ISIS: STATE OF TERROR
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Monday, November 21, 2016
What's in a Name, ReduxLongtime readers may recall my take on calling the Islamic State by the name it chose for itself, with many otherwise serious people insisting that calling it ISIS, ISIL, or Daesh was a key part of our war of ideas.
As I wrote in 2014:
Extremist groups always adopt a name that reflects their greater ambitions, and as a rule, we refer to them by the names they choose. Do we legitimize the concept of a white-only state when we refer to the Aryan Nations? Do we legitimize Marxist-Leninist philosophy as shiny when we use the name Shining Path? Are we implying that fascism will bring a Golden Dawn when we talk about the Greek political party?So here we go again, this time with the term "alt right," a rebranding of white nationalism to make it more palatable to normies. My thinking has not changed. Many argue that calling the alt right by its chosen name is legitimizing, including some who think nothing of using the name Islamic State.
As I noted previously, that's not really the way this works. The solution is not to make people stop using the name, it's to make sure people know what the name and the movement behind it represents.
Or more succinctly: Worry a lot less about what you call it, and worry more about what you can do about it.
Buy the new book ISIS: The State of Terror by Jessica Stern and J.M. Berger.
Buy J.M. Berger's seminal book on American jihadists, Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam
Views expressed on INTELWIRE are those of the author alone.
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"...smart, granular analysis..."ISIS: The State of Terror
"Jessica Stern and J.M. Berger's new book, "ISIS," should be required reading for every politician and policymaker... Their smart, granular analysis is a bracing antidote to both facile dismissals and wild exaggerations... a nuanced and readable account of the ideological and organizational origins of the group." -- Washington Post
More on ISIS: The State of Terror
"...a timely warning..."Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam:
"At a time when some politicians and pundits blur the line between Islam and terrorism, Berger, who knows this subject far better than the demagogues, sharply cautions against vilifying Muslim Americans. ... It is a timely warning from an expert who has not lost his perspective." -- New York Times
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