Friday, August 27, 2021

It should be ISK

I realize people have died and this really isn't important at all, but I have become fascinated with the insistence of virtually all American commentators, from the media to the President, and even the former President, to call the Islamic State in Afghanistan "ISIS" even though that acronym stands for "the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria." The group calls itself the Islamic State on Khorosan (Khorosan is an old name for the part of historic Persia that extends into Central Asia). So people are starting to refer to the Afghan group as "ISIS-K", even though it still doesn't make total sense to include that second I and S which stands for Iraq and Syria. Consider this my lonely campaign to get everyone to start referring to the group in Afghanistan as "ISK" instead of "ISIS" or "ISIS-K."

I have no doubt my efforts will fail and ISK will never catch on.

Meanwhile, I got curious about how Arabs were dealing with the issue. As many Westerners have heard "Daesh" (داعش) is the Arabic acronym for ISIS, and like ISIS, "Daesh" stands for a phrase that identifies the location of the group ("دولة إسلامية في العراق و الشام" "The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria/the Levant"). My Arabic is really rusty, but I was able to find and read this al-Jazeera article. In that article, at least, the group is just referred to as "the Islamic State" (دولة إسلامية). The word "Daesh"/"داعش" only appears once, when it quotes British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace, who probably used the word "Daesh" in his remarks. Even then, the Wallace's use of "Daesh" is followed by a parenthetical to clarify that me means the Islamic State. If you care the the full Wallace quote is this:
من الواضح أن التهديد سيزداد كلما اقترب موعد المغادرة… أثناء مغادرتنا، سترغب مجموعات معينة مثل داعش (تنظيم الدولة) في الادعاء بأنها طردت الولايات المتحدة أو المملكة المتحدة