Islamic State is not a State, but Daesh

Islamist terrorists are ready to cut off the tongues of those, who call their organization Daesh, but not ISIS/ISIL. World media prefer to use the term "ISIS" or the "Islamic State." Which name is correct?

The world-famous Oxford English Dictionary recognized 'emodji' as the "Word of the Year" in 2015. As it was officially announced, a smiley face with tears of joy on its face became the winner of the Word of the Year award. For comparison, the 2014 winner was the verb 'vapen,' that designates the process of smoking electronic cigarettes. In 2013, the word of the year was the now widely-used 'selfie', and the year before, it was the word 'selfie' that claimed the title. While publishers and linguists were busy with all this rubbish, a new word appeared in many languages of the world - Daesh.

Daesh is actually a Latin-adapted Arabic acronym: Daesh - Dawlat al-Islamiyah f'al-Iraq w Belaad al-Sham. French President Hollande used the new acronym when he spoke about the Paris attacks. The chairman of the Presidium of the Spiritual Administration of Muslims of the European part of Russia, Chairman of the Russian Council of Muftis, Sheikh Ravil Gainutdin, also said that it would be correct to say and write Daesh instead of IS or ISIS/ISIL.

Russian media commonly uses ISIL abbreviation - "the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant" (IGIL in Russian initials). Levant - al-Shaam in Arabic - means historical Syria. The French government decided to officially abandon the use of such terms as the "Islamic State" (IS) or "the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant" (ISIL). French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius appealed to mass media representatives to stop calling the jihadist terrorist organization a 'state' with any adjective used with it.

Fabius said he would not recommend to use the term the "Islamic State" as it erases the boundaries between Islam, Muslims and Islamists." Yet, German news agency DPA and Britain's the BBC still stubbornly cling to the use of ISIS/ISIL and IS.

Russian news agencies prefer to say "so-called Islamic State." At the same time, IS terrorists promised to cut off the tongues of those who call their organization Daesh instead of ISIS. Those who know the Arabic, say that the word "Daesh" in Arabic has a very negative connotation. According to various sources, it is close in sound (homophone) with the word meaning "the one who was run over by car," or "the one scoffed at." Therefore, the thugs do not to be verbally humiliated.

Terrorists can explode a suicide belt to kill themselves, but at the same time, they can not tolerate being called a disgusting name. The French were the first, who challenged the Islamic State linguistically - this is not a state, but Daesh.

German news agency Deutsche Presseagentur (DPA) explained that it won't use "Daesh" in its reports because it is the "Islamic State" and "ISIS" that remains commonly recognizable for most people. In addition, the Islamic State, unlike the vast majority of other terrorist organizations, is committed to the formation of the state system. De facto, such a state already exists on the territory of Iraq and Syria. Finally, it was said that Daesh is just the same of an acronym as ISIS. In other words - same old soup, just reheated, or like we say in Russia - same eggs, but in profile.

This terrorist organization has many names even in any language. The late renowned British Orientalist Clifford Edmund Bosworth wrote in an article for "Encyclopaedia of Islam" that the word "Al-Shaam" translates as "the country of the left hand." For all people living around Mecca and Medina, i.e. places where Islam was born, a look to the East would mean that the North would be on their left. This territory was then called the Great or historical Syria.

Igor Bukker

Read article in Russian 

Subscribe to Pravda.Ru Telegram channel, Facebook, RSS!

Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov