Gillingham MP Rehman Chishti is campaigning for the UK to refer to the so called “Islamic State” (also referred to as ISIS or ISIL) as “Daesh” in line with other countries around the World, calling on the BBC and the Government to make this change.
Prime Minister David Cameron echoed the call in an interview with the Today programme, saying: “I wish the BBC would stop calling it ‘Islamic State’ because it is not an Islamic state.What it is is an appalling barbarous regime that is a perversion of the religion of Islam and many Muslims listening to this programme will recoil every time they hear the words. ‘So-called’ or Isil is better”.
In an article for Conservative Home and Asharq Al-Awsat, Rehman explained the reasons why an alternative title should be adopted and suggest that Daesh or Faesh may be appropriate: “You may ask – what’s important about a name? But names can ennoble and bestow legitimacy where none should be given.
“I believe that for too long, since their rapid gains across northern and western Iraq and eastern Syria, we have allowed the interchangeable titles of Islamic State, ISIL and ISIS to remain in our common lexicon.
“Daily in our newspapers and on our television screens we see and read about the grim reality of life for the six million people forced to live under the terror of the so called “Islamic state”.
“Their atrocities in Iraq and Syria clearly demonstrate they are not Islamic nor are they a state.
“For a state to exist it must have legal and international recognition as well as a defined sovereign territory. This organisation does not have a permanent population, a defined territory or the institutions of state. It does not recognise international law, norms or conventions or even the treaties of the UN. Nor has any other state in the world recognised them as a state.
“They are distorting a peaceful religion for their own violent and extremist ends and calling this evil organisation ISIL only gives it legitimacy by linking it to Islam.”
Chishti continues: “It is time that we adopt a clear, unambiguous title that fully reflects the nature of these terrorists.
“So what could be an alternative name for such a brutal group?
“Last year France took up the name widely adopted in the Middle East – ‘Daesh’ – which is an Arabic acronym for the group’s name, al-Dawla Al-Islamiyia fil Iraq wa’al Sham.
“It also holds negative connotations sounding similar to the word ‘Daes’ meaning “one crushes something underfoot” and ‘Dahes’, referring to “one who sows discord.”
Previously, Rehman hosted a lecture in Parliament by HRH Prince Turki Al-Faisal on calling them “Faesh”.