Isis – Goddess not Gunmen – Open Letter to All Media Organizations

It is with great distress that all who revere and worship the Goddess Isis have experienced various news media using the pronunciation of the name of the Goddess “Isis” for the acronym I.S.I.S., the terrorist organization presently attacking in Iraq.

The constant repetition of the name of Isis, who is the 5,000-year-old goddess of Love, Truth, and Beauty, followed by accounts of brutality and bloodshed is deeply disturbing to the tens of thousands of Isis-revering congregants who live in over a hundred countries worldwide. It is particularly offensive as Isis has always been revered as a champion of women’s rights and a defender of women and children against male violence.

Spiritual organizations devoted to Isis and the veneration of the Divine Feminine and have no connection with any terrorist group or thinking.

If this group had a name spelling out a better-known deity from another faith, we are sure that you would not be saying it like this, and in fact, your organization would probably go to great lengths to avoid giving offense in this way. Followers of Isis are merely asking for the same courtesy you would extend to any other faith group in a similar situation.

We would like to point out that acronyms are not usually pronounced as words by news organizations – for example, no news organization calls the USA “Oohsa” or the UK “Ukh” or the CIA “See-uh”.

PLEASE – We ask that all media organizations from this point forward refer to this group by its other accepted name, I.S.I.L., Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, and require that your correspondents and guests do the same.

In fact, since the group does have at least two Westernized acronyms, perhaps for the purpose of journalistic clarity you should refer to it by its original name ad-dawla ʾal-islāmiyya fīl-‘irāq waš-šām or by a shortened version of its original Arabic name, as you do with Al-Qaeda and other similar groups, rather than doing it the courtesy of an automatic translation.

Experts debate the translation as it is, and there are differences in coverage worldwide using one or the other – or confusingly, both at different times – of the acronyms for the group. Using only ISIL would avoid this confusion and better serve your public.

Finally, by changing this small thing, you will help to diminish at least a tiny portion of the emotional pain and distress caused by this organization. We only wish that the devastating damage and deaths they are causing and the millions of lives that are being endangered and disrupted could be as easily remedied.

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