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Florida Woman 'Isis' Would Like Everyone to Use 'ISIL'

'Every word after my name is incredibly negative'
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 15, 2014 2:40 PM CDT
Florida Woman 'Isis' Would Like Everyone to Use 'ISIL'
A woman named Isis Martinez would really prefer that everyone refrain from referring to a certain militant group by her first name.   (AP Photo/Tatan Syuflana)

It used to be that Isis was an Egyptian goddess of the sky, and people would name their daughters for her. These days we have ISIS, and all the atrocities and violence that name now calls to mind. Enter Isis Martinez, 38, who is sick of the pall the latter has cast on the former—and, as the Miami Herald reports, would like the terror organization to be known as ISIL, just as the Obama administration refers to it. "Whenever I was at a public place or a restaurant, there would be TV monitors with tickers at the bottom: 'ISIS warns,' 'ISIS kills,' 'ISIS threat,'" she says. "Every word after my name is incredibly negative."

Martinez claims that ISIL (the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant) is the more correct; that's somewhat up in the air because the group's name is difficult to translate and "everything about the title is somewhat negotiable," a foreign policy expert tells the Herald. But Martinez isn't just idly wringing her hands and hoping the media see things her way; rather, she's started a petition, which currently has more than 3,300 signatures. And she's not alone: "To see it be misused in such a form, it's gut-wrenching, it hurts," the dad of a 3-year-old girl named Isis from Portland, Ore., tells KATU. Meanwhile, to those who suggest Martinez start using her middle name, she's digging in: "I can't rebrand myself. This is my heritage." (More ISIS stories.)

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