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BBC Head of Religion: 'Islamic State is Islamic'

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Christian Concern's Director of Islamic Affairs, Tim Dieppe, comments on the admission this week from Aaqil Ahmed, BBC's Head of Religion and Ethics, that Islamic State is Islamic in its doctrine.

Professor Aaqil Ahmed is the first Muslim to hold the position of Head of Religion and Ethics at the BBC. At a Lapido event last week, in response to criticism of the BBC’s use of the term ‘so-called Islamic State’, he stated that "The Islamic State are Muslims and their doctrine is Islamic."

Ahmed went on to say: "I hear so many people say ISIS has nothing to do with Islam - of course it has. They are not preaching Judaism. It might be wrong but what they are saying is an ideology based on some form of Islamic doctrine. They are Muslims. That is a fact and we have to get our head around some very uncomfortable things."

It is refreshing to hear such plain speaking from a senior person in the BBC. The BBC has come under some criticism for using the term ‘Islamic State’, with even the Prime Minister arguing that this is an unhelpful term. The use of ‘so-called’ delegitimises their status, and makes clear that they are not a recognised state. It is quite clear though, as Ahmed said, that they are Islamic. Their practices and policies are modelled on the Qur’an and on Muhammad’s life. This may well be an ‘uncomfortable’ truth, but it is much better to recognise this than to try to pretend otherwise.

In fact, God is using the brutality of the Islamic State to cause many thousands of Muslims to leave Islam and become Christians. Iranian evangelist Hormoz Shariat explains that this happens in stages. The first stage is denial, when Muslims deny that the practice of Islamic State is true Islam. The second stage is wondering what is true Islam? In this stage they start to question and examine their religion, perhaps for the first time. Most Muslims have not read the Qur’an for themselves in their own language, and Islamic culture discourages questioning of the faith. Their aim initially is to prove that Islamic State are not truly Islamic. But their examination of the Qur’an leads to the realisation that Islamic State is truly Islamic. This is a shock, as most Muslims truly believe that Islam is a religion of peace. This realisation then causes them to recognise that Islam is not a good or true religion, which opens the door for them to leave Islam and consider Christianity.

Ahmed is quite right to state that the Islamic State is Islamic. Christians should be unafraid to proclaim the Islamic basis for the brutal behaviour of the Islamic State. In this way we are loving our Muslim friends who need to recognise the true nature of Islam and come to experience the love of Christ. 

Related Links: 
'Islamic State are Muslims and their doctrine is Islamic’: BBC Head of Religion (Lapido Media) 
BBC claims it is 'too Christian' 
BBC to review use of 'Islamic State' after MPs protest against term (Guardian) 
Millions of Muslims are leaving Islam as they watch the extremism of Iranian & ISIS leaders, says a top Iranian Christian leader (Joel C Rosenberg)