Media term ‘Islamic State’ is offensive

Media term ‘Islamic State’ is offensive

Last year a coalition of imams and organisations representing British Muslims said it wanted everyone from the Prime Minister down to stop referring to the Islamic State as Islamic State.

According to this report they demanded that politicians and the media start referring to the Muslim terror group as the “Un-Islamic State”

In a letter sent to PM David Cameron they said:

We do not believe the terror group responsible should be given the credence and standing they seek by styling themselves Islamic State. It is neither Islamic, nor is it a state

The letter’s authors also called on the Prime Minister to rethink his own language. Cameron, in common with other senior politicians, had repeatedly made reference to the Islamic State, including during a Commons debate.

Cameron and other politicos now now think that Muslims have a legitimate gripe, and have rounded on the BBC.

A cross-party group of MPs, backed by Cameron, wrote to the broadcaster, accusing it of legitimising the terrorist group by continuing to use the name in its reports.

A BBC spokesman said the corporation would consider the letter, signed by 120 MPs and sent to the BBC Director General, Tony Hall, last week, but that it had had little choice other than to call the group “by the name it uses itself”. It said in a statement:

No one listening to our reporting could be in any doubt what kind of organisation this is. We call the group by the name it uses itself, and regularly review our approach.

We also use additional descriptions to help make it clear we are referring to the group as they refer to themselves, such as ‘so-called Islamic State’.

Earlier on Monday, Cameron clashed with BBC Radio 4 presenter John Humphrys over the issue. He said:

I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State because it’s not an Islamic state. What it is, is an appalling, barbarous regime … It’s a perversion of the religion of Islam and many Muslims listening to this programme will recoil every time they hear the words Islamic State.

The letter, initiated by Rehman Chishti, the Conservative MP for Gillingham and Rainham, was signed by the Tory London mayor, Boris Johnson, and the Labour chair of the home affairs select committee, Keith Vaz. It urges the BBC and other broadcasters to adopt the name “Daesh” for the group.

The term is based on an Arabic acronym al-Dawla al-Islamiya fil Iraq wa’al Sham, which translates as Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (Syria), but is close to “Dahes” or “one who sows discord”.

Later on Monday, Cameron appeared to muddy the waters on his position during a Commons debate about the UK’s response to the Tunisia massacre, in which 30 Britons are feared to have died.

I personally think that using the term Isil or ‘so-called’ would be better than what [the BBC] currently do. I don’t think we’ll move them all the way to Daesh, so I think saying Isil is probably better than Islamic State because it is neither, in my view, Islamic or a state.

Isil is short for Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant – a historical geographical term for the land stretching from southern Turkey through Syria to Egypt. The official website for the British security agency MI5 uses the name Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant to describe the organisation.

Hat tip: Ivan Bailey.

18 responses to “Media term ‘Islamic State’ is offensive”

  1. RussellW says:

    If it quacks, waddles and has webbed feet it’s a duck.
    What a dilemma for Western political elites and Muslim ‘community leaders’, no one can admit publically that IS really is a genuine Islamic state. IS members are pious, faithful Muslims.

  2. Cali Ron says:

    Technically, they are an occupying force with no recognized state affiliation. They can call themselves whatever they want, but it won’t “make it so”. They have proclaimed themselves a state, but are not recognized by any other government…..yet. Personally, I call them murdering, raping slaves to Islam, lower than the shit on the bottom of my shoe, except for the leaders who are even lower, but I can’t think of words to describe how low they are. I have a hard time telling them from the other Islamic states like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey, etc. They all share the same belief system, murdering and raping in the name of peace and their imaginary god. Let’s just start calling all Islamic countries IS, because that’s what they all are-Islamic states. Next time somone uses the term I will ask them which Islamic state?

  3. Dionigi says:

    I would like one of those so called moderate muslims to show me exactly what ISIS is doing that was not done by muhammed when he had power.
    Beheadings of infidels was commonplace in his regime and he was trying to build the caliphate. The koran tell everyone not to befriend non muslims and to kill anyone who will not follow them. People were also thrown from the tops of the minarets during mohammed times.

  4. barriejohn says:

    Jay: That’s brilliant. It’s nice to see all the religions getting on so well together.

    This is funny as well, and doesn’t appear to be a spoof!

  5. Great Satan says:

    The Islamic State are Islamic – they are just following the teachings of the Koran, we could do with some honesty from our politicians and so called “moderate” moslems on this.

  6. Angela_K says:

    Atheists and Freethinkers again show that we have a better understanding of so called holy books than the religious, in particular the nasty bits; do some of these Islamic types not read their own user manual?

    Islamic state members are Islamic so what is the problem?

  7. Newspaniard says:

    Once again our weak kneed leader bows to the demands of the islamic death cult. I think that he’s really a member of the Labour party who would be much faster in rolling over for these poor misunderstood “victims”.

  8. Broga says:

    Our heroic leader, David Cameron, thinks the murderous cult is “a minority” and does not follow the teachings of Islam. The infestation by these barbarians spreads and Cameron does nothing except spout clichés which pander to Muslims.

    I notice that our religious leaders are keeping their heads down. They are quick enough to put the boot in on what they call “militant atheists.” These same atheists are law abiding, intelligent, temperate citizens . Yet the same leaders are silent on these murderous Islamists.

    Cameron, his mates and his religious buddy the egregious Pickles, now en route and ermine bedecked to the House of Lords, need to grasp something. The most fatal blow to Isis would be to expose, by a vigorous and determined campaign, the absurdity of their religious beliefs.

    The religious Cameron won’t do that because they would also expose the nonsense of religion which they currently encourage in their faith schools. And on the BBC which drenches its victim license payers in religion.

  9. L.Long says:

    ISIS will continue to be the actual isLame as they have the balls to follow their book o’BS. When the English imams get off their fat lazy asses and STOPS trying to push their BS onto other countries they move into, rewrites their book o’BS to REMOVE the hate-fear-bigoty-violence, then I’ll listen to their chin dribbles. Til then (never) they are dimwits to be mostly ignored.

  10. Cali Ron says:

    barriejohn: “Heritage not hate” is sublime hypocrisy! The heritage of the confederacy is that they were all traitors to their nation, killing their fellow Americans and defending slavery. More Americans were killed by Americans in the civil (not really very civil-it’s war) than any other war we have fought. Southerner’s like to think there is some kind of honor and glory to the confederacy when in fact there is none. It should be remembered for the act of treason and the defense of the indefensible that it was. We American’s like to rewrite our history to fit our belief systems.

  11. Cali Ron says:

    jay: Nice, the big tent of terrorism! The onion’s delicious satire brings tears to my eyes from laughing so hard.

    Angela K: You know how guys are, they never read the users manual and the women are not allowed education so they can’t read it.

  12. Trevor Blake says:

    Refer to people as they refer to themselves. Basic civility. Islam is welcome to clean its own house at any moment. But to shelter its worst elements and ask us not to notice won’t do. Start at the heart of the problem…

  13. JohnMWhite says:

    @Trevor Blake – I agree completely. They call themselves the Islamic State, so that is it. Aside from it being rude to just decide for yourself what somebody else should be called (see every argument about transgender pronouns), it is an infantile and cowardly excuse to dodge any association with these violent but faithful people. Nobody tried to say the IRA “isn’t actually an army”, because that would be laughably stupid.

  14. John the Drunkard says:

    I don’t see evangelicals demanding that the BBC stop calling Francis and Co. ‘The Catholic Church’ just because THEY don’t like its policies and practices. I’m sure the Rastafarians might prefer the Beeb to report on ‘The Whore of Babylon’ instead.

  15. M Mitchell says:

    I have an alternative name for them, no doubt it will offend them. I notice that the term ‘terrorist’ was replaced with’militant’ in the British media years ago, to prevent offence. A mighty islamic war is breaking out and we will be blown down without resistance, just because we tend not to offend.

  16. You know that something is deeply wrong when politicians start dicking around with terminology. Remember when the fault-stricken nuclear plant at Windscale – a byword for atomic radiation pollution – suddenly became Sellafield to try and give it a clean slate? The Islamic State has seized vast swathes of territory in both Iraq and Syria and has refashioned this territory into, well, a de facto Islamic State. Its ideology and modus operandi are true to the scriptural origins of Islam and faithful to the beliefs and violent methods of the Prophet. We should resist the mealy-mouthed apologists for Islam and insist that we call a spade a spade. Then stop pussy-footing around and do to the city of Raqqa what we did to Dresden.

  17. Martin Davidson says:

    In 1979, the then US national security advisor, Zbigniew Brzezi?ski, in conjunction with the neo-Nazi Saudi regime, sent mujahedeen into Afghanistan in order to entice the Soviet Union to intervene. Afghanistan had been a progressive country for several years, and the mujahedeen were likely to set it back hundreds of years, which they eventually did. The mujahedeen morphed into the Taliban, Al Qaeda, and the savages now raging across Iraq, Syria and elsewhere. In recognition of these achievements, I suggest we call all of these groups the Brzezi?ski Brigades.