'Nothing whatsoever about ISIL that is related to Islam.'7:14 AM, Oct 13, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
Following the lead of Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, Secretary of State John Kerry Sunday began using the Arabic acronym "Daesh" at times when referring to the Islamic State (ISIL or ISIS). Kerry was in Egypt for a meeting with Egyptian foreign minister Shoukry, and spoke extensively about the terrorist group in remarks following the meeting. The new terminology appears to be an attempt to bolster the secretary's contention that there is "nothing whatsoever about ISIL that is related to Islam."
Kerry first referenced "Daesh" when discussing the coalition to defeat ISIL, where he used the two terms interchangeably:
And as President Obama made clear, the United States is committed to degrading and ultimately defeating ISIL. And I’m very pleased to say that more than 60 partners have now committed to joining us in this effort in a variety of ways. 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.
Throughout the run-up to the forming of the coalition and ultimately the bombing campaign against the Islamic State, Kerry has been insistent about the non-Islamic nature of the group, going so far as to say in September that "we must put real Islam out there." Kerry continued in that vein Sunday, saying that the coalition against ISIL is not "primarily military in nature," with a large part of the equation also being an "effort to counter ISIL’s false claims about Islam":
So the coalition required to eliminate ISIL is not only or even primarily military in nature, and we welcome everybody’s contribution to that effort. Particularly, the effort to counter ISIL’s false claims about Islam, a peaceful religion. There is nothing about ISIL, as the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia said, or the council that issues fatwas said, nothing whatsoever about ISIL that is related to Islam.
Ultimately in his remarks, Kerry used "Daesh" five times and the English acronym ten times. Until now, the U.S. State Department's use of the Arabic acronym has been relatively rare, and a review of Secretary Kerry's previous speeches and remarks did not turn up any prior usage. The White House has not used the term at all.
In September, France 24 reported the French foreign minister's decision to make the switch:
From now on the French foreign ministry will be calling it Daesh, the Arabic acronym for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), also known as ISIS or the Islamic State group.
Last week, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius asked journalists and media organisations to do the same.
He said: “This is a terrorist group and not a state. I do not recommend using the term Islamic State because it blurs the lines between Islam, Muslims and Islamists. The Arabs call it ‘Daesh’ and I will be calling them the ‘Daesh cutthroats’.”...
Daesh is a loose acronym of the Arabic for “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant” (al-Dawla al-Islamiya al-Iraq al-Sham).
Although the Obama administration has claimed the fight against ISIL has yielded some positive results, Army General Martin Dempsey acknowledged Sunday on ABC's This Week that he is "fearful Kobani [Syria] will fall" to ISIL, and that ISIL's adaptations since the bombing began will complicate the coalition's efforts to identify and strike ISIL targets:
“I am fearful that Kobani will fall,” Dempsey said, adding that he has “no doubt” ISIL will conduct horrific atrocities if they have the opportunity to do so.
ISIL is putting pressure on the city’s outskirts, and into the city itself, the chairman said. ISIL forces are becoming more adept with the use of electronic devices, he added, and are making themselves harder to find and identify. “They don't fly flags and move around in large convoys the way they did. … They don't establish headquarters that are visible or identifiable,” he said.
2:40 PM, Oct 7, 2014 • By JEFFREY GEDMIN
"Even wallpaper has a better memory than human beings," says protagonist Oskar in Guenter Grass's acclaimed 1959 novel, later an academy award winning film, the Tin Drum.
9:16 AM, Sep 18, 2014 • By THOMAS DONNELLY
In the late 17th century, times were tough in Scotland. The Stuarts, the Scots’ royal family, had been tossed off the throne of England for a second time, and the country had been excluded from the burgeoning English system of international trade regulated by the Navigation Acts. Even the climate was more miserable than usual: these were the worst years of northern Europe’s “little ice age.”
6:15 AM, Sep 18, 2014 • By JONATHAN FOREMAN
This week’s referendum on Scottish independence may seem like an obscure, perhaps even Ruritanian quarrel to many Americans, but it has profound implications not just for the U.K. and Europe but also for the United States.
They didn’t let the old game down.Sep 22, 2014, Vol. 20, No. 02 • By C. J. CIARAMELLA
“Good old rugby football. All over the
British Isles its exponents were in the van of those who went.”
Bishop of Bloemfontein
and former British Lion, 1921
2:23 PM, Sep 2, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
With the president attending this week's NATO summit in Wales, and the heightened concerns among the organization’s members – especially the newer ones with experience of hand’s-on Russian domination and rule – it might be profitable for our “allies” to consider some facts reported by Gideon Rachman in the
Before the trenchesSep 8, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 48 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The Great War did not begin in the trenches, in rain, mud, and dark futility. At first, the fighting was out in the open under blue skies and late summer sunshine. There were bugles and drums, and sometimes the troops even sang when they charged. French officers leading these attacks wore white gloves.
On the whole, Europe welcomed the war. One of England’s finest young poets, Rupert Brooke, wrote in gratitude
2:48 PM, Aug 15, 2014 • By JOSH COHEN
It was a threat Europe’s security services had long feared coming true.
2:32 PM, Aug 14, 2014 • By EDWARD ALEXANDER
In a Wall Street Journal op-ed piece of August 6 about “the surge of poisonous anti-Semitism around the world, particularly in Europe,” Andrew Nagorski had the temerity to note that “the president [Obama] has not prominently addressed the subject of rising anti-Semitism in Europe, much less its pervasiveness in the Muslim world.” This is, of course, an understatement.
5:33 PM, Aug 5, 2014 • By ETHAN EPSTEIN
Here, in the parlance of the times, is a “pro-tip.” When attempting to rebut the notion that anti-Semitism in Europe is largely a problem caused by young Muslim men, don’t cite two horrific anti-Semitic atrocities perpetrated by . . . young Muslim men.
11:58 AM, Jul 25, 2014 • By JEFFREY GEDMIN
I've lived in Europe the past dozen years—in Berlin, Prague, and London. When it comes to Israel, Europe's ways seldom cease to amaze.