The Canadian government has announced its decision to no longer refer to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/ISIS) by its name and will instead call the group by the Arabic acronym Daesh.
According to Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, the Islamic State “is neither Islamic nor a state,” and so will be referred to as Daesh.
The minister revealed the change in its 2016 Public Report on the Terrorist Threat to Canada, in which he introduced the new title for the terror group.
Global Affairs Canada and the Department of National Defence have also said they will adopt the title Daesh to refer to the group.
The term Daesh, forbidden by the Islamic Caliphate within its own territory, is often used by Arabic speakers and comes from the group’s Arabic acronym, though some translations mean to tread underfoot or crush.
Earlier this summer, the head of the BBC religion section responded to the theory that the Islamic State has nothing to do with Islam, telling students that people need to come to grips with the “uncomfortable” truth that the Islamic State terror group draws its inspiration from the religion of Islam.
Professor Aaqil Ahmed, himself a Muslim scholar and chief of BBC religion, denied the politically correct opinion that ISIS “has nothing to do with Islam” during a speech before a group of college students at Huddersfield University.
“I hear so many people say ISIS has nothing to do with Islam — of course it has. They are not preaching Judaism,” Ahmed noted.
In an essay this year titled, “Realism and Islam,” Rev. James V. Schall of Georgetown University made the case that Muslim violence is intrinsic to the nature of Islam itself and that ISIS and its methods is not really an anomaly in the history of the religion.
Schall noted that Islam has consistently advocated violence, which it has practiced “from its seventh century beginning,” and that the purpose of jihad is, ultimately, “religious and pious.”
Far from a historical irregularity, then, the violent method of the Islamic State “is little different from what has been seen throughout the centuries wherever Islam is found,” he said. Islam “is actually and potentially violent throughout its entire history.”
“And while it may be politically incorrect to state these things, they need to be stated and are in fact the truth—things that both Muslims and non-Muslims need to hear and consider,” Schall said.
In the Canadian report on the terrorist threat, Goodale said that that Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) “is aware of 180 individuals who have traveled abroad for terrorism-related purposes. We are also aware of approximately 60 returnees to Canada, some of whom have the potential to pose a significant threat to our national security.”
“While we do not comment on allegations, specific threats, or operations related to national security, we can assure you that the Government of Canada is taking every step to identify terrorists and prevent their activities,” he said.
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