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ISIS Is Not the Islamic State It Fiercely Claims to Be

March 18, 2015 in Economics

By Nat Hentoff

Nat Hentoff

I approach Wikipedia cautiously as to whether its abundant information on a multitude of subjects is complete and authoritative. But I salute the site for its numerous citations concerning the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS — specifically the “criticism of the name ‘Islamic State’ and ‘caliphate’ declaration” (found under its entry for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant).

Even The New York Times seemed to accept ISIS’ self-description on its March 11 front page: “Islamic State Finds New Frontier in Chaotic Libya.”

But Wikipedia, citing a Washington Post article, alerts us to this penetrating truth:

“There’s another name for the group that has brutally captured large swaths of Syria and Iraq: ‘al-Qaeda Separatists in Iraq and Syria’ or more simply, QSIS” (“Meet ‘QSIS’: A new twist in what to call the extremist group rampaging in Iraq and Syria,” Adam Taylor, The Washington Post, Aug. 26, 2014).

“That new name comes not from the extremists themselves, but from Egypt, where a leading Islamic authority, Dar al-Ifta, has asked people to stop using the term ‘Islamic State.’”

Ibrahim Negm, an Islamic expert, explains to Egypt’s Middle East News Agency that the name change is important, as it “aims to correct the image of Islam that has been tarnished in the West because of (ISIS’) criminal acts, and to exonerate humanity from such crimes that defy natural instincts and spreads hate between people” (“Islamic authority: Extremists no ‘Islamic State,’” The Associated Press, Aug. 24, 2014).

So how do the members of ISIS feel when they are not referred to as an “Islamic State”?

Dig this Iraqi mother’s account: “They will cut your tongue out even if you call them ISIS — you have to say ‘Islamic State’ ” (“Islamic State crisis: Mother fears for son at Mosul school,” bbc.com, Sept. 29, 2014).

Not only was that woman’s story cited by Wikipedia, but so was this: “Politicians should stop using its preferred name (ISIS) to help halt the radicalization of British Muslims, leading groups have said” (“ISIS should be called the ‘Un-Islamic State’: British Muslims call on David Cameron to stop spread of extremist propaganda,” Andrew Griffin, The Independent (U.K.), Sept. 14, 2014).

“A group of prominent Muslims has written to David Cameron to ask that he uses a different name for the group, and to lead a national debate on what it should be called.”

What do they suggest?

The letter simply says: “We propose that ‘Un-Islamic State’ (UIS) …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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