Refrain from describing ISIS militants as 'Sunni'

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We urge the BBC not use phrases such as "Sunni militants" or "Sunni ISIS" when reporting on ISIS activities because the mainstream Sunni scholars and their followers have categorically condemned ISIS. Furthermore, a large number of Sunnis have fallen victim to the extremist interpretation of Islam by ISIS, just as have Shias, Kurds, Christians and Jews of Iraq and Syria. Reports have suggested that ISIS militants have attacked or intend to attack places held in reverance by Muslims in general and Sunni Muslims in particular.

Mainstream Muslims, including Sunnis tend to present a peaceful outlook of Islam and are known to be followers of moderation respecting human value and dignity. Linking them to ISIS generates anger within the community and gives rise to unjustified suspicion towards them from the other communities.

When the Ku Klux Klan claimed credit for terrorist attacks in the 1960's, they were not identified by religion as "Christian Fundamentalists" or "Christian Terrorists" although they identified themselves as a Christian movement. Terrorism is not condoned by any religion or school of thought. We owe the same respect to the Sunni Muslims as we do to any other religious group and being a provider of impartial news and commentary, the BBC is expected to respect the sentiments of its viewers, too. 

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