Monday, February 13, 2017

IS, "Islamic State" or DA'ESH?

Periodically there is an argument about what to call the terrorist organisation headed by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, hence this revisit of an issue I first blogged about just over a year ago.

Like myself, Iain Dale always calls them DA'ESH and he gives a good and simple reason for doing so here.

In my opinion a useful starting point in deciding what to call the present-day gang of murderers headed by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is to consider what we call the mid 20th-century gang of murderers headed by Adolf Hitler. I never lightly refer to anyone by comparison with Hitler, but DA'ESH are one of the few groups of people evil enough that the comparison is appropriate.

If you have occasion to refer to the political party headed by Hitler, or to its' supporters, do you call them

1) By their official name translated into English
 (National Socialist German Workers Party)?

2) By their official name in German?
(Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)

3) By the acronym of their party's full name in German?  (NSDAP)

4) Or are you one of the 99% of people who refer to them collectively the Nazi party and individually as Nazis ?

Nazi is a short, simple acronym derived from the name they claimed for themselves and which has the added advantage for English speakers who regard them as utterly evil that it sounds like "nasty."

On the basis of logical consistency, if you call the Nazi party by that term rather than the full name they gave themselves, then you should refer to the so-called "Islamic State" as "DA'ESH" which is a name widely used by their enemies in the Arab world and more recently some Western politicians and journalists (I've been calling them that for about 18 months.)

Although the self-styled "Islamic state" do not like being referred to by the term, DA'ESH is an abbreviation of the Arabic for what was, at the time the term was coined, the name they gave themselves:

"al-Dawla al-Islamiya al-Iraq al-Sham"

(which means "Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant")

So effectively calling them "DA'ESH" is the Arabic equivalent of the abbreviation "ISIL."

Why, then, such a fuss over such a tiny difference?

It would appear that the reason they do not like being called "DA'ESH" is that it sounds similar to the Arabic words 'Daes', which means 'one who crushes something underfoot' and 'Dahes', translated as 'one who sows discord'.

As Iain Dale said in the clip linked to above, the fact that DA'ESH do not like being called this is quite enough reason to do so.

Incidentally, I am not criticising those who refer to DA'ESH as "Islamic State" but insist on the  inverted commas or "so-called." And insisting on the qualification does not necessarily mean that you are suggesting they have nothing to do with Islam.

I would argue that DA'ESH are following a sick and perverted form of that religion, but there are plenty of other Muslims who are civilised, decent and intelligent people.

However, DA'ESH claim the right to determine who is a true Muslim, and they consider that any Muslim who votes or stands in elections, thinks women have rights and are as valuable as men, doesn't believe in throwing gay people off the nearest tall building, or offends DA'ESH in any other way is an apostate marked for death.

As someone who is not a Muslim I do not claim the right to judge who is and who isn't one.

However, as a civilised human being I refuse to acknowledge a barbarian like Abu Bakr al Baghdadi as having the exclusive authority to speak for Allah which he claims, or accept that he has any right  to tell other people who are far better human beings than he is whether they are Muslims or not.

Most people know who you are talking or writing about when you refer to "DA'ESH" and I will continue to do so.


Jim said...

Does not matter really, I don't care what they are called, they just absolutely 100%, no shadow of a doubt, must be stopped.

Chris Whiteside said...

No argument there.