London photo: “STOP ISIS”

stopisis

This graffiti appeared in Wood Green the other day.

Wood Green is, perhaps not coincidental to this, heavily immigrant, with many residents from the Middle East. There has been lots of public pushback — like from, say, imams and spokespeople from Muslim organizations — in the U.K. against Islamic radical fundamentalism, including ISIS/ISIL, and the radicalization of young British Muslims. So this could be part of that.

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Bluejay
Bluejay
Wed, Oct 22, 2014 3:17am

I wish they’d all just say ISIL. They’re ruining the rep of a perfectly good Egyptian goddess.

Danielm80
Danielm80
reply to  Bluejay
Wed, Oct 22, 2014 4:07am

I know. It’s ruining my childhood memories:

http://www.urngarden.com/images/blog/IsisL.jpg

Bluejay
Bluejay
reply to  Danielm80
Wed, Oct 22, 2014 1:10pm

Yeah, I’d like to be able to yell “Oh, mighty Isis!” without looking like a terrorist sympathizer.

Tonio Kruger
Tonio Kruger
reply to  Bluejay
Wed, Oct 22, 2014 11:17pm

Given that Muslims aren’t traditionally big fans of pagan deities — Egyptian or otherwise — I’m surprised that they haven’t already changed the name of that organization.

David
David
reply to  Tonio Kruger
Thu, Oct 23, 2014 4:25am

They have. It’s simply called IS now.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  David
Thu, Oct 23, 2014 10:43am

By whom? I still hear “ISIS” and “ISIL” on the news.

David
David
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Sat, Oct 25, 2014 12:05am

They refer to themselves simply as the Islamic State (IS). The idea being that they are the true adherents to Islam. Most of the Western media still refer to them as ISIL/ISIS. Probably to imply the opposite.

Beowulf
Beowulf
reply to  David
Sat, Nov 01, 2014 1:34pm

I call them “ISN’T.”

Tonio Kruger
Tonio Kruger
reply to  David
Sat, Oct 25, 2014 11:44pm

Is this supposed to be a Bill Clinton joke? Because I seem to recall a big controversy about the term “IS” during his administration…

David
David
reply to  Tonio Kruger
Sun, Oct 26, 2014 2:35am

Um, no.

Overflight
Overflight
reply to  Danielm80
Fri, Oct 24, 2014 7:26pm
MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Bluejay
Wed, Oct 22, 2014 11:21am

Except “the Levant” is such an old-fashioned leftover of colonialism. Like “the Orient.” I bet many people today don’t even know what it means.

Bluejay
Bluejay
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Wed, Oct 22, 2014 1:14pm

Sure, but we can use acronyms despite the outdated words that they stand for. We still refer to the NAACP even though we (mostly) don’t say “colored people” anymore.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Bluejay
Wed, Oct 22, 2014 10:43pm

Good point. But that acronym has been in use since the time when we *did* use “colored people.” ISIL is a weird coinage for anyone to have come up with today.

Bluejay
Bluejay
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Thu, Oct 23, 2014 4:01am

Good point right back atcha. To follow up on LaSargenta’s point about using original-language acronyms, why don’t we just call them what they call themselves, in their language? After all, we call Al-Qaeda “Al-Qaeda,” not “The Base.” And we say “Jemaah Islamiah” not “Islamic Congregation,” and “Hezbollah” not “Party of God,” and so on.

LaSargenta
LaSargenta
reply to  Bluejay
Thu, Oct 23, 2014 1:38pm

Oooookaaaaaayyyyy….BUT what “they” call themselves is not what OTHER arabic speakers call them. In fact, apparently, “they” don’t like DAIISH.

I mean, the Catholic Church calls itself the True Faith, but, obviously, lots of the rest of us don’t.

David
David
reply to  Bluejay
Thu, Oct 23, 2014 4:33am

What are you talking about? People use that term all the time including the author of this website. I constantly see people writing “Person of Color”.

David
David
reply to  Danielm80
Thu, Oct 23, 2014 5:49am

LOL, exactly.

Bluejay
Bluejay
reply to  David
Thu, Oct 23, 2014 1:41pm

Well, it’s complicated and interesting, and has to do with connotation, history and intention:

http://www.npr.org/blogs/codeswitch/2014/03/30/295931070/the-journey-from-colored-to-minorities-to-people-of-color

http://wocinsolidarity.tumblr.com/post/55369254035/woc-in-solidarity-mod-post-colored-people-vs

“Colored” was historically used by white people to refer to black people, often negatively, and today carries all the baggage of that history. “People of color” is today intended to be inclusive of people, not just blacks, who would otherwise be described as “nonwhite” or “minority” (which I sometimes use myself, but I see how those terms can be problematic too). The terms are not the same in context or connotation. I can see how some people might want to dismiss that difference as semantics or PC, but language is a messy thing that can’t be separated from history, intention, and politics. That stuff all matters.

For the record, I’m not completely satisfied with “person of color” myself, but that’s for a longer discussion I don’t feel like having. :-)

David
David
reply to  Bluejay
Fri, Oct 24, 2014 11:52pm

I don’t like the term because to me it seems ridiculous to take people from Korea, China, japan, South America, Asia, and the Middle East and lump them into a super category called “people of color”.

Tonio Kruger
Tonio Kruger
reply to  David
Sat, Oct 25, 2014 11:43pm

I suspect most people like myself treat terms like “people of color” the same way we do Democratic presidential candidates: we don’t consider them perfect but they’re still usually better than the usual alternatives…

David
David
reply to  Tonio Kruger
Sun, Oct 26, 2014 2:36am

See, I tend to feel that way about Republican candidates.

Bluejay
Bluejay
reply to  David
Sun, Oct 26, 2014 7:24pm

I see what you’re saying, and I agree that it papers over some real differences between groups, but it’s still a useful term depending on the issue you’re talking about. It’s easier to say “There are relatively few people of color in leading roles in Hollywood films” than to say “There are relatively few people of Korean, Chinese, Japanese, South American, and Middle Eastern descent in leading roles in Hollywood films.”

LaSargenta
LaSargenta
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Wed, Oct 22, 2014 1:46pm

…and when I was little, I was confused about why the land at the east end of the Mediterranean Sea was named after this guy: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0505157/?ref_=tt_ov_st

LaSargenta
LaSargenta
reply to  Bluejay
Wed, Oct 22, 2014 1:41pm

Or Daesh/Daiish: داعش

I cut and pasted that bit of Arabic from a Washington Post article. I do not know the language. I gather Daiish is a transliteration into the Latin alphabet of that Arabic acronym of الدولة الإسلامية في العراق والشام. Talk about degrees of separation!

Apropros of your statement downthread about anachronisms in acronyms, we also don’t always call a group by the acronym of their name in English. Like the FLN (Front de Liberation Nationale in Algeria…which we don’t translate into National Liberation Front and call it NLF) … nor … the PPP among WWII resistance groups (we don’t translate Polskie Panstwo Podziemne into Polish Secret State and call it PSS) … nor … PSOE (Partido Socialista Obrero Espanyol, not Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party and SSWP) … et cetera.

David
David
reply to  LaSargenta
Thu, Oct 23, 2014 4:43am

I used to study Arabic a few years ago but I stopped and switched to Hebrew. I can still read the Arabic alphabet phonetically though. One cool thing about studying languages in a non-latin alphabet is that it makes learning languages in a Latin alphabet much easier. I can read, write, and carry on casual conversations in Hebrew. Then I started studying Spanish and am finding it much easier to pick up.