The U.K. government has condemned the BBC for comments that it does not wish to give "the impression of support" for opponents of the Islamic State.

The head of the BBC, Lord Hall, made the comments in response to a petition from 120 members of Parliament that requested the media agency refer instead to the militant group instead as "Daesh," an Arabic pejorative term for them. Use of the term Daesh "would not preserve the BBC's impartiality," Hall replied in a letter that has sparked an uproar.

"The word Daesh is not an acronym...but is instead a pejorative name coined in Arabic by its enemies," wrote Hall, adding that the BBC takes their lead on how to identify groups based on how they refer to themselves.

His comments have sparked an intense backlash and earned the condemnation of the U.K. government in the wake of the Tunisian attacks. The Islamic State took credit for the attacks which killed 30 Britons.

The leader of the British House of Commons, Chris Grayling, said that the BBC did not believe it needed "to be impartial between Britain and Germany" in their coverage of Nazi Germany during the Second World War.

"I have a different view of what impartiality means [to] the BBC," said Grayling on the Commons floor according to the Telegraph. "During the Second World War, the BBC was a beacon of fact. It was not expected to be impartial between Britain and Germany."

"The time has come in the English-speaking world to stop using Islamic State, ISIS or ISIL, and instead we and our media should use Daesh as the commonly-used phrase across the Middle East," Scottish National Party leader Angus Robertson said on the floor of the Commons, reported the Telegraph.

Rehman Christi, a Tory Member of Parliament, headed up the efforts to stop the news organization from using the phrase "Islamic State," saying that the term offended British Muslims and improperly adds legitimacy to a group that is not a state.

The head of the BBC addressed this in his letter, saying the BBC uses qualifiers like "extremists, militants, fighters, etc." to avoid the potentially misleading conclusion that the Islamic State is a legitimate state.

He said he doubted "that anyone listening could be in any doubt what kind of an organization Islamic State is."

The acronyms ISIL or ISIS both reduce the name the group uses for itself: "Al-dawla al-islamiya al-iraq al-sham," for which "Islamic State" is shorthand.

British Prime Minister David Cameron castigated BBC Radio presenter John Humphrys on-air for using the title Islamic State, stating, "I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State because it's not an Islamic State; what it is is an appalling, barbarous regime."

He added that "many Muslims listening to this program will recoil every time they hear the words 'Islamic State.'" Cameron's statement may explain the popularity of the name change with British politicians — Islam is the second largest religion in the United Kingdom, with approximately 2.7 million adherents, according to the 2011 census.