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Reader’s Comment of the Day: BBC fears alienating its global Muslim audience


In response to Kathy Gyngell: ISIL’s brutes are terrorists. But only militants to the BBC, The Masked Marvel wrote:

The BBC does this because, as its head of BBC Arabic has explained, calling them ‘terrorists’ would somehow offend millions of their Muslim audience. The term, the BBC believes, has a value judgement attached to it. As it is also intrinsically about the motivation and goal behind the act of violence, calling an act ‘terrorism’ is thus a negative judgement on that motivation and goal. That it offends a significant portion of the BBC Arabic audience, and most likely that of the World Service as well, is prima facie evidence that the BBC largely agrees with the motivation behind acts of Islamic terrorism and approves of the intended goals.

As the saying goes, one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. Thus, the BBC would rather not use the term ‘terrorist’ when referring to people a large portion of its audience considers freedom fighters. One suspects a significant portion of BBC staff also agree with the motivations and goals of a certain group of Islamic terrorists, but that’s for another time.

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