Elham Asaad Buaras
More than 120 MPs from across the political spectrum have signed letters calling for the BBC and the Government to stop referring to the terrorist organisation as “the Islamic State”.
The letters, written by the MP for Gillingham and Rainham, Rehman Chishti, have been signed by high profile figures including the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson MP, the former First Minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond MP, and the Chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee, Keith Vaz MP.
They call on Prime Minister David Cameron and the BBC to refer to the so called ‘Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’ (ISIL) as ‘Daesh’, in line with many other countries including
France and Turkey and across the Middle East.
The name Daesh is a loose Arabic acronym for al-Dawla al-Islamiya al-Iraq al-Sham [Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant]. The name is commonly used by enemies of ISIS, and it also has many negative undertones, as Daesh sounds similar to the Arabic words Daes “one who crushes something underfoot” and Dahes “one who sows discord”.
The French Government officially adopted the title Daesh in 2014 and urged media outlets to use this name instead.
The cross party group of MPs believe that the current titles give legitimacy to a terrorist organisation that is not Islamic nor has it been recognised as a state and that it is insulting to many Muslims around the World.
Chishti, who authored the letters, raised this matter with the Prime Minister in Parliament and more recently with the Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond MP.
In a statement to The Muslim New, Chishti said: “This is a barbaric terrorist organisation that is causing large scale destruction in the Middle East and they are trying to gain legitimacy by calling themselves an ‘Islamic State’, when they are not a state nor are they Islamic.
“These letters, signed by more than 120 MPs, show the strength of feeling across the political spectrum that we need to call them what they really are. I hope that the Government, the BBC and others will follow in calling then ‘Daesh’ instead.”