The terrorists responsible for the recent attacks in Paris and Beirut have been called ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) or ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.) We love our acronyms.
But John Kerry and others have been pushing a different acronym: DAESH or DAIISH (pronounced something like di -ESH or dehySH) It’s the acronym for the Arabic name of the group: ‘لدولة الإسلامية في العراق والشام’ (‘al-dowla al-islaamiyya fii-il-i’raaq wa-ash-shaam’). We can hear on this podcast why calling them DAIISH is a slam.
In a nutshell:
- To use their their own Arabic name and acronym it demeans the name. It’s a name that should be demeaned.
- DAIISH sounds very much like the word daes (“one who crushes something underfoot“) and dahes (“one who sows discord“) – especially when Western people say it.
Word play is our friend.
Calling something what it truly is is not only a linguistic exercise. It’s a theological and political exercise. Remember these words:
We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; (2 Corinthians 4:8-9)
There is violence in the Scriptures of Jews, Christians, and Muslims, but that’s not who we are. Don’t be a deceiver or a d#@k, or a daes or a dahes or a DAESH. This is not what we were created to be.