British Ministers could start calling Isis 'Daesh' to prevent propaganda effect, Michael Fallon says

Fallon said that using 'Daesh' instead of Isis was a choice "worth reflecting on"

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British politicians could soon start referring to Isis using their Arabic name, Daesh, in an effort to limit the propaganda appeal of the terrorist group, says Defence Secretary Michael Fallon

However, they will continue using the term Isil when speaking to British audiences, as this name is more widely known.

The Defence Secretary Michael Fallon made the recommendation, saying the situation was "worth reflecting on" as the battle against the group continues.

Speaking at Defence questions at the House of Commons, Mr Fallon said: "The term Daesh is now regularly used by ministers in our Government and officials in the Middle East and when engaging with many of our coalition partners."

"However, the term Isil is still used when addressing UK audiences as this at the moment is better understood."


He added that he uses the term Daesh exclusively when speaking to politicians of media in the Middle East.

He said that the term Daesh does not "confer the type of legitimacy" that the terms Isis, Isil or IS do - all of which include the word 'state', which some people fear could make the group seem more established, and could lead to their controlled areas being seen as sovereign territories.

The term 'Daesh' is based on an Arabic acronym of their name, and has pejorative meaning in Arabic.

Prime Minister David Cameron waded into the naming dispute at the end of June, saying he wished the BBC would stop calling them 'Islamic State'.

Speaking on the Today programme, he said.

"I wish the BBC would stop calling it 'Islamic State' because it is not an Islamic state,” he told the Today programme.

"What it is is an appalling barbarous regime that is a perversion of the religion of Islam and many Muslims listening to this programme will recoil every time they hear the words.

"So-called' or Isil is better,” he added.

The Independent has used the term 'Isis' since the group first emerged.