MORE than 120 MPs from across the political spectrum have signed letters calling for the BBC and the government to stop referring to the terrorist organisation ISIL as “the Islamic State”.
The letters, authored by Rehman Chishti MP, have been signed by high profile figures including the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson MP, the former First Minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond MP, and the Chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee, Keith Vaz MP.
They call on the Prime Minister and the BBC to refer to the so called ‘Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’ (ISIL) as ‘Daesh’, in line with many other countries including France and Turkey and across the Middle East.
Last year the French Government officially adopted the title ‘Daesh’ and urged media outlets to use this name instead.
The word ‘Daesh’, which is an Arabic acronym for the group, holds negative connotations, referring to “one who sows discord”.
The cross party group of MPs believe that the current titles give legitimacy to a terrorist organisation that is not Islamic nor has it been recognised as a state and that it is insulting to many Muslims around the World.
Rehman Chishti MP, who authored the letters, has raised this matter with the Prime Minister in Parliament and more recently with the Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond MP.
Commenting on the letters, the Member of Parliament for Gillingham and Rainham, Rehman Chishti MP said: “This is a barbaric terrorist organisation that is causing large scale destruction in the Middle East and they are trying to gain legitimacy by calling themselves an ‘Islamic State’, when they are not a state nor are they Islamic.
“These letters, signed by more than 120 MPs, show the strength of feeling across the political spectrum that we need to call them what they really are. I hope that the Government, the BBC and others will follow in calling then ‘Daesh’ instead.”