What is ISIL and ISIS? What's the difference and which should I use? There's confusion when we hear the news from the war ravaged Middle East. We keep hearing about ISIL and ISIS. Many including myself, are wondering if these Godless murdering maniacs are different groups or the same.
The simple answer is they are one and the same!
Reputable news organizations refer to them as ISIS. News organizations and publishers continue to use the widely accepted acronym ISIS, which stands for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. For reasons that are not clear President Obama, the U.S. State Department and the United Nations persist in using the term ISIL, which stands for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
The differences between the two is the Levant describes territories beyond Iraq and Syria. The Levant would like to consist of Cyprus, Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and some even suggest parts of Turkey. The ISIS more specifically and more accurately would describe this group within their actual range of influence, being Iraq and Syria.
ISIS is a radical Sunni jihadist group that is a self proclaimed Caliphate claiming religious authority over Muslims worldwide. They have successfully used social media to recruit and build their ranks and horrify the world with their murderous brutality. A machine-like resilient war hardened group that has become more self sufficient than was anticipated. Through their experiences of years of battles and wars they operate in a surprising organized manner. Adept in self funding through kidnapping, extortion and smuggling they've raised most of their funds from within the territory they occupy. It is estimated that only about 5% of their funding comes from outside sources. Their stated goal is to establish a pure Islamic State, but that claim is just ridiculous propaganda when you recall the atrocities they have committed. They are a terrorist organization that becomes more emboldened feeding off fear and are not a legitimate representation of Islam.
To further clarify, using the acronym ISIS is more correct because it reflects the group and its sphere of influence instead of the exaggerated. President Obama and others may persist in using the other, but I suspect that is more politically motivated than anything else and does not reflect the reality of the situation.
The acronym confusion may continue, but more and more news commentators are simply referring to them as the Islamic State and leave the acronym use to headlines and print.