A group of Muslim extremists operating in the Middle East claims to have set up a caliphate called the “Islamic State.”
The vast majority of Muslims around the world have rejected this group of jihadists, pointing out that is is nether Islamic, nor a state.
Muslim clerics have said that members of the group know little or nothing about Islam, and that the group’s barbaric actions run counter to true Islam.
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (Isis)
The original name for the group in Arabic was Al-Dawla Al-Islamiya fi al-Iraq wa al-Sham. The first three words translate to the Islamic State of Iraq while “al-Sham” refers to Syria or an undefined region around Syria.
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil)
The undefined region around Syria is historically referred to as the Levant; it includes Syria, Lebanon, Israel and Palestine, and Jordan. This name shows that the militants want their area of control to go beyond Iraq.
The militant group announced in June that they were dropping the last two letters of their acronym and instead should be referred to as just Islamic State. However, in reaction to this leading Muslims have called for the name to be altered to discourage people from joining it. “It is neither Islamic, nor is it a State. The group has no standing with faithful Muslims, nor among the international community of nations” the letter signed by the Islamic Society of Britain and the Association of Muslim Lawyers, said.
– Source: Helen Lock, Isis vs Isil vs Islamic State: What do they mean – and why does it matter?, The Independent, Sep. 14, 2014