Call them ‘Daesh’
For the past whole year, the headlines of almost all major world wide media are always reporting news about a group of terrorists which use Islam as their identity, yes it is ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and Levant) or in some media ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria). Which due to the length of its name, then probably for practical-wise, many media just call them IS (Islamic State).
Meanwhile there has been a strong request to the media and Western world to use the term of Daesh, instead of ISIL, ISIS or IS. Daesh is an acronym for an Arabic variation of the group’s name (al-Dawla al-Islamyia fill Iraq wa’al Sham).
In my opinion, we should use the term of Daesh as their official name. The reasons are:
- This name will separate them with the internationality of Islam, which in turn hopefully will be less attractive to the potential future foreign fighters.
- It has similar sound with the Arabic word Daw’aish’ which means ‘Bigots who impose their views on others’.
- The supporters of this group dislike this term, even some residents of Mosul told Associated Press that the group “threatened to cut the tongue of anyone who publicly used the acronym of Daesh”. Something that they do not like might be good for us.
- “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it” (Goebbels). By calling this group with the term “Islamic State”. In my opinion it will hurt billions of moderate Muslim, which believe that this group’s action contradicts the teachings of Islam. If this keeps repeating, Goebbels’s theory will comes true.
The war against global terrorism is also a matter of war of propaganda. By using the term which resembles of Islamic State it will be in line with their branding propaganda. We are helping to spread their existence to every corner of the planet. We are helping them to make their brand stronger.
This group is a new breed terrorist with well brand-awareness. We can see it from their iconic logo, their flag, the style of their video with black shirt and orange jump-suit, and many more. It is designed to suit their international ambition.
We all know the relationship of a name with branding. In fact, strong brand will come up with a strong name. A strong brand will attract people even before they experience it.
So I believe that the efforts of battling this group should start by calling them Daesh.