My morning paper reported the horrific murder of two people by stoning in the city of Mosul in Iraq. Later in the same day in the same city three young men were killed by beheading. The purported reasons are not relevant to this discussion.
As I read the news article, I thought, how many casual news readers would understand that these killings were carried out by a murderous gang of criminal misfits rather than the valid representatives of a government or at least an organization that held the support of citizens?
The reason I raise this question is because the newspaper’s headline for the article was “Islamic State militants stone couple for adultery.”  I worry that the reference to “Islamic State” may confuse some with the use of the word State and for that matter Islamic. I am sure the criminals behind this organization are pleased every time western media reports on their terrible exploits as actions carried out by the “Islamic State”. This practise by western media must only reflect their lack of understanding of what is happening in a distant part of the world.
Many Arabic speaking media organizations do not use this nomenclature but use “Daesh” when reporting on the gang’s crimes. Daesh, is sometime spelled DAIISH or Da’esh, is short for Dawlat al-Islamiyah f’al-Iraq wa al-Sham. Many Arabic-speaking media organizations refer to the group as such and believe it is appropriately pejorative, deriving from a mixture of rough translations from the individual Arabic words, notably the Arabic verb دعس, within the name, which means to tread underfoot or crush. Apparently the leadership and members of Daesh hate the use of this name. They would much prefer their brand to be both Islamic and State like.
Western government officials appear to be trying to not use the name Islamic State when referring to the organization. France has officially changed it practice and has asked French journalists and media organizations to refer to the criminal group as “Daesh cutthroats.” The Canadian government refers to the group as Isil as does the American and UK governments. Perhaps more common than Isil is the name Isis.
However, the western media however seems to be all over the place on this issue. I do not believe they are trying to give this criminal group legitimacy by acquiescing to the gang’s preference to be called Islamic State but they must realize that even the slightest hint of legitimacy, even if unintentional, may offer encouragement to these criminals or perhaps to young people struggling with a decision whether or not to join the gang. If the brand of the organization remains “The Islamic State”, can we expect more young, naïve people to become “freedom fighters” for the Islamic State.
I am reminded of the media reports of the recent murder of three RCMP officers in Moncton New Brunswick, Canada. The media reported that in an interview with police, the murderer of the three officers referred to himself as a “freedom fighter”. I do not remember any media headlines including a description of the murderer as a freedom fighter in later reports. Neither do I not recall one media headline that said, “Moncton freedom fighter kills three RCMP officers,” – not one.
 Toronto Star March 25, 2015
 The Independent March 25, 2015