The Islamic State has changed it’s name in the popular media from time to time. It was ISIL, then ISIS, then IS and now sometimes DAESH.
What is the right answer? It just doesn’t matter. They are all ways of saying the same thing. And transliterating from Arabic is always somewhat of a stretch.
Shouldn’t we call them what they call themselves? Makes sense.
What do we call “Shining Path”? Shouldn’t we call them some spanish language equivelent of shining path? (Sendero Luminoso)?
What do we call Hizbollah? In English, we would call them, “Party of Allah”, which sounds too anti-Islamic so we cloud their name. if we abreviated it as PA we would confuse it with Palistinian Authority.
What do we call the PLO? (Palistinian Liberation Organization). English letters, abreviating English words. Arabic doesn’t even have a “P” in it and normally uses a “B” instead. Munaẓẓamat at-Taḥrīr al-Filasṭīniyyah is what they call themselves. Quite a mouthful and “Palistinian” starts with an “F”. So it’s MTF or MaTaF or something silly like that.
What does Daesh stand for? Roughly, “Dowela Al Islamia fi Al Arak wa Alshalam”. Literally, State of Islam in Iraq (which starts with an A in Arabic) and the Levant. So, English letters, abreviating Arabic words.
Any other precedents to look to?
Hamas. Not a name, an acronym. Ḥarakat al-Muqāwamah al-ʾIslāmiyyah, or Islamic Resistance Movement. In English we should call them IRM if we were following the ISIS/ISIL format. Anyone ever hear of IRM? Me neither.
Taliban? Not an Acronym. A word that roughly translates as “the Students”. Ever hear them called that in American or any English language news media?
The Right answer is: There is no right answer. You can call them whatever you like. Any constructive custom or protocol that the media comes up with today, they can reverse tomorrow because they have no consistent methodology.
And it only makes things worse when this moron opens his mouth.
He has said that they are not a state, yet he calls them a state when he uses the word “Daesh” to describe them. (D is for Dowela = State).
If we are going to be consistent, we should probably use the word Daesh in all our discussions. But personally, I favor nuclear anihilation of most of that part of the world, making any discussions about them moot.