ISIS or DAISH?

The aggressive spread of ISIS through Iraq and Syria has been a game changer in the region.   In all of the Arabic countries, ISIS is referred to as DAISH, which is short for ‘Dawlat al-Islamiyah f’al-Iraq wa al-Sham’, Arabic for the Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham (Syria).  What makes the Arabic acronym interesting is that the Arabic word  ‘دعس‘ , or daish, which means to ‘tread under foot‘ or ‘crush‘.   I’ve been meaning to look this up for a while, and I’m glad I finally did.  The Arabic acronym is pejorative and clearly hostile, unlike the English word Isis, which is the name of a powerful Egyptian goddess.    And so, I will henceforth use the term DAISH in place of ISIS or ISIL.   It is, I think, more authentic.

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