The Toronto Star has decided to use the Arabic word Daesh as an alternative to the Islamic State, a.k.a the Caliphate, IS, ISIS and ISIL.
Daesh (داعش) is the Arabic acronym of the al-Dawla al-Islamiya fi al-Iraq wa al-Sham (the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant), the original name of a group which split off from Qaeda. Later in 2014 its name was changed to the Islamic State or the Caliphate.
The Toronto Star favored the old long name to be used in the news reports of the paper effective of March 3, 2016.
Michael Cooke, Toronto Star’s editor-in-chief, described the Islamic State/ Caliphate/ Daesh as “multinational gang of killers and rapists” who “have no legitimacy as a state” explaining that the “name change helps emphasize that.”
Olivia Ward, Toronto Star’s Foreign Affairs Reporter, elaborated on the new policy: “That’s because the criminal gang that has murdered, raped and pillaged its way across the Middle East, while sending sycophants to slaughter civilians abroad, is neither Islamic nor an internationally recognized state.”
The Star’s position which denies any connection between the Islamic State to Islam goes in line with the official policy of the Liberal government.
John McKay, parliamentary secretary to Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan told CBC’s Power and Politics that Minister Sajjan considers ISIS as “kind of criminal enterprise” requiring, in his words, “significant changes” to how the government will approach a new mission.
“You have to look at what the core issues are, and that this is, in fact, basically a criminal organization with a religious veneer on it”, said McKay.
It is worth noting that since winning the elections the Liberals have issued six statement condemning terrorist attacks carried out by two major global Islamic terrorist organizations – ISIS and al-Qaeda – but in all six statements the word “Islamic” is absent, and neither the Islamic motivation behind the attacks nor the name of the terrorist organizations which claimed responsibility for the attacks is mentioned.
On November 13, 2015, Sajjan also told the CBC that Canadians have no reason to fear ISIS and suggested that before ISIS ballooned into a global monstrosity, Western powers could have dealt with it “diplomatically”. However, according to CSIS and RCMP, more than 140 Canadians were involved in terrorist activities abroad and 80 have returned to Canada. Each one comprises a potential threat to the country’s national security.
Bonnie Crombie (Liberal), the Mayor of Mississauga, Ontario the sixth biggest city in Canada, espouses the same position.
Attending a vigil service at the City of Mississauga’s Celebration Square commemorating the victims of the terrorist attack in Paris on November 15, Mayor Crombie, a prominent member of the Liberal Party, said among other things the following:
“The heinous acts of terror that have been perpetrated against our fellow human beings in these countries are beyond comprehension because those who committed these vile crimes – who so thoughtlessly and cavalierly took the lives of so many innocent people – are not human.
“They have lost their humanity. Their actions are pure evil… To try to understand their motives is futile because their motives are pure and unmitigated evil. These criminals are not motivated by any recognizable religion, but by a perverse view of the world. This is not religion. This is hate. We must recognize this in order to retain our own humanity.”
ISIS’ claim of responsibility of Paris attacks emphasizes its Islamic motivation
“In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Most Beneficent
“Allah (ta’ala) said, They thought that their fortresses would protect them from Allah but Allah came upon them from where they had not expected, and He cast terror into their hearts so they destroyed their houses by their own hands and the hands of the believers. So take warning, O people of vision [Al-Hashr:2].
“In a blessed battle whose causes of success were enabled by Allah, a group of believers from the soldiers of the Caliphate (may Allah strengthen and support it) set out targeting the capital of prostitution and vice, the lead carrier of the cross in Europe — Paris. This group of believers were youth who divorced the worldly life and advanced towards their enemy hoping to be killed for Allah’s sake, doing so in support of His religion, His Prophet (blessing and peace be upon him), and His allies. They did so in spite of His enemies. Thus, they were truthful with Allah — we consider them so — and Allah granted victory upon their hands and cast terror into the hearts of the crusaders in their very own homeland.
“And so eight brothers equipped with explosive belts and assault rifles attacked precisely chosen targets in the center of the capital of France. These targets included the Stade de France stadium during a soccer match — between the teams of Germany and France, both of which are crusader nations — attended by the imbecile of France (Francois Hollande). The targets included the Bataclan theatre for exhibitions, where hundreds of pagans gathered for a concert of prostitution and vice. There were also simultaneous attacks on other targets in the tenth, eleventh, and eighteenth districts, and elsewhere. Paris was thereby shaken beneath the crusaders’ feet, who were constricted by its streets. The result of the attacks was the deaths of no less than two hundred crusaders and the wounding of even more. All praise, grace, and favor belong to Allah.
“Allah blessed our brothers and granted them what they desired. They detonated their explosive belts in the masses of the disbelievers after finishing all their ammunition. We ask Allah to accept them amongst the martyrs and to allow us to follow them.
“Let France and all nations following its path know that they will continue to be at the top of the target list for the Islamic State and that the scent of death will not leave their nostrils as long as they partake in the crusader campaign, as long as they dare to curse our Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him), and as long as they boast about their war against Islam in France and their strikes against Muslims in the lands of the Caliphate with their jets, which were of no avail to them in the filthy streets and alleys of Paris. Indeed, this is just the beginning. It is also a warning for any who wish to take heed.
“Allah is the greatest.