The BBC has issued an apology after a scene in Stacey Dooley’s upcoming Panorama documentary referred to a Muslim prayer gesture as an “IS salute”.
For the new documentary – which airs on Monday night – Stacey visited a camp in northern Syria, to interview women who had left their home countries to join the self-described Islamic State.
In one clip, which was posted online before the entire documentary aired, Stacey is heard saying that she had witnessed women at one refugee camp “raising their index fingers in an IS salute”.
The scene quickly sparked a backlash on social media, as the gesture in question is a symbol of tawhid, the idea of the oneness of Allah, although it has been co-opted by the terrorist organisation and its supporters.
A representative for the BBC has now responded to the controversy, issuing an apology and insisting that the scene in question will be amended accordingly.
They said: “We wrongly described a gesture made by women filmed in a Kurdish controlled detention camp in Northern Syria as an ‘IS salute’.
“While IS have attempted to adopt this for their own propaganda purposes, for accuracy we should have been clear that many people of Muslim faith use this gesture to signify the oneness of Allah. We apologise for this error and have removed this description from the footage.”
Stacey Dooley is yet to respond to the controversy.
Originally known for her BBC documentary series Stacey Dooley Investigates, which has tackled issues including domestic violence, drug trafficking and sustainable fashion, Stacey won a new legion of fans last year when she took part in Strictly Come Dancing.