Write a half to one page (double-spaced) personal reflection on whether ISIS should be referred to and treated as a state. After doing the research and the debate, do you agree more or less with your assigned position?I want to disagree on calling them a state. political_science_descation__1_.docSurname 1
The Islamic State is a militant organization based in Iraq (Weaver n.p). Using a
derogatory name about this group is irrelevant. This group has a legitimate claim despite the
pundits to identify themselves as a state. The group is the most dangerous terrorist group in the
world. It is responsible for multiple attacks in the Middle East and especially in Syria and Iraq
where it begun. Major world media companies and leaders across the world have been referring
to this group with its self-declared names such as ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and Levant), ISIS
(Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) and recently IS (Islamic State).
British Prime Minister David Cameron and other world leaders including Muslim leaders
have proposed that the terrorist organization should be referred with its more Arabic name
Daesh. This name is an acronym standing for Al-Dawla al-Islamiya fi Iraq wa ash-sham. It
means the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Shams. It is also a derogatory term meaning “the sowers of
discord” and when conjugated further means “the one who crushes underfoot.” France and
Russia have been using this acronym to refer to the terrorist organization since 2014 (Weaver
n.p). Other countries and regions are following suit. American legislators are also proposing that
American public and media houses use the derogatory name instead of the existing identities.
They claim that calling the group Islamic and State is legitimatizing an illegal group. This group
is neither a state nor is it an Islamic faction. Muslims have also dissociated with the group
claiming that its ideals and action neither reflect nor represent the face of Islam.
The group has threated to cut out the tongue of any person who refers to it as Daesh
(Weaver n.p). Its leaders insist that the group’s name is Islamic State. This reaction has come as a
victory to those proposing that people refer to the group as Daesh. This victory, however, is
irrelevant considering that it has not stopped the group from continuing with its illegal terrorist
activities. It has not even slowed down the group’s progress neither has it changed the perception
of those joining the group. In fact, more fighters even from Europe are joining the group giving it
more power to expand its territory.
A state in the modern world is when a group of people rule over a particular region or
territory. The Islamic State as it is now should be a state considering the territory they are
controlling. They have set up their own government, which they are calling a caliphate and are
gaining more territory. Despite the opposition from other world leaders, the group can now claim
legitimacy and demand the rest of the world to identify it as a state.
It matters less how people refer to this group. A war of semantics will not prevent the
group from carrying out its activities (Messinis n.p). The supporters of these group are joining
and funding this group the more the Western countries attempt to make this group appear
Calling this group a state is neither legal nor illegal. The issue that matters, in this case, is
identifying its existence and planning on how to cease its expansionist’s ideals. This plan should
involve cutting off the group’s sources of funds and weapons and weakening it by strengthening
the governments in place in the different countries in which the group has carved a niche.
Historical data gives credibility to this group. It believes it has a legitimate claim to its
name and territory. The region it now refers to al-Sham was its original name before the British
and French colonialists drew other borders and gave new identities to the new regions ((Messinis
n.p). The group, although in an illegal manner, is only trying to reclaim its heritage.
Focus, therefore, should not be on what the group’s identity should be, neither should it
be on fighting a semantic or a psychological war. The primary focus should be in defeating and
destroying the organization, and establishing legitimate and democratic governments that will
maintain peace in the Middle East.
Messinis, Aris. Islamic State, Daesh or Isis: The Dilemma of Naming the Extremists. The
Weaver, Matthew. Syria Debate: The Linguistic Battle over what to Call Islamic State.
The Guardian. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/dec/02/syria-debate-the-linguisticbattle-over-what-to-call-islamic-state
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