Let’s Call Them DAESH!

I continue to wonder why the world, seemingly pretty united in the effort to wipe out the so-called “Islamic State,” cannot seem to agree on what to call it!  President Obama invariably refers to it as ISIL (the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, which is a geographical area stretching across Syria, Lebanon, Israel and Iraq) while almost everyone else, including the media, seems to have settled on ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria)

There are, of course, some outliers who just refer to it as IS (the Islamic State) or simply “The Caliphate” (which, in strict terms it is not). But then neither is this entity a state  — Islamic or otherwise, based in Iraq and/or the Levant or just Syria). What it is (as Andy Griffith might have put it) is a brutal, terrorist organization.

I propose that the international community settle on the term increasingly used in Europe — DAESH.  This is an acronym for an Arabic phrase which means essentially the same thing as ISIL. The difference is, these militants hate us using it! The reason seems to be that it is similar to, and has become associated with, two other words “Daes” (which means crushing something under one’s feet) and “Dahes” (which means “one who sows discord”). Sounds about right to me!

In fact, I propose that we use it precisely because these murderers hate it.  I am in full agreement with former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbot who, in declaring that he would henceforth use the term, wrote: “Daesh hates being referred to my this term, and what they don’t like has an instinctive appeal to me.”

Daesh members have, according to NBC news, threatened to cut out the tongues of anyone it hears using the term. And Evan Kohlman, a national security analyst counseled, “It’s a derogatory term and not something people should use even if you dislike them.”  I completely disagree.

While normally I believe that we should call people and groups by the names with which they self-identify (African Americans, Native Americans, women rather than ladies or girls) those are people and groups for whom I have the deepest respect. A group of murderers, rapists and suicide bombers who seem to take particular delight in beheading their helpless victims after submitting them to God-knows-what kinds of torture does not qualify, in my estimation, for such niceties.

The term Daesh has the added advantage of removing the term “Islamic” from a phrase describing people who claim allegiance to the Prophet Mohammed but pay little or no attention to his teachings or to those of his legitimate followers.

As long as they continue to “sow discord” and “crush people and things under their feet” by such brutal means, let’s call them DAESH. And do so precisely because they hate it!

One Response to “Let’s Call Them DAESH!”

  1. Peter Says:

    1000% agree.. These are not Saladin’s successors, the one who provided another horse to Richard the First who in the midst of battle lost his but Saladin respected his courage so much he not only spared his vulnerable life but wanted to see him fight on!! DAESH would likely have beheaded him without thinking.

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