Cameron tells BBC to stop calling barbaric terror group 'Islamic State'

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Cameron tells BBC to stop calling barbaric terror group 'Islamic State' because name is offensive to 'many Muslims'
  • Prime Minister says Muslims 'recoil' from use of the controversial name
  • Cameron uses 'ISIL' which stands for Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
  • Warned fight to defeat terrorists needs 'extraordinary resolve and patience'
  • Up to 30 Britons are thought to be among the 38 killed in Sousse on Friday
By Matt Chorley, Political Editor for MailOnline

Published: 14:46 GMT, 29 June 2015 | Updated: 16:08 GMT, 29 June 2015

David Cameron today called on the BBC not to use the phrase 'Islamic State' when referring to the terror group operating in Iraq and Syria.

The Prime Minister - who calls the group 'ISIL' - said Muslims would 'recoil' at the phrase being used to justify the 'perversion of a great religion'.

He insisted that the battle against extremists targeting Britons around the world can be won but will require 'extraordinary resolve and patience'.



Prime Minister David Cameron said Muslims would 'recoil' at the phrase being used to justify the 'perversion of a great religion'

Gunman Seifeddine Rezgui targeted tourists at the Tunisian beach resort of El Kantaoui near Sousse on Friday morning, killing 38 people including up to 30 British tourists.

It makes it the worst terror attack on Britons since the July 7 London bombings in 2005.

Hakim Rezgui, the father of the gunman, last night claimed extremists had 'ruined his son's brain'.

Today Mr Cameron urged imams and Muslim leaders to continue to speak out against the terrorism carried out under a 'perversion of a great religion' and that extremism is a 'gateway into terrorism'.

He criticised BBC presenter John Humphrys for referring to the group as Islamic State.

The extremists are variously known as Islamic State, Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and DAESH, based the Arabic acronym.

During his interview on BBC Radio 4's Today programme Mr Cameron referred to the group as 'ISIL'.

'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State because it's not an Islamic State; what it is is an appalling, barbarous regime,' Mr Cameron said.

'It is a perversion of the religion of Islam and many Muslims listening to this programme will recoil every time they hear the words 'Islamic State'.

I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State because it's not an Islamic State; what it is is an appalling, barbarous regime
Prime Minister David Cameron

'So-called' or Isil is better,' he added.

However, some people on social media pointed out that ISIL is an acronym which refers to 'Islamic State'.

In the Commons today, SNP Westminster leader Angus Robertson backed the call for politicians and the media to stop using 'Islamic State', and said 'Daesh' should be used instead.

He urged the Prime Minister join MPs across all parties, US Secretary of State John Kerry and the French foreign minister Laurent Fabius in 'using the appropriate term'.

Mr Robertson added: 'The time has come in the English speaking world, to stop using Islamic State, ISIS or ISIL, and instead we and our media should use Daesh as the commonly-used phrase across the Middle East.'

Mr Cameron repeated his criticism of the BBC for referring to the group as Islamic State: ;I think this is particularly offensive to many Muslims who see, as I see, not state but a barbaric regime of terrorism and oppression that takes delight in murder and oppressing women and murdering people because they are gay.

'I personally think that using the term ISIL or "so-called" would be better than what they currently do.

'I don't think we will move them all the way to Daesh so I think saying ISIL is better than using Islamic State because it is in my view neither Islamic nor a state.'


ISIS gunman Seifeddine Rezgui walking down the beach in Tunisia where the gunned down 38 innocent tourists

In a statement to MPs Mr Cameron said ISIS posed an existential threat to the British way of life, but vowed: 'We will not cower in the face of terrorism.'

He told the Commons there would be a nationwide minute's silence at midday on Friday to remember the victims.

'I know the whole country will want to share in a moment of remembrance,' he said.

The Prime Minister said the whole world had been shocked by the 'horrific attack' on the beach of Sousse in Tunisia.

Gunman Seifeddine Rezgui targeted tourists at the Tunisian beach resort of El Kantaoui near Sousse on Friday morning, killing 38 people including up to 30 British tourists.

It makes it the worst terror attack on Britons since the July 7 London bombings in 2005.

Home Secretary Theresa May visited the resort today to oversee efforts to identify the dead and help the wounded, as the RAF was put on standby the fly home the bodies of murdered holidaymakers.

Mr Cameron said Britons were not being advised to stay away from Tunisia's coastal resorts despite the bloody events at Sousse.

He told MPs: 'The Foreign Office has updated their travel advice, which continues to make clear the high threat from terrorism in the country, just as it did before Friday's events.

'But they are not moving to a position of advising against all but essential travel to this part of Tunisia.

'So they are not advising against visiting the popular coastal resorts. This was agreed by the Cobra emergency committee and will be kept under close review.'

These were 'difficult judgments', he said, because 'nowhere is without risk from Islamist extremist terrorists'.

Mr Cameron chaired a meeting of the Cobra emergency committee today and updated MPs in a statement in the Commons this afternoon.

Earlier he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: 'This is an absolutely horrific attack and I know it's shocked the whole of the country and it's shocked the whole of the world.'

Asked if ISIS poses an 'existential threat' to the western world and Britain, Mr Cameron said: 'I think it does.'

The Prime Minister insisted ISIS could be beaten, and Britain would remain a target until it does.

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: 'It is an existential threat because what's happening here is the perversion of a great religion, and the creation of this poisonous death cult that is seducing too many young minds in Europe, in America, in the Middle East and elsewhere.

'This is going to be the struggle of our generation and we have to fight it with everything that we can.'



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In a statement to MPs Mr Cameron said ISIS posed an existential threat to the British way of life, but vowed: 'We will not cower in the face of terrorism'

Mr Cameron repeatedly rejected the idea that the threat would be diminished if the UK withdrew from military involvement and airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

'I think that frankly we are a target. They have declared war on us and they are attacking our people at home and overseas whether we like it or not.

'Frankly I don't think you can hide from this threat or think that if you step back somehow you become less of a target.'

He went on: 'The 'put your head in the sand, try to cut yourself off from the world, think it's impossible to deal with these problems' approach is wrong.

'We can, if we show unity, purpose, resolve and determination work with our allies, use the incredible assets that we have, assert our system of values and democracy and the rest of it, we can beat these people.

'But it does take extraordinary resolve and patience, because this is going to take a very long-time. We have to be in this for the long haul.'



+7
Home Secretary Theresa May (right) is in Sousse today to urge the Tunisian authorities to make sure British police are able to do their work to ensure swift confirmation of identities of the dead



+7
Britain has sent a team, to ‘assess the security in and around coastal resorts in Tunisia as part of our efforts to work with Tunisian authorities’



+7
Downing Street today said 18 British nationals are now confirmed to have been killed in the attack, with the number expected to rise to ‘around 30’

Mr Cameron said terrorists had targeted countries around the world, killing people of all backgrounds and faiths.

'If you take a 10-year view we've been fighting Al-Qaeda and now ISIL and Al Qaeda, there have been bomb attacks in Bali, attacks on Turkish banks, attacks on the British underground, attacks in Belgian museums and French newspaper offices.

'They are attacking our way of life and what we stand and so we have to stand united with those who share our values and attack this problem at its source in Iraq and Syria.'

Likening the conflict to fighting communism in the Cold War, Mr Cameron said it is 'a battle of our values and our narrative against their values and their narrative'.

He added: 'We have to get that right as well as the military end of the conflict. There are people in Iraq and Syria who are plotting to carry out terrible acts in Britain and elsewhere and as long as ISIL exists in those two countries we are at threat.'

Meanwhile, the police have launched their biggest counter-terror operation for a decade over fears a 'lone wolf' attack could be launched using sub-machine guns smuggled into Britain.

The National Crime Agency has warned of the 'increased threat' posed by Skorpion weapons from the Czech Republic imported by gangs which could be used to kills dozens of people in copycat of the attack in Tunisia on Friday.

Scotland Yard has drafted in 600 officers - the biggest since the 7/7 bombings - and the Army is on standby to support police.

Extra police will be deployed at Wimbledon from today including the tenth 7/7 anniversary, when it is feared fanatics could attempt a copycat attack.



+7
The National Crime Agency has warned about the 'increased threat' posed by Skorpion weapons from the Czech Republic imported in Britain by criminal gangs

Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley, the Metropolitan Police’s top counter-terrorism officer, said the operation includes officers on the ground in Tunisia and hundreds at airports, looking for British witnesses of Friday’s massacre.

It comes after the NCA updated its 'Assessment of Serious and Organised Crime' to warn of the flow of weapons into the UK.

It said: 'Handguns and shotguns remain the two types of firearms favoured by criminals. However, sub-machine guns (SMG) are also used by criminals, with an increased threat of Skorpion SMGs being imported into the UK destined for urban street gangs in south-east England.'

It also warned of 'significant detections and seizures' of stun guns and noxious sprays which could also be used in an attack.

Counter-terror experts say there are links between criminal gangs and jihadists, including trading weapons.

David Cameron tells BBC to stop using 'Islamic State' | Daily Mail Online
 
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Why stop calling them something they have claimed they already are?
 

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Why stop calling them something they have claimed they already are?
You can't call someone a doctor for example even if that someone claims to be so.
 

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Why stop calling them something they have claimed they already are?
24 reasons ISIS are wrong: Muslim scholars blast Islamic State — RT News
A large group of Islamic theologians addressed the head of the Islamic State in an open letter, articulately accusing the movement of practices that have nothing to do with Islam, even rejecting the extremists’ right to call themselves jihadists.
Many Muslims, including many experts on the religion don't recognize the terrorist organization as "Islamic." It's merely a label they attach on themselves because it serves their purposes [currently] but at the core they aren't Muslims. So since they aren't real Muslims they shouldn't be referred to as the Islamic State.
 

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BBC to review use of 'Islamic State' after MPs protest against term

More than 120 MPs, backed by David Cameron, sign letter saying name gives legitimacy to terrorist group that is neither Islamic nor a state


David Cameron told the House of Commons that the use of the term Isil was better than that of Islamic State. Photograph: Video grab/AFP/Getty Images

The BBC is reviewing its use of the term “Islamic State” after a cross-party group of MPs, backed by David Cameron, accused the broadcaster of legitimising the terrorist group by continuing to use the name in its journalism.

A BBC spokesman said the corporation would consider the letter, signed by 120 MPs and sent to the BBC director general, Tony Hall, last week, but that it had had little choice other than to call the group “by the name it uses itself”.

“No one listening to our reporting could be in any doubt what kind of organisation this is,” a BBC statement said. “We call the group by the name it uses itself, and regularly review our approach. We also use additional descriptions to help make it clear we are referring to the group as they refer to themselves, such as ‘so-called Islamic State’.”

We should start by understanding that in a propaganda war language is crucial

Alex Salmond MP
Earlier on Monday, Cameron clashed with BBC Radio 4 presenter John Humphrys over the issue. “I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State because it’s not an Islamic state,” the prime minister said. “What it is, is an appalling, barbarous regime … It’s a perversion of the religion of Islam and many Muslims listening to this programme will recoil every time they hear the words Islamic State.”

The letter, initiated by Rehman Chishti, the Conservative MP for Gillingham and Rainham, was signed by the Tory London mayor, Boris Johnson, and the Labour chair of the home affairs select committee, Keith Vaz. It urges the BBC and other broadcasters to adopt the name “Daesh” for the group.

The term is based on an Arabic acronym al-Dawla al-Islamiya fil Iraq wa’al Sham, which translates as Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (Syria), but is close to “Dahes” or “one who sows discord”.

Later on Monday, Cameron appeared to muddy the waters on his position during a Commons debate about the UK’s response to the Tunisia massacre, in which 30 Britons are feared to have died.

“I personally think that using the term Isil or ‘so-called’ would be better than what [the BBC] currently do,” Cameron said. “I don’t think we’ll move them all the way to Daesh, so I think saying Isil is probably better than Islamic State because it is neither, in my view, Islamic or a state.”

Isil is short for Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant – a historical geographical term for the land stretching from southern Turkey through Syria to Egypt. The official website for the British security agency MI5 uses the name Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant to describe the organisation.

The Scottish National party’s Alex Salmond, one of the letter’s signatories, called for the government to adopt Daesh as an alternative title for the group. The French and Turkish governments use this term.

Other groups have joined in the protest against the use of the name. In a letter to the prime minister, the Islamic Society of Britain and the Association of Muslim Lawyers said: “It is neither Islamic, nor is it a state. The group has no standing with faithful Muslims, nor among the international community of nations.”

It said the negative connotation contrasted with any derivative of Islamic State which “gives legitimacy to a terrorist organisation that is not Islamic, nor has it been recognised as a state and which a vast number of Muslims around the world regard as despicable and insulting to their peaceful religion”.

In his column for the Dundee Courier, Salmond wrote: “We should start by understanding that in a propaganda war language is crucial.

“Any description of terrorists which confers on them the image that they are representing either a religion or a state must surely be wrong and an own goal of massive proportions. It is after all how they wish to refer to themselves.
“However, the real point of using Daesh is that it separates the terrorists from the religion they claim to represent and from the false dream of a new caliphate that they claim to pursue.”

The Guardian, in common with several other media groups, uses Islamic State at first mention, thereafter Isis.

The terror group, which started as a part of al-Qaida, first called itself Islamic State in June 2014 after formally declaring the establishment of a “caliphate”.

BBC to review use of 'Islamic State' after MPs protest against term | Media | The Guardian
 

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We call them Daesh .
 
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I am sympathetic to people who do not want the name of their honorable and ancient religion used in the name of terrorist group. But there is also an old and sensible journalistic tradition that groups should be referred to in neutral reporting by whatever they call themselves, even if we do not agree with the meaning or implication of the term they choose.

I have noticed BBC reporters inserting "the so-called" Islamic State to imply their disapproval.
 
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I agree that journalists should keep as objective an outlook as possible, but it is still sad to see that many peaceful Muslims are grouped together with the ISIS.
 

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You are so right, David! I'm also wondering if you can become more stupid and oblivious than you already are. Really...
 
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Pardon me for this comment but I agree with that statement of the Prime Minister that it is an insult to Muslims when you call the group of extremists Islamic. Maybe that approach by PM David Cameron is a signal for other country leaders to come forward and declare their opinion on the issue. Has the US, Australia, Japan and some elite nations issued an statement about ISIS?
 
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Pardon me for this comment but I agree with that statement of the Prime Minister that it is an insult to Muslims when you call the group of extremists Islamic. Maybe that approach by PM David Cameron is a signal for other country leaders to come forward and declare their opinion on the issue. Has the US, Australia, Japan and some elite nations issued an statement about ISIS?
If a group of extremest, murdering, evil Christians became know as The Christian Nation, I'm sure that wouldn't bother anyone either. Or evil jews named The Chosen People, that wouldn't bother anyone, either.
 
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Isn't Islamic Statebwhat the group themselves says their name is? Yes it is offensive, but perhaps it will get other Muslim people to think about what their religion is really teaching. Islam is not a peaceful religion unless the people omit certain parts of their holy book.
 
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If a group of extremest, murdering, evil Christians became know as The Christian Nation, I'm sure that wouldn't bother anyone either. Or evil jews named The Chosen People, that wouldn't bother anyone, either.
I agree that the name wouldn't bother me but with the murdering, I guess that crime of killing would come first in my mind over that name. In other words, even if the group of murderers are called Christian Nation, I would still look at them as criminals. But concerning the insult, the name is an insult to the Christians.
 
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I do agree that referring to ISIS as "Islamic" is an injustice to the millions of peaceful Muslims around the world. However, what are we meant to refer to them as? The term "ISIL" still includes the word after all.

Maybe Daesh is a better term, I believe that they find this insulting and I, for one, am more than happy to insult them. Just as long as reporters don't take to calling it "The organisation formerly known as ISIS"!
 

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