Okay, the title should say “unfairly” attacked, and to the Institution for Science and International Security (ISIS) the likeness of its acronym to the most notorious terror group on the planet right now is no laughing matter. “We’re non-profit. We’re an NGO. We live off of visibility, and this really compromises our reputation. Not to mention our work in the national security arena, ” said spokeswoman Serena Vergantini. “We’ve never laughed about it.
Equally unamused is ISIS’ (that is, the Institution for Science and International Security’s) president and UN Arms inspector David Albright. While there is little humor in this situation, of course, at least he notes the irony, however tragic: “The Islamic State, a murderous, anti-feminine terrorist group, has inappropriately used the name of an Egyptian goddess, whose mythology involves bringing life from death.”
Unfortunately, the Egyptian goddess was not the only female who was maligned by the association. The lingerie company Ann Summers was the victim of unfortunate timing in its marketing a bra called (what else?) Isis. The name was of course selected long before the terror group caught the public imagination, and now the company worries the bra might lose widespread support.
For those who have been living in a cave all summer (any ISIS terror leaders hiding out there?), ISIS, in the minds of most people nowadays, stands for only this: the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. The organization has been brutal in its murder of thousands, often those they consider infidels or traitors, through beheadings and other gruesome forms of execution.
If you’ve seen the abbreviation ISIL used interchangeably with ISIS, that is thanks to the efforts of Vergantini and the (okay, I have to write the whole thing out again) The Institution for Science and International Security insisting on the new acronym, which is now used often by U.S. officials and the U.N. She has requested journalists at the New York Times and the The Washington Post change the acronym from ISIS to ISIL in their reporting.
But there is one problem with that. (and perhaps many more we don’t yet know about). A problem just as unamusing as the ones discussed above. Now the International Society of International Liberty, ISIL, a libertarian group that seeks to promote issues of social justice and to privatize water in South America, has been getting hostile tweets from “drunk rednecks” in Florida scream-writing “Muslim Pigs!” according to executive director Jim Elwood.
I suppose it is true that no good deed goes unpunished. And perhaps no bad deed goes unattributed to the wrong people.