News / USA

    Why Kerry Calls Terror Group ‘Daesh,’ not Islamic State

    FILE - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, shown speaking at the United Nations, Dec. 18, 2015, used the Arabic term “Daesh” close to 20 times when referring to Islamic State extremists in a recent speech.
    FILE - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, shown speaking at the United Nations, Dec. 18, 2015, used the Arabic term “Daesh” close to 20 times when referring to Islamic State extremists in a recent speech.

    The Islamic State terror group has gained worldwide infamy with its murderous exploits. It is called many different names by various people and organizations. ISIL, ISIS and IS are all commonly heard.

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry used the Arabic term “Daesh” close to 20 times when referring to Islamic State extremists in a recent speech about 2016 foreign policy priorities.

    “The terrorist group known as Daesh — ISIL, some people call it, but there’s nothing Islamic about it and there’s nothing that merits being called a state,” Kerry said Wednesday at the National Defense University.

    The term Daesh is considered an insult that translates loosely to “one who crushes something underfoot” or “one who sows discord.” Islamic State militants hate the term and have vowed to kill anyone who uses it.

    A U.S. official told VOA, “The State Department uses both Daesh and ISIL, an acronym of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, to refer to the terrorist organization,” noting that the use of Daesh is common in the Mideast and in Arab countries.

    A counterterrorism expert said that by using Daesh, a derogatory term, the U.S. denies this terrorist organization a respectful name.

    Seth Jones, a former defense official and now an expert at the Rand Corporation global policy think tank, said that while most U.S. officials continue to use the term ISIL, a few have used Daesh for several reasons.

    Denial of legitimacy

    “First, it is more consistent with the terminology used by America’s Middle East allies,” he said. “Second, it is viewed pejoratively by many within the group itself. Third, using Daesh does not give legitimacy — even perceived legitimacy — to the organization’s claim that it is a veritable 'Islamic State.' ”

    Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced a year ago that he would begin referring to the terrorist group as Daesh.

    “Daesh hates being referred to by this term, and what they don’t like has an instinctive appeal to me,” Abbott said.

    In October 2014, Kerry was heard using the name Daesh after an international coalition was formed to degrade and destroy the militants.

    “Not everybody will play a military role or a direct kinetic role. Some will help with respect to the delegitimization of Daesh’s claims with respect to religion,” said Kerry after meeting with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Hassan Shoukry at that time.

    The top U.S. diplomat strategically brandishes the term as a verbal insult, and its usage is becoming increasingly noticed and used by others.

    You May Like

    Hope Remains for Rio Olympic Games

    Facing a host of problems, Rio prepares for holding the games but experts say some risks, like Zika, may not be as grave as initially thought

    Diplomats Hope to Revive Cradle of Civilization After Defeat of IS

    Diplomats from around globe gather at US State Department, discuss how to rebuild minority communities shattered by Islamic State group

    Women Voters Look Past Gender in Assessing Clinton

    She's the first female presidential nominee, but party identification, other factors outweigh gender

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Anonymous
    January 17, 2016 8:53 PM
    Kerry needs a new face lift.
    His wife or tax payer will foot the bills.
    His last plastic surgeon did a poor job, his face is sagging badly.

    by: Anonymous
    January 17, 2016 11:07 AM
    If 'Daesh' means "who sows discord' , than USA is 'Daesh' for she sows discords worldwide.

    by: American Eskimo from: San Jose, USA
    January 16, 2016 11:50 PM
    Kerry needs a new face lift. His wife or tax payers will pay for it.
    America is a young county and he represents USA, he shall have a youthful face.
    Poor Kerry, his job really aged him the last few years.

    by: Anonymous
    January 16, 2016 11:41 PM
    If DAESH means "one who sows discord", than ISIL = USA.
    To minimize confusion, Kerry shall not use the term Daesh any more.

    by: Ibrahim Safi
    January 16, 2016 1:04 AM
    Thanks for all

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Busi
    X
    July 28, 2016 4:16 AM
    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Philadelphia Uses DNC Spotlight to Profile Historic Role in Founding of United States

    The slogan of the Democratic National Convention now underway in Philadelphia is “Let’s Make History Again” which recognizes the role the city played in the foundation of the United States in the 18th century. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, local institutions are opening their doors in an effort to capitalize on the convention spotlight to draw visitors, and to offer more than just a history lesson.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora