A month on, BBC Arabic acknowledges that Qaradawi supported killing civilians

A post by CAMERA Arabic

On November 9th BBC Arabic editors finally amended an obituary for Qatari-Egyptian Islamic scholar Yusuf al-Qaradawi (dated September 26th, 2022) who was broadly regarded as a leading spiritual figure for the Muslim Brotherhood movement. This was one of a series of BBC Arabic corrections prompted jointly by CAMERA Arabic, CAMERA UK and The Jewish Chronicle.

Whitewashing the late scholar’s support of terrorism against Israeli civilians, the obituary originally read: [emphasis added]

“Qaradawi was banned from entering the US and the UK due to his support of suicide operations targeting Israeli soldiers, which he described as ‘martyrdom seeking operations.’”

The suicide bombings which Qaradawi legitimised as “martyrdom-seeking operations” were aimed at all Israelis, soldiers and civilians alike. He repeatedly reiterated that stance, justifying such attacks under the pretext that no member of Israeli society can truly be considered a civilian. As late as 2016, at the age of 89, he praised a terror attack in Tel Aviv which resulted in exclusively civilian casualties.

Unlike the BBC obituary in Arabic, the one published in English acknowledged that fact, citing a BBC interview with Qaradawi from 2004:

“He […] claimed that Islam justified Palestinian suicide bomb attacks against Israelis during the second Palestinian intifada that began in 2000. In an interview with the BBC in 2004, he said: ‘I consider this type of martyrdom operation as an indication of the justice of Allah Almighty.’”

Neither the UK nor the US cited Qaradawi’s views on Israeli soldiers when specifying the grounds upon which his entry to those countries was denied. The UK Home Office stated that it “will not tolerate the presence of those who seek to justify any acts of terrorist violence or express views that could foster inter-community violence”. Similarly, the US suggested that he “advocated violence”, based on Qaradawi’s own testimony.

By claiming that Qaradawi was refused entry to the UK by the Home Office because of his views on Israeli soldiers (rather than civilians), BBC Arabic – a branch of the partly government funded BBC World Service – failed to accurately represent that British government decision. 

Following communication with BBC Arabic editors, action was eventually taken 30 working days after submission of the original complaint: outside the timeframe for addressing a complaint set by the BBC itself. The amended version of the article now reads:

“Qaradawi was banned from entering the US and the UK due to his support of suicide operations targeting Israelis, which he described as ‘martyrdom seeking operations.’”

Related Articles:

BBC MAKES OVER TWENTY CORRECTIONS IN ARABIC FOLLOWING JC EXPOSÉ

AFTER 17 MONTHS, BBC ARABIC CORRECTS ON JORDAN AND JERUSALEM’S CHRISTIAN SITES

OVER A MONTH ON, BBC ARABIC AMENDS SABRA AND SHATILA ARTICLE

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1 Comment

  1. says: Grimey

    The BBC’s supposedly clever policy to publish all sorts of lies and omissions about Israel, then correct them months later when the intended damage has been done.
    Just one of the dirty tactics deployed by the BBC and being investigated by a cross-party group of MPs chaired by Lord Carlisle.

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