BBC apologise for wrongly referring to 'IS salute'

BBC apologise for wrongly referring to 'IS salute'
A BBC documentary has been forced to apologise for referring to a Muslim symbol as an ISIS salute.
2 min read
06 August, 2019
The BBC apologised for the comment [BBC screenshot]
The BBC has been forced to apologise after wrongfully referring to a Muslim prayer gesture as an "ISIS salute", referring to the Islamic State group, which controlled much of Syria and Iraq.

BBC presenter Stacey Dooley visited women and children at the al-Hol refugee camp in Syria, for the series "Stacey Dooley Meets the ISIS Brides", which was screened on Monday.

During filming, one of the women she meets gave a one-finger gesture, which she refers to as "an ISIS salute" in the programme.

Although members of IS have used this one finger gesture in images and videos it is also a gesture symbolising the "oneness" of God, used by all Muslims during prayers and not known as an "ISIS salute".

The clip was used during the News at Ten programme on Sunday, with the offending comment removed from BBC iPlayer.

The BBC also apologised on Monday and said it had removed the reference after social media picked up on the error.

"We wrongly described a gesture made by women filmed in a Kurdish controlled detention camp in northern Syria as an 'IS salute'," a BBC spokesperson said.

"While ISIS have attempted to adopt this for their own propaganda purposes, for accuracy we should have been clear that many people of Muslim faith use this gesture to signify the oneness of Allah. We apologise for this error and have removed this description from the footage."

TellMama, a group which records attacks on Muslims, said it was concerned by the confusion it could cause to people unaware that the symbol used by all Muslims.  

"To reduce such a fundamental and important concept to a mere 'Isis salute' is grossly wrong, ignorant and damaging."