The BBC has been forced to apologise after Stacey Dooley wrongly described a Muslim gesture as an “IS salute” in her new Panorama show. The gesture is used by Muslims the world over to symbolise oneness with God.
Acknowledging her mistake in an interview, Dooley adopted the formal stance of apology and slowly extended her middle finger, directed it towards the camera slowly and deliberately in what the BBC insists is the traditional English gesture of regret.
A spokesman said “we only hope this is taken as further evidence of how seriously we take balance, impartiality and accuracy. Obviously, the extended middle finger has been co-opted by a small minority to give offence, but hopefully there won’t be any cultural misunderstandings.”
The BBC said they would remove the relevant voice-over from Dooley’s documentary before broadcast, in addition to editing programmes and online clips which had already been published.
In response, a local Muslim community leader was quoted as saying “For fucks sake!” – which The BBC spokesman has cited as evidence that there’s no hard feelings.
The edited show aired last night, at 8.30pm, on BBC One.
It’s understood that Dooley gave the wanker symbol of forgiveness when someone cut her off on the drive back from a screening.