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Pointing fingers: Police mocked over 'IS-style logo' confusion

Bedfordshire Police accused of buckling to far-right pressure after dropping index finger logo for Islamophobia Awareness Month
(MEND Community)

A police force in the southern England has deleted the logo for a campaign to raise awareness about Islamophobia from its Twitter feed following complaints from far-right activists who accused it of publicising a symbol associated with the Islamic State (IS) group.

The logo for Islamophobia Awareness Month featured an image of an index finger being raised, a gesture which symbolises monotheism, a fundamental pillar in Islamic faith. 

Bedfordshire Police said in a statement that it had deleted the posts to avoid offence and had used the symbol "in good faith".

Tommy Robinson, a prominent anti-Muslim activist and founder of the far-right English Defence League movement, was among those to voice objections to the campaign.

Yet the index finger gesture is deeply embedded in Islamic faith and culture. It represents the oneness of God and the "Tashahhud", the testimony of faith that there is no god but Allah which forms part of the daily routine of prayer.

The gesture is not associated with any group or ideology within Islam.

Some social media users suggested the deletion of the logo was itself disrespectful to anti-Islamophobia campaigners trying to raise awareness about misconceptions about Islam.  

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Meanwhile, MEND, the Muslim advocacy group behind the campaign, pointed out that the logo saga only served to demonstrate why "Islamophobia Awareness Month" was necessary.