Explainer: What is Daesh? What's in a name?

An image grab taken from a video uploaded on social networks on August 28, 2014, shows young men in underwear being marched barefoot along a desert road before being allegedly executed on August 27, 2014 by Islamic State (IS) militants at an undisclosed location in Syria's Raqa Province. (AAP)

Ever since the self-proclaimed Islamic State began taking large parts of northern Iraq and Syria, Muslim organisations all over the world have been calling on governments and media organisations to stop using the word Islamic when referring to the militants.

In September, the French government began calling the group Daesh which is the Arabic name for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), also known as ISIS or the Islamic Sate group.

The French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius asked the media to do the same:

"This is a terrorist group and not a state. I do not recommend using the term Islamic State because it blurs the lines between Islam, Muslims and Islamists. The Arabs call it Daesh and I will be calling them the 'Daesh cut throats.' "

The Australian, the United Kingdom and the United States governments tend to refer to the group as IS or ISIL but the US Secretary of State, John Kerry has started using the term Daesh too.

At a summit in Brussels of the US led coalition of nations fighting the Islamic State militants, Mr Kerry used the Arabic acronym when explaining that around 1000 air strikes in Iraq and Syria has inflicted serious damage on the group.

"We have made already significant progress in two and a half months but we also acknowledge there is a lot of more work yet to be done”, he said.

“Daesh is still perpetrating terrible crimes but there was a consensus that the momentum which it had exhibited two and a half months ago has been halted, that it has been forced to modify its tactics and some of those modifications severely hampering their ability to operate in the way that they were certainly”.

The United States and its allies began air strikes in September after the Sunni militants made large territorial advances.

The Iraqi army, Sunni tribal fighters and Kurdish forces have since recovered some ground from the group but Mr Kerry warned the fight against the militants could take years.

Source World News Australia

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