A user asked a question under , I know the only question under is [on hold] but I think we should still merge and so that future users will be directed accordingly to the corresponding parent tag.

Would [isil] and [daesh] (already mentioned @Brythan's answer before) also be a suitable synonym, too?

I'm thinking about any new questions as the Islamic State is a common topic on Politics.SE and it would be nice to organise it now before we end up with too many separate questions and have to re-tag them later?

1 Answer 1


IS stands for Islamic State, ISIS = "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria", ISIL = "Islamic State of Iraq and Levant".
Daesh is an acronym for the Arabic phrase al-Dawla al-Islamiya al-Iraq al-Sham (Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham).

These are definitely synonyms, so they deserve a merge.

However, it is not that clear about what tag should be primary, simply because there is some kind of controversy about the term itself:

  • Israeli politicians oppose calling Islamic State as "ISIL" because Levant is a historic landmark where Israel is located at;
  • Some argue that: (markup mine)

    Frankly, this evil death cult is neither a true representation of Islam, nor is it a state — UK Prime Minister David Cameron told Parliament in December 2015 when announcing that his government would be joining France in calling the group "Daesh" rather than "Isil". (BBC);

  • Also, The root of the Isil-Isis inconsistency lies in the Arabic word "al-Sham". Al-Sham can be used to refer to "the Levant", "Greater Syria", "Syria" or even "Damascus". (source same as above)

My personal opinion is that Politics.SE should follow the official point of major governments and/or the UN, even if this would cause controversy among the users; such controversy seems to be inevitable.

  • 6
    Since more are tagged [islamic-state] I would say that needs to be the primary, in a . [isis] will still appear to people who type it in, but will be changed to the former. I say we keep the more popular tag at this point, especially since a similar discussion has already played out
    – Machavity
    Jun 26, 2017 at 19:52
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    To be pedantic, al-Sham shouldn't be translated, per-se. It's a place name, which are generally imported whole from one language to another. It'd be more accurate to say "Al-Sham can be used to refer to ..." | All that said, I agree with this answer.
    – Bobson
    Jul 4, 2017 at 3:06

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