Wednesday, 1 July 2015

SNP MPs Back Cross-Party Campaign to Name Terror Group "Daesh"

At a photo-call on the steps of Westminster Hall today, SNP MPs will join MPs from across the parties at an event to urge the UK Government to refer to the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) as Daesh.

A letter to the Prime Minister urging this change has been organised by Rehman Chishti MP, and signed by some 125 MPs - including the SNP's Angus Robertson, Alex Salmond and Tasmina Ahmed Sheikh; Zac Goldsmith and Boris Johnston from the Conservatives; Labour's Keith Vaz, and the Green MP Caroline Lucas. A similar letter has also been sent BBC Director General Tony Hall.

Tasmina Ahmed Sheikh speaking in advance of the event, said:

"This letter - backed by some 125 MPs from across the parties - urges the Prime Minister to make it UK Government policy to refer to the so called Islamic State as 'Daesh'. The governments of Turkey, France and Australia have already adopted Daesh to describe this despicable terror group, and we believe that the UK Government and indeed BBC should now follow suit.

"The use of terminology such as Islamic State, ISIL and ISIS risks taking away from the fact that this is a murderous terrorist organisation, and nothing more. This group is not a recognised state, is categorically not Islamic, and has no support from our Muslim community, who all believe that actions like last week's senseless shootings in Tunisia are an outrage.

"After the Prime Minister's Statement to the House of Commons on Monday, I was encouraged to hear MPs from across the Chamber refer to 'Daesh' when asking questions on the awful tragedy in Tunisia

"Renaming them Daesh will not solve anything overnight, but it will be a step in the right direction.

"This action would complement a range of other measures we need to take to combat extremism. We must prioritise the use of international aid to fund education projects and work to combat poverty - and continue to fund projects at home which tackle radicalisation by supporting families and communities to help our younger people to make positive choices about their future. In particular we need to work with women to empower them in tacking extremism at its root."

"Daesh" is an Arabic acronym and refers to "one who sows discord".
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