Anti-Muslim activist Pamela Geller believes that President Obama and other administration officials use the translation “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant” (ISIL) instead of “Islamic State of Iraq and Syria” (ISIS) to describe the Middle Eastern extremist group because he wants to trick Americans who don’t know what or where the Levant is. After telling conservative talk show host Janet Mefferd yesterday that Obama aided Islamic extremists, Geller alleged that the president is trying to trick the American people by using the translation “ISIL.”
“He says ‘ISIL,’ and why ‘ISIL’ over ‘ISIS’? In my opinion, because it’s to distract, dissemble, deceive and disarm the American people,” Geller said. “The Islamic State of Levant, if anyone looks it up they see Levant and they are like, ‘What’s Levant?’ He knows this.”
The last word in the name “Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham,” has been translated as both “Syria” and “the Levant,” or the eastern Mediterranean. The New York Times notes that “al-Sham takes in not just Syria but also Israel, Jordan, Lebanon and the Palestinian territories, and even a part of southeastern Turkey.”
If Geller’s analysis is correct, she has also been aiding the group, as she has regularly used the terms “ISIL” and “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant” on her blog Atlas Shrugs, where she repeatedly wrote that ISIL, and not ISIS, is the correct name for the group:
The media had amended the name of the Islamic army tearing through Syria and Iraq to ISIS (Islamic State of Syria and Iraq). But the correct name is ISIL (Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant). What is the the Levant? The geographical area they mean to rule. The Levant includes Egypt, Lebanon, Israel, Jordan, Cyprus and parts of Turkey.