Following on from yesterday’s post, the question of whether ISIS is truly Islamic continues to ruffle the feathers of liberal academia, main stream media and most Western politicians. Their nauseatingly uniform answer is, “Of course not. ISIS is composed of barbaric, cruel and violent misanthropes who’ve hijacked a venerable religion of peace as a cover to legitimize their own despicably evil graspings after power and pleasure.”
One case in point: British Prime Minister David Cameron last year (and again subsequently) criticized the BBC for using the phrase “Islamic State” to refer to ISIS/Daesh, claiming that such usage legitimized their claims. At the very least, he said, the BBC should say “the so-called Islamic State” or “self-styled Islamic State.” His rationale?
“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,” he said in June. “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.”
Apparently, the BBC has started doing this, at least occasionally. Last week (May 25th to be exact) at an event sponsored by Lapido (the Centre for Religious Literacy in Journalism) held at Huddersfield University in West Yorkshire, a question was posed after panel discussion to one of the panelists, Aaqil Ahmed,
who since 2009 has served as the head of the BBC’s Department of Religion and Ethics. The questioner wondered why the BBC was using the term “so-called Islamic State.” He observed, “You wouldn’t say ‘so-called Huddersfield University’.”
Ahmed, himself a Muslim, responded with refreshing, eye-opening candor:
“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. They are Muslims. That is a fact and we have to get our head around some very uncomfortable things.”
If politicians, academicians and liberal media sources won’t listen to Western scholars on Islam, perhaps they’ll pay attention to a self-confessed Muslim who himself happens to be a major player in the world of British media! One can always hope.