The BBC and the Houthi logo

Viewers of the BBC World News programme ‘Impact‘ who recently watched a report by Safa al Ahmed (which also appeared on the BBC News website’s Middle East page on January 27th under the title “Yemen crisis: BBC gets rare access to Houthi rebels“) may have noticed a certain feature which cropped up repeatedly throughout the filmed footage.

Houthis report pics

Seeing as no attempt was made to explain that logo in Safa Al Ahmed’s report, audiences might perhaps have turned to the BBC News website’s profile of the group titled “Yemen crisis: Who are the Houthis?“. There they would have found that same logo appearing in a picture captioned “Houthi supporters took part in weeks of protests calling for fuel price cuts and a new government”.

Houthi profile art pic

So does that logo have anything to do with fuel prices or demands for political reform in Yemen? Well, no – and its recurrent appearance is not coincidental because that banner is actually the official emblem of the Houthis, as explained by the New York Times:

“It includes the words “Death to America, death to Israel, damnation to the Jews.” Houthis shout it when they march, wear it on arm patches, paint it on buildings and stick it onto their car windows. When pictured, those words are rendered in red, framed by “God is great” and “Victory to Islam” in green, on a white background.

Sometimes the red words are shown dripping blood.”

One might think that, given the BBC’s remit of building understanding of international issues, the corporation would consider that information worth communicating to its audiences, along with more comprehensive information on the Houthis’ alleged links to the Iranian regime (and Hizballah) than appear in its profile.

“Regional Shia power Iran has also been accused of giving financial and military support to the Houthis – something both have denied.”

“Saudi Arabia, the main Sunni power, believes that the rebels are backed militarily, financially and politically by its Shia regional arch-rival, Iran – something both have denied.”

Remarkably, the BBC does not appear to have much interest in conducting in-depth investigative reporting on that topic

8 comments on “The BBC and the Houthi logo

  1. “Death to America, death to Israel, damnation to the Jews”

    Identical to the official BBC corporation slogan…….funny that.

  2. The BBC relies on local ‘assistants’ to translate as few if any read Arabic. Those assistants rarely arrive randomly but are planted to help with the media war.

    It is entirely possible the BBC didn’t mention it because they never knew. Incompetence rather than conspiracy.

    • @fiveminutesforisrael


      But have the BBC now been informed [e.g. by BBC Watch] so that they can now make good the deficiency?

    • BBC employs an antisemite in their BBC Arabic dept who says we must avoid the term ‘terrorist’ when speaking about the Charlie Hebdo and Jewish assassinations in Paris recently.

      When you have a BBC executive demanding THIS, then I am not in the least surprised [though appalled] that the Houthi logo is emblazoned across the BBC World News.

      I am exhausted from complaining to the BBC, Sky News, ITV, Channel 4 – I am about to give up.

  3. This could use some confirmation, but it seems highly likely that a reporter named “Safa al-Ahmed” who reports from Yemen might now some Arabic.

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