The BBC has apologised for a scene in Stacey Dooley’s new Panorama documentary, which saw the filmmaker describe a Muslim prayer gesture as an “IS salute”.
Last night’s one-off episode, titled Stacey Meets the IS Brides, saw the popular filmmaker travel to holding camps in northern Syria to meet western women who left their countries to join IS.
Ahead of its release, a preview clip featured on BBC News‘ official website and the iPlayer was deleted due to its controversial content. It was subsequently removed from the full show, with the BBC going on to issue an apology for their error of judgement.
Tawhid (Tawheed) is the defining doctrine of Islam, demonstrating the oneness of Allah (God). To reduce such a fundamental and important concept to a mere "IS salute" is grossly wrong, ignorant, and damaging. @BBCPanorama, please address this in the upcoming #ISBrides doc. pic.twitter.com/JVW4hLJQIc
— TellMAMAUK (@TellMamaUK) August 5, 2019
“We wrongly described a gesture made by women filmed in a Kurdish controlled detention camp in northern Syria as an ‘IS salute’,” a BBC spokesman said in a statement.
“While IS 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.”
During the clip, Dooley said: “As we left the camp, we saw women raising their index finger in an IS salute.” See a screenshot of the moment in the above post.
As the BBC notes, the raised index finger gesture is defined by the Oxford Dictionary of Islam as “the unity and uniqueness of God as creator and sustainer of the Universe”. A number of Islamic State militants have adopted the symbol and used it after executions.