Last week in the House of Commons (perhaps it should be The So-Called House of Commons, given the number of former public school boys and millionaires it contains), David Cameron gave the BBC another salvo of Tory distain. His gripe, this time, is the BBC’s use of the term ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria). Or so-called ISIS, as the corporation would have it. It seems that the name given to this particular group of largely illiterate, mass murdering, child raping, torturing, imperialistic maniacs is what really matters to the British government, and addressing this vital point is the centre point of its fight back.
In raising this rather trite point, Cameron is showing us that he is doing something about the fiendish brutes. Presumably this is part of the “full spectrum response” he mentioned after the massacre in Tunisia. “Full spectrum response;” its sounds very menacing when spoken by a US president in an action movie, and is followed by a montage of the all-powerful and, not to mention, huge armed forces in their preparations to bomb the shit out of the bad guys. But when the phrase is followed by an assault on the BBC over what it calls a bunch of homicidal religious fanatics, it seem so far beyond pathetic that pathetic is a mere shimmer on the distant horizon. The only thing he achieved with his ridiculous speech was to add to all of the other parliamentary time wasting.
Cameron’s justification for his attack was that ISIS is neither Islamic nor a state. He prefers the acronym: ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) – I wonder if he has noticed that the Islamic State bit is still there? Both of these terms, though, are as open to interpretation as Islam itself. All religious beliefs are based on a large degree of interpretation by the believer and the contradictions that arise out of this are, and always have been, what fuel the many internecine conflicts that have plagued believers and nonbelievers alike. They are a guaranteed product of the system – just look to the history of any religion and the evidence will present itself. So I’m sorry to have tell you David, but ISIS, ISIL, IS, Daesh, by all means, choose which ever name you wish to call it, but it is, without doubt Islamic. Even if the shadowy former Ba’athist that created ISIS and, from Iraq, control the organization, aren’t necessarily devout, their faithful henchmen are. They are Muslims, Muslims who choose to interpret their religion in the most medieval of fashions: a feat that is made all the easier by the Koran itself, a book that sets forth plenty of helpful (holy) precedents.
There is a long history of unrecognised states, ISIS is just another to add on to it. I absolutely agree that it should not be recognized in any way, shape or form; however, it is an entirely different question for the people who live under ISIL rule. Some deplore it and some praise it. Again is a matter of perspective. And, I would argue as I have on the religious point that it is a state, because the people who form it believe it to be one. Whether other governments or news channels refer to it as such is again, in the some ways, rather trite. I doubt if ISIS care about whether western media and politico’s refer to them as a state or not; and I can guarantee that they are not going to pack up their guns, stop beheading infidels, give up crucifying children and stop throwing gay people from the top of tall buildings simply because a government in the despised West does not grant them official recognition as a sovereign state. I fully appreciate the symbolic point – but I think we’re passed that now.
Having said that, I don’t expect that there will be any genuine response to ISIS from any western country, especially Britain. There simply is not the will to do what needs to be done. But arguing over a name and a status, even if it scores some symbolic brownie points, really does show the depth of this government’s apathy and impotence.
I recently saw one of the Harry Potter movies on television. In it the Minister of Magic, Cornelius Fudge, would only speak of “you know who” in reference to Lord Voldemort, as if the name itself could do harm. All the while Lord Voldemort is out there and well on the way with his latest killing spree. Who’d of thought, on such a serious matter, life would imitate Harry Potter. Surely David Cameron – should stop ‘Fudgeing” it and ask himself: What’s in a So-Called name? Then, if he had any clue of what he is doing, he would realise how utterly pointless his name obsession is and do something worthwhile instead.