Adonis Diaries

And why France, one of the staunchest supporter of ISIS, is ditching the ‘Islamic State’ name? And replacing it by the original Daesh? A label this group currently hates?

Posted on: April 22, 2021

ISIS hates the original label of Daesh: Islamic State in Iraq and Syria

Posted on September 21, 2014

From the start, what exactly was the problematic of the colonial powers in calling the extremist Islamist group? An occupation that has taken over much of Syria and Iraq.

At first, many called it the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) or (the acronym Daesh in Arabic).

However, due to differences over how the name should be translated from the Arabic, some (including the U.S. government) referred to them as ISIL (the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, meaning Syria, Jordan Lebanon and Palestine).

(The US preference for ISIL iwas n order to satisfy the wishes of their obscurantist Wahhabi Saudi monarchy that is scared to giving the ISIS any further expansion schemes into Arabian Peninsula, the hotbed of Wahhabism and their homeland. Wahhabism is the extreme Protestant counterpart in Islamic sects)

To make matters more complicated, the group later announced that it should simply be called the “Islamic State” – a reference to the idea that the group was breaking down state borders to form a new caliphate.

(Or the caliphate title is thought after by the Saudi monarchy and Turkey)

A number of media groups, including The Post, the Associated Press  and, eventually, the New York Times, adopted the Islamic State, while others stuck with ISIS and ISIL.

Now the French have added another complication.

On Monday, the French government released a statement that included a reference to the group under a different name: “Daesh.Adam Taylor September 17 , 2014


An image made available on the jihadist Web site Welayat Salahuddin on June 11.

The picture shows militants of the Islamic State posing with their trademark jihadist flag after they  seized an Iraqi army checkpoint in the northern Iraqi province of Salahuddin. (Welayat Salahuddin/HO via AFP)

France had hinted that it would begin using this term – how the group is referred to in much of the Arab world – before, but this week appears to be the first time that the country has used it in official communications.

This is a terrorist group and not a state,” Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told reporters last week, according to France 24.

I do not recommend using the term Islamic State because it blurs the lines between Islam, Muslims and Islamists. The Arabs call it ‘Daesh’ and I will be calling them the ‘Daesh cutthroats.’ ”

That logic is certainly understandable, and the French aren’t alone in bristling at the idea that an extremist group gets to take the moniker “Islamic State.”

Last month, Egypt’s leading Islamic authority, Dar al-Ifta, called on the world’s media to stop using the term, instead suggesting a new term: “al-Qaeda Separatists in Iraq and Syria” or QSIS.

“The initiative by Dar al-Ifta came to express the institution’s rejection of many stereotypes that attach the name of Islam to bloody and violent acts committed by such groups,” Ibrahim Negm, an adviser to Egyptian grand mufti Shawqi Allam, told al-Arabiya News.

And a group of British imams recently called on British Prime Minister David Cameron to stop calling the group “Islamic State,” making a request for a new moniker, “Un-Islamic State,” instead.

“We do not believe the terror group responsible should be given the credence and standing they seek by styling themselves Islamic State,” a letter sent from the imams to Cameron read, according to the Guardian.

“It is neither Islamic, nor is it a state. Despite the admirable French logic, Daesh comes with its own complications.

As historian and blogger Pieter van Ostaeyen noted back in February, that word is a transliteration of an Arabic word (داعش), an acronym for al-Dawla al-Islamiya fi al-Iraq wa al-Sham (which is itself a transliteration of the group’s Arabic name: الدولة الإسلامية في العراق والشام).

There are a variety of different schools of transliteration, and there are a number of different styles for writing the Arabic acronym in Latin characters: The Washington Post uses DAIISH, but DAASH, DAIISH and DAISH are also used.

However it’s spelled, there’s another big factor: The group is reported to hate the moniker.

The Associated Press recently reported that the group were threatening to cut out the tongues of anyone who used the phrase publicly, and AFP have noted that the term “Daeshi” has been used a derogatory term in some parts of the Middle East.

Some analysts have suggested that the dislike of the term comes from its similarity to another Arabic word, دعس, or Da3ess.

That word means to trample down or crush.

Adam Taylor writes about foreign affairs for The Washington Post. Originally from London, he studied at the University of Manchester and Columbia University.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

Blog Stats

  • 1,468,156 hits

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.adonisbouh@gmail.com

Join 802 other followers

%d bloggers like this: