Pakistani-origin family sparks probe in UK over ISIS joke

The image on Facebook was meant to be light-hearted but was clearly a joke that was misjudged.

Published: 02nd August 2016 06:51 PM  |   Last Updated: 02nd August 2016 06:54 PM   |  A+A-


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LONDON: A Pakistani-origin Muslim family, who star in a popular reality television show here, were questioned by police after they posted one of their photographs on Facebook with an Islamic State (ISIS) caption.

Three brothers, Baasit, Umar and Raza Siddiqui, from Derbyshire in the East Midlands region of England were pictured in camouflage gear as they prepared for a day out in the photograph posted on the social media site with the caption: "ISIS training day, look how happy we look."

"A member of the public contacted us after a photo of three men at a paintball centre in Derbyshire was uploaded to Facebook, referring to the so-called Islamic State terror group," a Derbyshire Police spokesperson said.

"We have examined the photograph and are satisfied that the caption was not intended to be taken seriously, and there was no link to terrorism whatsoever.

"We will be offering suitable words of advice to those who uploaded it; however, no offences have been committed and there will be no further police action," he said.

Pakistani-origin Siddiqui brothers along with their father, known as Sid, are stars of a popular reality television show in the UK called 'Gogglebox' on Channel 4.

"The Siddiquis are aware that this post was misjudged and have apologised for their mistake. It will not affect their position on 'Gogglebox'," a spokesperson for the show said.

One of the brothers, 33-year-old Baasit, later also posted an apology on Facebook: "The image on Facebook was meant to be light-hearted but was clearly a joke that was misjudged. We are extremely sorry for any offence caused."

The picture had been uploaded by his 31-year-old Raza and one of his Facebook friends who reported it to the police told the 'Sun' newspaper anonymously that he was worried real ISIS supporters may have been involved in the joke.

"When you are in the media, you have a responsibility. His friends were liking and loving it. You don't know if any of those people are genuinely ISIS supporters," he told the newspaper.

One of the Facebook friends of the brother had even uploaded a picture of an ISIS terrorist brandishing a gun in response to the joke photograph.


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