It is time to acknowledge the “uncomfortable” truth that the Islamic State is linked with Islam as the terror group is “not preaching Judaism”, the BBC’s head of religion and ethics has said.
Professor Aaqil Ahmed, the first Muslim to hold the role at the British news corporation, said in a speech at Huddersfield University it was wrong to suggest that the terrorist group “has nothing to do with Islam”.
“I hear so many people say ISIS has nothing to do with Islam—of course it has. They are not preaching Judaism. It might be wrong but what they are saying is an ideology based on some form of Islamic doctrine,” Ahmed said last week.
The academic was fielding questions about the BBC’s approach to Muslim issues at the event curated by Lapido, the centre for religious literacy in journalism.
“They (Islamic State) are Muslims. That is a fact and we have to get our head around some very uncomfortable things. That is where the difficulty comes in for many journalists, because the vast majority of Muslims won’t agree with them,” he said.
The BBC had come under fire from British Prime Minister David Cameron for using the term “Islamic State” rather than ‘Daesh’ in reference to the terrorist group.
The Prime Minister in January had said, “I think Muslim families around the country would have held their heads in despair this morning when once again you just called it ‘Islamic State’. You didn’t even say ‘so-called Islamic State’. It’s so important.” The BBC has since resorted to the phrase ‘so-called Islamic State’ when referring to ISIS.