BBC Misinformation: Islamic State

The following essay by Michael Copeland was originally published in September 2014 at LibertyGB (as “BBC Draws A Veil Over Islamic State”), then edited in 2021.

BBC Misinformation: Islamic State

by Michael Copeland

“What does Islamic State want? They want to enforce their view of conservative Islamic traditions.” — BBC

This appallingly inadequate statement is on the BBC’s 6o-second video. It is, in fact, the only statement in it that actually answers their own question.

No, BBC, Islamic State apply Islamic law, Sharia, by force. They not only “want to” but are already doing so. To refer to Sharia as “their view of conservative Islamic traditions” is shameful, dishonest, and inadequate. No author is shown.

The BBC is being careful to draw the spotlight away from Islam itself. To throw the reader off the scent they are nourishing the propaganda line that Islamic State is not Islamic, that they are pursuing “their idea” which, we are left to suppose, is somehow mistaken. Notice that the text skillfully does not actually say so, but leaves that conclusion to be formed by the reader. There is no mention of law or religion: oh no, only of “conservative traditions”. This is an old chestnut, and a tired and worn one at that. Remember the British detective helpfully assuring the public that a murder (a Muslim honour-killing) was nothing to do with Islam (which it is), but was a product of conservative cultural practices of rural Pakistan? How touching that an English policeman be so expert on tribal practices of rural South Asia! So sensitive!

No: Islamic State is applying Islam. The leader has a Ph.D. in Islamic Studies, unlike Mr. Cameron, so is well-informed. He has proclaimed himself Caliph, in the same way as earlier Caliphs did. As Abu Imran (Fouad Belkacem) of Sharia4Belgium has helpfully explained, “Islam is Sharia, and Sharia is Islam.” The Caliph is enforcing Sharia, “the path of Allah.”

Sharia is as defined in the Manual of Islamic Law, drawn from the Koran and the “reliable” traditions, “Hadith”, concerning the life and sayings of Mohammed. Together these all form Islamic Law. The Koran can be consulted online and the Manual, “Reliance of the Traveller”, is available as a download.

A second piece by the BBC, “What is Islamic State?” (again, no author shown), is rather more helpful.

Author’s note: since the LibertyGB article appeared the BBC has silently changed the text of this second article. What follows relates to the original text, no longer shown.

Once again, though, it quickly steers the reader away from Islam by dictating, with no explanation, that Islamic State is “a radical Islamist group”. We can note that Islamic State does not call itself “Radical Islamist State”: no, the BBC does that for them.

“The group aims to establish a “caliphate”“. No, it has already declared one. Now for another chestnut: “the group implements a strict interpretation of Sharia”. No: there is not a non-strict or benign interpretation of “Kill”. “Kill” means kill. What the BBC means is a strict application of Sharia, “forcing women to wear veils, non-Muslims to pay a special tax or convert, and imposing punishments that include floggings and executions.” The law is there: it is just that not all Muslim societies apply it to the letter. Yet another old chestnut is rolled out: “IS members are jihadists who adhere to an extreme interpretation of Sunni Islam”. What, BBC, is the non-extreme “interpretation” of “Kill”? That is right. There is not one. This is just a device to draw attention away from Islam.

“Its brutal tactics — including mass killings and abductions of members of religious and ethnic minorities, as well as the beheadings of soldiers and journalists — have sparked fear…… Beheadings, crucifixions and mass shootings have been used to terrorise their enemies.” These tactics are exactly in keeping with Mohammed’s deeds, such as his beheading of over 600 unarmed captive men, and enslaving their women and children. His is the “beautiful pattern [to follow]” (Koran 33:21). The BBC says “IS members have justified such atrocities by citing the Koranic verses that talk of “striking off the heads” of unbelievers. True, here are some verses:

  • “It is not for any prophet to have captives until he hath made slaughter in the land” (8:67);
  • “So when you meet those who disbelieve [in battle], strike [their] necks until, when you have inflicted slaughter upon them, then secure their bonds…” (47:4);
  • “I will instil terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers: smite ye above their necks and smite all their finger-tips off them” (8:12);
  • “Indeed, the penalty for those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and strive upon earth [to cause] corruption is none but that they be killed or crucified or that their hands and feet be cut off from opposite sides or that they be exiled from the land” (5:33).

The BBC adds a helpful reassurance: “but Muslims have denounced them.”

Really? Denounce the Koran? Muslims are not allowed to denounce the Koran. What the BBC does not mention is “taqiyya”, Islam’s authorised deception: Muslims are allowed (and in some circumstances commanded) to deceive non-Muslims in the cause of Islam. That is really so: Muslims are authorised to lie to the “kuffar”, the non-Muslims, the unbelievers, who are “filth” (9:28), “the vilest of animals” (8:22), attracting only “animosity and hatred” (60:4), “greatly hated by Allah and the believers” (40:35). As a result, Muslims can publicly claim to the kuffar that they “denounce” something Islamic, claiming it is not Islamic while knowing that it is. Their fellow Muslims know they are employing taqiyya. Without this dispensation the Muslim would be killed by his fellows: this is because denying any verse in the Koran brings the death penalty, which can be carried out by anyone without repercussion “since it is killing someone who deserves to die” (Manual of Islamic Law o8.4).

The BBC is employing its own version of taqiyya, promoting a misleading impression of what is going on. Shame on the BBC.

It is perniciously irresponsible of the BBC to represent Islamic State’s agenda as “their view of conservative Islamic traditions”. Islamic State are extremely dangerous to us all. This is why the UK and allies are bombing them. Their own press release makes the threat clear:

“And whoever is a disbeliever, his wealth is legal for a Muslim to take and his blood is legal to spill.”

That is a foundational doctrine of Islam, the right for Muslims to kill non-Muslims because they are non-Muslims, and to take their wealth, wives and children. Yet this is what the BBC disguises as “their view of conservative Islamic traditions”. “Kill unbelievers wherever you find them” commands Koran 9:5, part of Islamic law. This was the chapter cited by the Woolwich killer, who explained, “We are forced by the Koran…”

Islamic State’s press release continues, addressing its sympathisers already living in Western countries:

“…single out the disbelieving American, Frenchman, or any of their allies. Smash his head with a rock, or slaughter him with a knife, or run him over with your car, or throw him down from a high place, or choke him, or poison him… If you are unable to do so, then burn his home, car, or business.”

This, BBC, is what Islamic State wants. Shame on you for concealing it.


For previous essays by Michael Copeland, see the Michael Copeland Archives.

2 thoughts on “BBC Misinformation: Islamic State

  1. I rather doubt that any of our respective “Representatives” have read any Islamic Scripture, and if they have …… then I can only say that the Invasion of Islam into the West is part and parcel of the Globalists Deal with Evil.

    Our Enemies are not screaming Barbarians, it’s those smooth-talking creatures lurking in the “shadows” of our Governments who seek personal power at the expense of the people.
    They may dress their base ambitions up in the robes of principle – or the greater good – but there’s no EVIL they would not countenance to achieve their ends to enslave mankind.
    The “best” minds are not always the best-disposed minds.
    Just look at the UN, the EU, their Ideal is no more than a hollow edifice whose real centre is the simple unadorned greed and lust for power of the “elite” few.

    At least that’s the way I see it

  2. The BBC, known for it’s deceit and cover-ups. They certainly have no intention of telling the truth about the ‘religion of peace’.

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