In recent weeks, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has started referring to the Islamic State terrorist organisation by a name they reportedly despise: “Daesh”.
Australia’s allies in the Middle East have suggested the Western world not use monikers such as ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant), ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) or IS (Islamic State) as they legitimise the group’s aspirations.
“Daesh hates being referred to by this term, and what they don’t like has an instinctive appeal to me,” Abbott said.
“I absolutely refuse to refer to it by the title that it claims for itself (Islamic State), because I think this is a perversion of religion and a travesty of governance.”
Daesh comes from the acronym formed by the Arabic spelling of the terror group’s name — al-Dawla al-Islamiya fi Iraq wa al-Sham.
Joseph Bahout, a visiting scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, told The Huffington Post that the word Daesh in Arabic “sounds like something monstrous” and is a way of “stigmatising” the group.
One theory suggests the group hates the name as it was reportedly first used by supporters of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, the Herald Sun reported.
The terror organisation’s leaders have threatened to “cut out the tongues” of those who refer to them as Daesh or DAIISH, according to international media reports.
The news follows Abbott’s first visit to Baghdad and Iraq to meet with Iraqi prime minister Haider al-Abadi to discuss military collaboration between the two nations.