Attention Conservatives: Calling Them “Islamic Terrorists” Gives Them Legitimacy
Following the most recent democratic debate, the right wing condemned Hillary Clinton for refusing to use the term “Radical Islam” when talking about acts of terror overseas. This is standard practice for the right-wing, who for some reason have become obsessed with labeling these acts of terror as “Islamic Terror.” Hillary’s argument, that we aren’t at war with Islam but are at war with jihadists, was the same argument made by President George W. Bush in the aftermath of 9/11.
I personally don’t even agree with using the term “jihadist” as I feel that gives too much credibility to these monsters. They’re not jihadists, they’re lunatics.
The only way to delegitimize the actions of these monsters is to take away their religious authority. What the right-wing doesn’t seem to understand is that by referring to these monsters as “Islamists” they are doing more to legitimize their efforts than anything Obama has ever done.
All Muslims need to realize that what ISIS are doing in the name of Islam is more of an insult to Islam that any cartoon anyone can draw.— Iyad El-Baghdadi (@iyad_elbaghdadi) November 16, 2015
They are no more a “Muslim” or “Islamic” than the KKK is Christian.
Recently people have begun to refer to ISIS by a different name. DAESH. What does this mean and why are we using it?
According to Arabic translator Alice Guthrie, “d.a.e.sh is a transliteration of the Arabic acronym formed of the same words that make up I.S.I.S in English: ‘Islamic State in Iraq and Syria’, or ‘al-dowla al-islaamiyya fii-il-i’raaq wa-ash-shaam’.”
It is a term that most Arab states and many European governments use to refer to the Islamic State or ISIS. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry often uses the term, too.
Depending on how it is conjugated in Arabic, the word can mean “to trample down and crush.” But it can also mean “a bigot.” ISIS has reportedly threatened to cut out the tongues of anyone it hears using the term.
“It’s a derogatory term and not someting people should use even if you dislike them,” said Evan Kohlmann, a national security analyst at Flashpoint and a contributor to NBC News. “It would be like referring to Germans as ‘Huns.’”
Using “Islamic” and “State” together offers legitimacy to the group, some believe, and referring to it as ISIS — short for Islamic State in Iraq and Syria — brings Syria into play.
That’s why Guthrie believes ISIS hates the term more than any conjugation issue.
“They hear it, quite rightly, as a challenge to their legitimacy: a dismissal of their aspirations to define Islamic practice, to be ‘a state for all Muslims’ and — crucially — as a refusal to acknowledge and address them as such.”
The more ironic twist to this is when I hear conservatives claiming that “liberals” don’t want to refer to them as “Islamic terrorists” because they’re worried about offending Muslims — when the truth is that refusing to refer to terrorists as Muslims is far more insulting to our real enemies.