'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.
The Middle East in chaos Oct 13, 2014, Vol. 20, No. 05 • By REUEL MARC GERECHT
The great medieval historian Ibn Khaldun centered his understanding of history on asabiyya, which is perhaps best translated as esprit de corps mixed with the will to power. In his masterpiece, the Muqaddima, or Prolegomena, the Arab historian saw as the primary locus of asabiyya the tribe—a smaller unit than the ethnic group, and the most powerful military unit in Islamic history until the Mameluks perfected the use of slave soldiers.
7:15 AM, Sep 16, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday that to counter the ideology of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and its claim of a "religious foundation" for its actions, part of the strategy of the international coalition he is attempting to assemble must be to "begin to put real Islam out there." Kerry, in Paris for talks with various world leaders to build that coalition, further said that all of the Arab leaders he had spoken with earlier concurred about their focus on
Rotherham and the failure of multiculturalismSep 15, 2014, Vol. 20, No. 01 • By REUEL MARC GERECHT
The massive sexual abuse case in Rotherham, England, has revealed again how awkward and self-defeating the Western response often is to matters that touch on religious identity. Although the independent inquiry led by Professor Alexis Jay is tersely graphic about the 1,400-plus girls, some as young as 11 years old, who were sexually assaulted over several years by organized gangs of mostly Pakistani men, it isn’t detailed about the male predators.
6:01 PM, May 12, 2014 • By JAY BERGMAN
Support for the decision of Brandeis University not to award Ayaan Hirsi Ali an honorary degree, after previously announcing it would do so, has coalesced around the notion that while Islamic radicalism can be criticized, even condemned, one cannot criticize Islam itself. By condemning both, and by implying strongly that Radical Islam and Islam are indistinguishable, Ms. Ali—so the argument goes—not only does not deserve an honorary degree; she is, in fact, a bigot.
7:28 AM, May 5, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
During a talk to the U.S. embassy staff in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia at the first stop on his trip to Africa, Secretary of State John Kerry remarked about what he called the "different cross-currents of modernity" and the challenges they present on the African continent.
1:03 PM, Apr 29, 2014 • By STEPHEN SCHWARTZ
April 17, 2014, has come to be known among Iranian dissidents as “Black Thursday.” On that day, at least 100 Iranian riot police, members of the Revolutionary Guard Corps, soldiers, and officers of the Ministry of Intelligence and National Security joined prison guards in raiding Ward 350 of Tehran’s infamous Evin House of Detention. Numerous political prisoners and heterodox Muslims from the Gonabadi-Nimatullahi Sufi order are held at Evin.
10:32 AM, Jun 20, 2013 • By STEPHEN SCHWARTZ
On Monday, June 10, former British prime minister Tony Blair released a thoughtful memorandum that was quickly reproduced on websites around the world. Titled “The Trouble Within Islam,” Blair’s reflections were stimulated by the resurgence of Islamist terror in Britain, where a serviceman, Lee Rigby, was brutally murdered on May 22 by two jihadists. Blair’s remarks also seemed to reflect the shock of the Boston bombing of April 15.
So much for the surveillance state.May 6, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 32 • By STEPHEN F. HAYES
As the country awoke to the news of a massive manhunt for the Boston Marathon bombers in the early morning hours of Friday, April 19, reporters began pressing sources at the FBI and the Justice Department for information on the two attackers, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. The response, at least to some reporters: We don’t know anything about them.
"Yes We Can: A Bullet A Day Keeps The Infidel Away."10:26 AM, Mar 1, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
The latest edition of the al Qaeda English-language magazine Inspire is out today. A digital copy of the magazine, provided by MEMRI (the Washington D.C. based Middle East Media Research Institute), shows a "Wanted: Dead or Alive" feature on page 10 of the new issue:
10:43 AM, Jan 3, 2013 • By STEPHEN SCHWARTZ
The small republic of Kosovo, with a population of less than two million—90 percent ethnic Albanians, of whom 80 percent are Muslim—is the Balkan zone offering the greatest resistance to radical Islam. Some vignettes from recent interviews may impart the flavor of the debate over Islamism in the country:
A few suggestions, in a spirit of bipartisanship.Nov 19, 2012, Vol. 18, No. 10 • By MAX BOOT