Why Islamic State is Daesh

When I hear the phrase Islamic State, I cringe. I cringe because this is a totally misleading description of a group of people whose fear of the free world drives them to commit horrendous acts of violence that they say are in the name of Islam.

Islamic State does not exist as such. To call it a State is to insult every legitimate State on the face of the planet. Although the definition of the word State in Dictionary is a politically unified people occupying a definite territory; nation, most people would understand a State to be one with some sort of government structure recognized by other nations. Those states are – however wrong their Governments might be – legitimately recognized by the United Nations. Islamic State is not recognized in any form except that of a thugocracy, and understood by the highest echelons of the United Nations to be a militant group, a bunch of thugs. But not a State.

The Islamic State is not Islamic either. It is an insult to everyone of the Islamic faith. There are millions of Muslims around the world who are horrified by the attacks in Paris on Friday and the earlier attack by gunmen at the Charlie Hebdo offices. Every time an attack occurs life for them becomes a bit more complicated and the xenophobia that the far right are keen to promote is inflamed. The fanatical militants who strap bomb belts on them and open fire in public places intending to cause the most awful scenes are not representative of 1.5 billion Muslims.

When we recognize this, we will make progress against a bunch of people propagating cowardice. We will also deprive it of a sense of legitimacy it does not deserve.

So, what do we call it? Daesh. It is a term of Arabic origin usually uttered with contempt or disgust, and refers to those who impose views perceived as bigotted on others.

Bigotted is appropriate for Daesh. Instead of encouraging peaceful instruction of children in schools as the norms proper civilization go, Daesh promote armed violence, fear and hatred. That hatred is impressed on young men and women who are perceived to be “bored” with life and thirsting for some sort of adventure. They are taught that developed nations of non-Islamic leanings are sick and depraved, and their citizens are infidels. They are taught that women are not even third class people and that strapping a bomb belt on a young child and sending them to die is good.

What can you do?

You can stop referring to these militants as Islamic State and call them Daesh. You can comment on the Facebook and website comments sections of newspapers, news stations and radio and tell them that these militants are Daesh. You can contact your local political representatives and tell them how this simple act will help deal with these militants.


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