Some governments are throwing a fit at the media use of the term “Islamic State” for ISIS. They don’t want to “hurt innocent Muslims.” They are placing pressure on the media to use some other term to describe the self-proclaimed Islamic State.
The name controversy
A hashtag campaign started last year called #NotInMyName went around social media in an attempt to distance Muslims from ISIS.
“I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State because it is not an Islamic state. What it is is an appalling barbarous regime that is a perversion of the religion of Islam and many Muslims listening to this program will recoil every time they hear the words Islamic State.” David Cameron, British Prime Minister
The BBC rejected Mr. Cameron’s request. Good. Many of the news media in England are using the word “so-called” in front of Islamic State to show that they use that term for themselves.
“So-called’ or ‘ISIL’ is better, but it is an existential threat because that is what’s happening here and that is a perversion of a great religion and the creation of this poisonous death cult.” Cameron
Australia’s Tony Abbott also calls them a “death cult.” Obama uses ISIL.
The term “daesh” is also often used and it is an acronym that translates as Islamic State of Syria and Levant…except that it’s very close to the Arab word that means “one who sows discord.” Yeah, that one’s boring. They don’t sow just discord, they murder people.
Governments believe that the term “Islamic State” increases their credibility too much.
The crackdown on media in Egypt
ABC Australia writes,
Cairo has also just issued a new English-language guide for foreign media, telling them to refrain from describing armed groups as “Islamist,” “jihadist” and “fundamentalist”.
The memo argues: “These terminologies tarnish the image of Islam as it falsely attaches the horrendous acts of these extremist groups to the Islamic faith.”
Instead the memo urges terms like ‘terrorists’, ‘slayers’, ‘destroyers’ and ‘savages’.
Under Egypt’s newly passed anti-terrorist laws, screwing up the reporting there can result in 2 years imprisonment if journalists stray from the government’s line.
Don’t try to fight a raging beast with word games
The BBC refused PM Cameron’s demand for another word. Egypt just wants to keep cracking down on journalists. It’s really all about trying to control the media even more than the governments already do by even more political correctness. If we are more worried about the name than the actions then we’ve already lost the battle. Word games may be a part of Cameron’s or Obama’s “broader approach” to fighting ISIS, but it is a worthless one.