The shock ubiquity of the terror group ISIS with its sudden takeover of swathes of Iraq has caused a bit of a branding problem.
Isis, the ancient Egyptian goddess of nature and magic, has had her name appropriated for many products and places over the years, before the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant/Syria. This author once went to a student club night in a former strip called Isis in Nottingham, where double vodka and Red Bull was £1.50. It has subsequently closed down, which would no doubt please its namesakes.
Isis is also “a world-leading centre for research in the physical and life sciences at the STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory near Oxford”, a private equity company, and a Bob Dylan tribute magazine.
But no-one is more angry than the Pagan Federation.
The Huffington Post UK received this angry letter from the society, asking we stop referring to the group by this acronym.
Dear Sirs,We are writing to you on behalf of our members to express concerns over the use of the acronym ISIS which is currently being used when mentioning the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Greater Syria) militia, and would request that the acronym ISIL, which has established usage elsewhere in the world be used.
The reason for this request is because the acronym ISIS is likely to form an inadvertent association in the minds of hearers between Sunni jihadists and followers of the goddess Isis, with the potential for harm to innocent people from a completely unrelated religion.
The Fellowship of Isis, a worldwide organisation with thousands of members in many countries, and other Pagan followers of the goddess could be caught up in unintended fallout from this ill-advised choice of acronym.
The Pagan Federation says it was was founded in 1971 to “provide information on Paganism and to counter misconceptions about the religion”.