Beds, Herts & Bucks

Bedfordshire Police deletes 'IS-style' finger tweets

the gesture Image copyright MEND
Image caption Mend said the logo had been used since 2012 and the raised finger was used to signify the "oneness of God in Islamic prayer ritual"

Bedfordshire Police deleted social media posts about Islamophobia after it emerged a logo was similar to a hand gesture popular with Islamic militants.

Islamophobia Awareness Month is run by organisation Muslim Engagement and Development (Mend).

Mend says the logo of a finger pointing upwards signifies the "oneness of God in Islamic prayer ritual".

However, in recent years it has also been used by so-called Islamic State militants in propaganda images.

Bedfordshire Police initially tweeted its support for the campaign using the logo before later removing the posts.

The raised index finger

Image copyright AP

The force said: "It has come to our attention the pointing finger logo used to illustrate social media posts around Islamophobia Awareness Month is similar to that used by Isis.

"The logo was produced by a national charity and was used in good faith.

"As a consequence and to avoid offence, Bedfordshire Police has deleted these posts and will not tolerate Islamophobia or any other form of hatred or discrimination."

A spokesman for MEND said it was "surprised" Bedfordshire Police decided to stop using the #Iam logo for the campaign, which shows a finger on a hand pointing upwards.

He added the logo had been used since 2012 and signified the "oneness of God in Islamic prayer ritual" and the I in #Iam2016.

The organisation believes it was a "knee-jerk" reaction to some harassment and does not think anyone else has stopped using the logo.

It added it was "open to comments" and could "review" it.

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