BBC to Review On-Air Use of Term "Islamic State"

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British parliamentarians, backed by Prime Minister David Cameron, say the name helps to legitimize the terrorist group.

The BBC is reviewing its on-air use of the term "Islamic State" after a group of British parliamentarians, backed by Prime Minister David Cameron, said the use of the name in news programs helps to legitimize the terrorist group.

A representative said the public broadcaster would consider a letter to BBC director general Tony Hall that was signed by 120 parliamentarians urging the organization to use a different term, The Guardian first reported.

"No one listening to our reporting could be in any doubt what kind of organization this is," the BBC 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.' "

The Guardian also reported that Cameron in a BBC Radio 4 interview on Monday said, "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.”

Later in the day, Cameron said in a parliamentary debate: “I personally think that using the term 'ISIL or ‘so-called’ would be better." He added: "Saying 'Isil' is probably better than 'Islamic State' because it is neither, in my view, Islamic nor a state."

ISIL is short for Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant. British security agency MI5 on its website uses the name Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant to describe the group.



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