The Current

ISIS, ISIL, Da'esh: The key to defeating ISIS could be what name we use

ISIS, ISIL, Da'esh, Islamic State. Does it matter what we call this group? It is an ongoing debate among political leaders, journalists, Arab-speaker,non-Arab-speakers and arguably the very people waving those black flags. Today we look at the phonetics of the fight.
Islamic State billboards in Raqqa, eastern Syria, which is controlled by the Islamic State. The billboard (R) reads: "We will win despite the global coalition." (Reuters/Nour Fourat)

For a militant group that's emerged as what is being called the single biggest terror threat against the West, there seems to be a lot of confusion over just what to call it.

U.S. President Barack Obama has used the name "ISIL." His Secretary of State John Kerry, says "Da'esh"... as does British prime minister David Cameron. Our prime minister, Justin Trudeau, says ISIL... but his Minister of Defense Harjit Sajjan calls them ISIS.

Here at CBC the group is styled as ISIS.

And of course different news organizations vary just as politicians do.

There are different rationales behind the different terms, and many argue the name we use has far-reaching consequences.

This segment was produced by The Current's Pacinthe Mattar.