The BBC has edited a scene in Stacey Dooley’s Panorama documentary after she described a Muslim prayer gesture as an “IS salute”.
Dooley’s description of women raising their fingers in the air has been cut from Stacey Meets the IS Brides, which will be shown on BBC One on Monday.
The clip was also used on Sunday’s BBC News at Ten, which has been taken off the iPlayer, and in a clip on the BBC News website, which has been re-edited.
The BBC apologised for the error.
“We wrongly described a gesture made by women filmed in a Kurdish controlled detention camp in northern Syria as an ‘IS salute’,” a BBC spokesman said.
“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.”
The raised index finger is a symbol of Tawhid, described by the Oxford Dictionary of Islam as “the unity and uniqueness of God as creator and sustainer of the Universe”. The gesture is part of Islamic prayer, and some Muslim footballers have used it during celebrations.
Some Islamic State militants tried to co-opt the gesture by posing with one finger raised in propaganda images, particularly after executions.
For the Panorama programme, the Strictly Come Dancing winner visited camps in northern Syria and spoke to women who left their own countries to join the Islamic State group.