At a meeting in Brussels among the 60 countries fighting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), Secretary Kerry refers to the group as “Daesh.”
Some Arabic media, notably the Gulf News, Dubai’s flagship newspaper, added “Daesh”–which is sort of an acronym of the terrorist group’s name in Arabic—to its style guide in an obvious effort to obscure the “Islamic” element of the name. The name hasn’t really caught on in the West, except, naturally, for the French, who object to associating Islam with a group that it claims, absent any evidence, that “the vast majority of Muslims finds despicable.”
We haven’t found an explanation of the usage from Sec. Kerry’s office, but we can assume that it’s due to the same concern for political correctness.
The U.S. government apparently hasn’t devised a consistent policy on the group’s name. Rear Admiral John Kirby, Defense Department spokesman, usually refers to the group as “ISIL” (pronounced “eye-ess-eye-el”), for the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant. President Obama usually refers to the group as “ISIL” (pronounced “eye-sl”), probably choosing that moniker over “ISIS” to obscure the “Syria” element of the name, lest we be reminded that his bungling of the “red line” has been a major enabling force for the group.
None of this is to make light of our mandatory—existential—fight against the group and its enablers. Let’s hope the Brussels meeting was productive.
At least the terrorists hate the name.