Sunday, June 29, 2014

ISIS no more

Not that the new name will matter over here all that much. I bet the western media will still call them ISIS, just as they called its predecessor "al-Qaeda in Iraq" for years after it abandoned the name. Jihadist organizations change their names a lot, but only the real sticklers pay much attention to their constant rebranding. The only ones that catch on with the outside world are things that the news media thinks might make them more scary. So when Jama'aat al-Tawhid wal-Jihad became "al-Qaeda in Iraq" (actually its official name was "Tanzim Qaidat al-Jihad fi Bilad al-Rafidayn"), the name caught on because it contained the scary "al-Qaeda" name and played into the political narrative that the Iraq-based group was the same as Bin Laden's group. ISIS/ISIL caught on because it emphasized the spread of the movement between Syria and Iraq. Plus the fact that ISIS was condemned by al-Qaeda made it seem even scarier.

The "Islamic State" is simply not scarier than the "Islamic State of Iraq and Sham/the Levant." So I bet the Western Media will stick with ISIS or ISIL.

Plus, let's face it, ISIS is a cooler name than IS.