Why Obama’s use of the term ISIL instead of ISIS is actually really important

ISIL. ISIS. IS. DAISH. You have probably heard each one of those acronyms at least once over the last several months as the media and politicians attempt to determine the best way to refer to the terror group that declared a caliphate spanning Syria and Iraq.

IS simply stands for the Islamic State, while ISIS stands for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. ISIL is the acronym for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, which seems remarkably similar to ISIS. The differentiation between the word ‘Syria’ and the word ‘Levant’ is actually quite significant, however, given the usage of the term by President Obama and his administration.

“ISIS and ISIL. The President is making a big deal out of this is ISIL, right? The Administration wants to call it ISIL,” Glenn said on radio this morning. “Stu, what's the difference between ISIS and ISIL?”

“Interesting fact about the Levant,” Stu responded. “[It] encompasses parts of Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, and a place called Israel.”

Quartz has more on the distinction:

The group’s name in Arabic is al dawla al islamiyye f’il iraq w’al sham. The last word, sham, is the problematic one. It is used, in the phrase bilad al sham, to refer variously to: the contemporary Levant, a somewhat amorphous region sometimes understood to include Iraq, and sometimes not; to the historical region called al sham in classical Arabic but known to the ancient Greeks and other civilizations as “Syria” or a variant thereof, which is roughly contiguous with the Levant; and to a Syrian nationalist dream of a “Greater Syria,” a region of similar extent that includes Iraq. Sham is also a contemporary nickname for Damascus, the Syrian capital; but modern-day Syria is called suriya.

[…]

At Quartz we’ve chosen to render sham as “Levant” over “Syria,” on the grounds that while scholars of Middle Eastern history might recognize “Syria” to have a broader meaning, most of our readers will take it to mean modern-day Syria, i.e., suriya, not sham. And then, if you’re using “Levant,” you might as well as abbreviate it logically—so, ISIL.

“So the president has the most powerful microphone on the planet,” Glenn said. “The slightest thing from the president reverberates… We have been joking ISIS, ISIL, what's the difference. You say tomato; I say tomato. It makes a big difference because of this: ISIL includes Levant, which includes the area we like to call Israel.”

Obama has come under fire for underestimating the threat of this “jayvee team” wreaking havoc across the Middle East and threatening the western way of life, and yet he continuously refers to them as ISIL.

“They changed their name because they started saying, ‘We are bigger than this. We are bigger than Iraq and Syria. We are Iraq, Syria, and Levant,’” Glenn said of the terror group. “I don't know what that means, but, believe me, the President does… What that means is: They have designs that go from Iran through Egypt. There is no Israel.”

“So by the President saying ‘this is ISIL,’ he is sending the message: I know who you are. I know what lands you are planning to take,” he concluded. “The President knows who these guys are. [But] he's not telling you who they are. He's trying to downplay that they are putting together a caliphate from Egypt to Iran. It does not include Israel. Maybe we should have a real frank conversation about what's really going on.”

On Monday's episode of "The Glenn Beck Radio Program," Glenn opened up about the tragic death of his brother-in-law, Vincent Colonna Jr., who passed away unexpectedly on April 5. He also shared some of the important thoughts and insights he's learned through the grieving process.

"Last Monday, I was sitting in this chair ... the two-minute warning comes and Stu said to me, 'You ready for the show?'' ... And that's when my wife [Tania] came to the door of the studio here at our house and said, 'I...' and she held the phone up. And then she collapsed on the floor in tears," Glenn began. "Tania's brother had passed. To say this was a shock, is an understatement."

Glenn described his brother-in-law as having "a servant's spirit."

"He was always the guy who lit up the room. He was always the guy helping others. He would never stop, because he was always helping others," Glenn said of Vincent. "He was on the school board. He was a little league coach. He was the soccer coach. He helped build the church. He took care of the lawn of the church. He was constantly doing things, raising money for charity, working over here, helping to organize this. But he was never the guy in the spotlight. He was just the guy doing it, and you had no idea how much he had done because he never talked about it.

"We also didn't know how much mental anguish he was in because he never talked about it. And last Monday morning, after spending Easter with the family ... he killed himself. This is now the third family member of mine that has gone through this. And I keep seeing it play out over and over and over again, in exactly the same way."

Glenn described his thoughts as he, Tania, and her family struggled to come to grips with the devastating loss.

"I learned some really important things as I was watching this wake. I'm seeing these people from all walks of life ... the people that were there, were there because [Vince] made a difference in their life. He was a true servant. As I'm watching this, all that kept going through my mind was, 'by their fruits, ye shall know them.' The fruits of his labor were on display. He was a servant all the time. All the time ... he found a way to love everybody.

"There are two great commandments: Love God with all your heart and mind and soul. And love your neighbor. So those two great commandments boil down to: Love truth. Because that's what God is," Glenn said.

"Love thy neighbor. That's where joy comes from. The opposite of joy is despair, and that is the complete absence of hope ... and how do you find joy? You find joy by rooting yourself in the truth. Even if that's a truth you don't want to accept. Accept the truth," he added. "But we have to stop saying that there's nothing we can do. What are we going to do? Well, here's the first thing: stop living a lie."

Watch the video clip below to hear more from Glenn:


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After imprisoning a pastor for refusing to follow COVID-19 restrictions, Canadian officials barricaded his church. And when some church members retaliated by tearing down part of the fence, Canadian Mounties arrived in riot gear.

Rebel News Founder Ezra Levant joined Glenn Beck on the radio program to give his insight on the crazy situation. He described the new, armed police presence surrounding GraceLife Church in Edmonton, Alberta, and how it not only encouraged hundreds of protesters to stand with the church in support but forced congregation members underground to worship as well.

What's happening is eerily similar to what occurs everyday in China, Levant says, and it must stop. Who would have thought this type of tyranny would be so close to home?

Watch the video below to hear Ezra describe the religious persecution taking place in Canada.


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Enough prayers? Why is supposed Catholic Joe Biden suggesting that Congress ought to stop praying for after someone commits acts of gun violence?

On Friday, Stu Burguiere and Pat Gray filled in for Glenn and discussed President Joe Biden's remarks during his speech on gun control. "Enough prayers. Time for some action," Biden said. Stu and Pat were surprised how dismissive Biden appeared to be on the idea of prayer.

Watch the clip to hear more. Can't watch? Download the podcast here.

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Just days after Canadian pastor James Coates was released from prison for refusing to bow to COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, several police officers showed up at another church to ensure restrictions were being followed. But Polish pastor Artur Pawlowski of the Cave of Adullam Church in Alberta, Canada, knew his rights, telling the cops not to come back until they had a warrant in hand.

Filling in for Glenn Beck on the radio program this week, Pat Gray and Stu Burguiere played a video of the interaction.

"Please get out. Please get out of this property immediately. Get out!" Pawlowski can be heard yelling at the six officers who entered his church.

"Out! Out! Out! Get out of this property immediately until you come back with a warrant," he continued. "Go out and don't come back. I don't want to talk to you. You Nazis, Gestapo is not allowed here! ... Nazis are not welcome here! Do not come back you Nazi psychopaths. Unbelievable sick, evil people. Intimidating people in a church during the Passover! You Gestapo, Nazi, communist fascists! Don't you dare come back here!"

Watch this clip to see the heated exchange:

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To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.