ISIS, ISIL, IS, Caliphate — What We Should Call Them And Why

ISIS, ISIL, IS, Islamic Caliphate… what exactly should we call the army of terrorists wreaking havoc in Iraq, Syria and the rest of the Middle East these days? Does it even matter whether we call them ISIS, ISIL, IS, the Caliphate or something else? This writer would submit that it matters a great deal what we call the radical Islamic monstrosity that has reared its ugly head, for a number of very good reasons.

When the terrorist army first broke onto the scene in Iraq, fanning into flame intra-Islamic tensions that have existed for centuries, most of us referred to them as ISIS — Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. The terrorist group had been fighting in Syria for some time, though the vast majority of Westerners would have had a hard time placing where they fit into that conflict. So, should we call the army of Muslim terrorists vying for control of Iraq, Syria, the rest of the Middle East and — truth be told — the entire world, ISIS?

No. Here’s why. Calling them anything that involves the term “state” and includes recognized nations is a very bad idea because, at least on some level, it recognizes and legitimizes their control over those regions. They are not the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. They are not a state at all. They are a terrorist army made up of the most radical Muslims bent on conquering those sovereign nations. Calling them anything with “state” in the title makes them something much more than what they are — or that we should ever allow them to become.

So, if not ISIS, how about ISIL? That’s what the President of the United States generally uses when referring to the army of terrorists currently threatening the Middle East. ISIL stands for Islamic State of Syria and the Levant. We’ve already covered why we shouldn’t call them a state of any sort. However, calling them ISIL is considerably worse than referring to them as ISIS. Calling them ISIL not only recognizes the group of jihadis as a recognized state, it also ascribes to them control over the Levant — not just a recognized nation, but a larger geographical territory.

For those unfamiliar with Middle Eastern geography, as this Fox News report points out, the Levant is a swath of territory in the Middle East that stretches from Southern Turkey to Egypt to the Mediterranean Sea. By now, most of you are probably trying to strain your brain to try to piece together scraps of what you learned in 9th or 10th grade Geography class. Let me help you out. The area we are essentially ascribing to the terrorist army in the Middle East when we call them ISIL includes not only Iraq and Syria, but also the island of Cyprus, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, parts of Turkey and — especially — Israel. Calling them ISIL with that knowledge is tantamount to discrediting all of those nations’ and people groups’ rights to exist as sovereign states. Most significantly, it is validating the idea that Israel — despite ancient claims to the land they occupy as a sovereign nation and the fact that they are an ally of the United States — has no right to exist. No, we should not call them ISIL. A thousand times, no.

This opinion piece, written by Allen West, while admittedly partisan, lays out very well why calling the terrorist army ISIL is problematic. Mr. President, please, please, please stop insulting our ally Israel by calling this army of terrorists ISIL and legitimizing their claim to Israel.

So, what about IS? The term Islamic State doesn’t include any geographical borders. Still, as bad as calling them ISIS or ISIL is, calling them the Islamic State — IS — or it’s equivalent, the Islamic Caliphate, is even worse, for reasons far more significant than recognizing their statehood.

While the vast majority of the world’s Muslims are reasonable people who are happy to live and let live, those who embrace jihad and the idea of an Islamic State believe that Allah will grant them rule over the entire world. Depending on the particular breed of Islamo-fascist involved in the jihad, that means that everyone who lives anywhere that the Caliphate (or Islamic State or whatever other term du jour they’re using) advances has the choice of converting or dying or, for the more moderate Islamic terrorists, the option of dying, converting or paying a tax to the Islamic authorities for the continued privilege of breathing (note: this option is only available for Christians and Jews… pagans and others not considered “People of the Book” have the options of conversion or death).

Calling the Islamic terrorist army in the Middle East IS essentially recognizes their claim to the entire world — or at the very least, recognizes that they make that claim. Calling them the Caliphate essentially does the same thing. The image at the top of this article shows the terrorist army currently operating in Syria and Iraq’s five year plan. Note that it is not limited to Syria and Iraq, nor even to the Middle East.

So, what should we call them, then? ISIS, ISIL, IS and the Caliphate are all poor options, at best.

This writer believes that we should call them what they are — the Islamic terrorist army. ITA. That’s it. Don’t ascribe any geographical or national borders to them. They seek to move beyond any borders we would place anyway and ascribing borders to them only pretends that we will not have to deal with them on our own borders sooner or later (and in a related Inquisitr report, there may be reason to believe that the ITA is quite possibly a mere 15 minute drive from the United States).

In the end, whatever we call them, we need to call ISIS, ISIL, IS, the Caliphate or the Islamic Terrorist Army what it is… the enemy of all mankind, and we need to treat them as such immediately and with extreme prejudice.

[Image via Bing]