Da’ish – Arabic term too much offensive for Islamists ?

Isis, Isil or Da’ish?Those-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named!



I have been always wondered why majority of media have a big problem in agreeing about the one common name for the terrorists who are destroying the Middle East and whose radical   strategy start  hitting  the western world, step by step.Rise of the terrorism in Iraq and then in Syria, as well as the growing of Islamic militant network, brought us  the dilemma how to call the biggest security challenge at this moment.

Some counter terrorism experts used to define them through the acronym I-S-I-L which should have to express the following: Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant. The Levant includes the large area in the eastern Mediterranean so it can cover many countries over there. Journalists use the another abbreviation for the same group of extremists and now we have the term  I-S-I-S as :Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. This name reduced the width of the  influence of the mentioned militants, so it somehow follows the line in Arabic language. Now we come to the main point of this article: the word Da’ish, which was the first name of Islamic terrorists in their genesis. Lets look on the Arabic transcription now:

الدولة الاسلامية في العراق والشام     

or simply to understand is : “al-Dawla al-Islamiya fi Iraq wa al-Sham”.


Dawla means STATE in Arabic, what further means that this was imagined as an Islamic State of Iraq and The Levant. But Arabic consideration of “Al Sham” or The Levant is a bit different than ours. They still follow  the picture of historical Muslim caliphate map between between the Mediterranean and the Euphrates, Anatolia and Egypt and that was kept until the new borders have been set up in the beginning of 20th century by colonial powers, the UK and France. From that moment Arabic Al Sham became western The Levant and includes Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Israel, the Palestinian Territories and one part of the South-eastern Turkey.

imagesWhat is the main problem about the name ? Da’ish is just an acronym  and in spite that some media emphasis that this is not an Arabic word, Arabic translator Mrs Alice Guthrie writes that she as a linguist see  her  personal duty to unveil this term and to correct the main stream media misapprehensions. The reason for being experienced in a pejorative way by Islamic terrorists  is the fact that the word daesh in its own right meaning ‘a group of bigots who impose their will on others’. Depending how it is said, it could be very similar to the Arabic verb Daes – one who crushes something underfoot or to the Dahes -who sows discord. It is a kind of insult or swearword. The full name hey chosen in Arabic is the real name how they would like to be referred to but if we use the abbreviation in Arabic logic, we come to the point that they loose their legitimacy as an Islamic State and become small isolated group of sinister fanatics without any platform for representing them selves  as a serious global threat to the whole world. Journalist always forget how it is very important how they call someone or something. People use the terms without much thinking, spread them very fast and the popularity of some names, no matter if it is good or bad, change the whole spectrum. When we write about Islamic State, first we call them in a totally wrong way. Islamic State is a regular term and it cant be related with some terrorist organisation. We have some states which systems are Islamic oriented. Iran, for example. When we write of Iran, we are obligated to call it Islamic Republic of Iran. But, Iran is a state. Legal State. What about Islamic State as a fanatic group of covered terrorists? They shouldn’t be called that way at all. They are terrorists and not any name of this world can change it or make it less or more dangerous. Giving them credibility to be considered as a State, make them proud and motivated to bring more chaotic things on the main menu of the world politics.They love popularity and sometimes I have an impression they are some kind of dark celebrities, live for the cheep advertising The only thing which is not applicable here is that celebrities dont ruin other people lives and cause deaths. Islamic State is not a state. It is one asymmetric subject which is  against the whole world with the common sense. Islamic State is against non-believers, kafirs but also against the moderate Muslims who dont want to accept the idea of political Islam established on the universal level. Islamic State is based on wrong principles in its roots and that mustn’t be forgotten in any issues related to them. They do not represent anyone but themselves. They are shadows. They scream “Allahu Akbar”  but they are not doing anything but to provoke their own God playing His role. Who they are? They are DAESH- one non-significant group of frustrated, isolated, expelled people who see their real importance only in death cult projects. They should be treated that way. Whatever name they choose, they will be always UNKNOWN, because cowards and barbarians dont deserve the names. They will be forgotten but the victims of their psychopaths nature will be remembered for all times in our hearts.



3 thoughts on “Da’ish – Arabic term too much offensive for Islamists ?

  1. It is important that the public at large understands who these people are. Whether you like ISIS (or ISIL) or not the brand is established. Stop a man or woman in the street and ask them about ISIS and they’ll know what you are talking about. It would be completely counter-productive to try and change to something else for the dubious reasons argued here. It won’t happen either. The media will continue to use ISIS largely because the effort of trying to switch to Da’esh isn’t worth the candle. There are more important matters to address than the “problem” of the name ISIS.


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About Sarahowlgirl1982

I am a master of Political Sciences, with special focus on Security Studies, Islamic Counter Terrorism and Weapons of Mass Destruction. I enjoy discovering and commenting things which are " in the air" but still not spoken.I also do like science writing and planing to move myself into the pure science journalism !