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Take The Islam Out of ISIS


What is in a name? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet. If trash was not called trash, it would still be trash. However, names are used to define things or people. In the wake of the Paris attacks, the world “Islamic” in the name I slamic State in Syria i s one of the driving forces that fuel the constant uprising in Islamophobia. ISIS loves the name ISIS; they want the world to believe that they truly represent Islam. However, there is a more accurate and effective term to describe this so called Islamic group. It’s the Arabic name for ISIS: Daesh, an acronym for “aldawla allslamiya fi allraw we alSham”. The term Daesh is not only useful to define ISIS, but it also insults them.

Depending on which Arabic conjugation is used, the acronym “Daesh” could mean something along the lines of “to trample down and crush” or “a bigot who imposes his view on others.” According to N ew Republic’ s Jen Percy, Assyrian Christians began referring to ISIS soldiers as Daesh because it is a “a pejorative term for ISIS in Arabic.” Daesh announced earlier that they would “cut the tongue of anyone who publicly used the acronym Daesh.” Some of Daesh’s victims, along with other world leaders, are willing to take that risk. American President Barack Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry, and French President Francois Hollande have called for action specifically against Daesh. As more world leaders begin using this acronym in their speeches and announcements, the mainstream media could be more susceptible to using that term instead of ISIS.

There is a great significance in denying Daesh’s wishes of being called ISIS. What makes “ISIS” Islamic? In reality, not much. It cannot be their murder of innocent people, since Islam is against murder. It can’t be their violence. It can’t be their destruction of mosques. It can’t be how they don’t even face Mecca when they pray. The members of Daesh are not truly Muslim. The facts don’t lie. So what is in the name ISIS? The association between Islam and the phrase ISIS is deadly to actual Muslims. The phrase “Islamic State” enforces Islamophobia; “Daesh” does not.

In fact, the group Daesh thrives off of Islamophobia. When Westerners associate Islam with terrorism, threaten to close American mosques, and deny refugees asylum, they are practically spoon­feeding Daesh’s power. Daesh uses Islamophobia to instill a “them-­against-­us” mentality into new recruits. It is easy to brainwash someone into joining a terrorist organization if the rest of the world seems to hate them. The majority of Daesh’s victims have been Muslims who are not radical enough for their twisted views and those refuse to join them. When the Western world discriminates against peaceful Muslims it further divides Islam from the rest of the world. Those who are vulnerable to Daesh could end up believing in their cause or end up dead. If Syrian refugees cannot leave Syria, they are vulnerable to Daesh and their violent influence.

Daesh w ants to be called ISIS. We should not give Daesh the satisfaction of being referred to as an “Islamic” state.­president­obama­john­kerry­152232541.html­rania­isis­islamic_n_6781160.html?ncid=edlin kushpmg00000030­leaders­have­taken­to­calling­isis­daesh­a­word­ the­islamic­state­hates

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Amanda Rosa
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My name is Amanda and I'm 17 years old. I live in South Florida. I'm a writer and editor for my school newspaper. I'm passionate about art, feminism, current events, and writing.


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