image is to subvert weaponry and is an anti-violence protest t-shirt.
The image was made famous in 2013 when the singer Jennifer Hudson was pictured wearing a very similar design, which spelled out the word ‘love’ in guns and other weapons. She told fans “it’s time to turn all of that into this LOVE.”
In this debate, members of the local Muslim community gave their reactions to the bombing and the backlash. Among the contributions, several spoke of their devastation and also took the chance to speak out against extremism.
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