ISIS or ISIL or Daesh?
This probably isn’t something that most people are going to care anything about but I think it’s important that we keep this kind of stuff in mind. When ISIS first came on the scene that was the name that everyone knew and even now it is probably the most commonly used name for the group. Somewhere along the way however, some of our politicians and other public figures including president Obama began using the name ISIL when making speeches where they referred to the group by name.
The problem with them using one name over the other stems from what they are acronyms of obviously. ISIS stands for ‘Islamic State of Iraq and Syria’, a fairly accurate name for the group since those are the areas in which they operate most and where they currently hold territory. ISIL on the other hand stands for ‘Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’. Why this is significant lies with that last word ‘Levant’.
According to Wikipedia the levant is a ‘historical geographical’ term that can be broadly used to refer to an area encompassing the entire mediterranean. Though the modern usage of the word usually refers to a smaller area covering Syria, Israel, Palestine, Lebanon and sometimes Egypt.
To me that implies a claim the group is making on that entire area including Israel, though I am sure they would very much like to extend their control out to the historical levant which includes parts of Turkey, Greece and large parts of northern Africa including Libya. They are basically making their intentions clear, and it is not difficult to believe given how aggressively they have already taken territory in Iraq and Syria.
By using ISIL instead of ISIS in their speeches our politicians, including the president are in a sense legitimizing this claim by ISIS, since there was no need to stop using the original name for the group. I can only assume this is intentional, because otherwise why the change?
I realize this is only one small, seemingly insignificant issue at a time when the political world is more of a clusterfuck than usual, but I think it is important that we point this stuff out. If only so there is a record of what people like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton truly are. The use of ISIL instead of ISIS may mean nothing at all, but when we are talking about people who won’t say Islamic Extremists, who have imported thousands of refugees from the middle east without being able to vet them, and who have been lying to us about what is happening with ISIS for a long time, I’d say it’s best to assume the worst and hope for the best.
As a side note, there is another name used for the group that may be more appropriate even than ISIS. Daesh is apparently and acronym for the arabic version of ‘Islamic State of Syria and the Levant’, but one that ISIS itself does not want used because it sounds similar to another arabic word ‘Daes’ which means ‘One who crushes something underfoot.’ and the arabic word ‘Dahes’ or ‘One who sows discord’.
Not really derogatory enough for my taste but anything that pisses them of is probably a good thing.