The BBC has refused to stop using the name Islamic State to refer to the Sunni radical group that has been sweeping through Syria and Iraq.
The refusal was made by Lord Hall of Birkenhead, BBC’s director general, after a petition submitted by 120 members of parliament called upon the broadcaster to desist from using Islamic State, and instead to refer to the group as Daesh, a transliteration of the Arabic acronym.
However, Hall argued that the Arabic alternative is “pejorative” and its use may appear to be in support of groups opposed to the jihadi group, so using Islamic State would be necessary to “preserve the BBC’s impartiality”.
Daesh is the term used by most Arab countries and France.
British Prime Minister David Cameron had asked the BBC a few days ago to avoid using Islamic State, as he saw the term gives legitimacy to the group.
Cameron expressed frustration with the press for referring to the group by the term “Islamic State”, recommending instead the full name, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).