File this one in the ‘heads I win, tails you lose’ category. According to the Shiite President of Iran, acknowledging the name of a Sunni group as the ‘Islamic State’ is not only not Islamic but anyone who does so is is Islamophobic:
Iranian President Hasan Rouhani accused Western media Thursday of deliberately trying to vilify Islam by identifying Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS/ISIL) terrorists as Muslims.
“I am astonished that these murderous groups call themselves Islamic,” he said in a speech at the U.N. General Assembly devoted largely to terrorism and extremism. “What is more astonishing is that the Western media, in line with them, repeats this false claim, which provokes the hatred of all Muslims.”
Muslims, he added, “see this defamation as a part of an Islamophobic project.”
Westerners calling the Islamic State ‘Islamic’ is “more astonishing” than a murderous Islamic group calling itself Islamic?!
Besides, doesn’t calling the Islamic State “un-Islamic” provoke their hatred?
Of course, this presents a problem for those looking to not offend. If westerns take Rouhani’s advice, they will offend ISIS. If they acknowledge ISIS is what it says it is, they will offend non-ISIS Muslims.
Perhaps a happy medium would be to follow the New York Times’ example and refer to ISIS as “Sunni militants”. The problem there is that Sunni=Islam.
Heads I win, tails you lose.