Earlier this week I read that the leader of the Somali people have requested that the press no longer use the name Al-Shabaab to refer to the terror cell, but rather “the people who massacre the people of Somalia.”
I admit, that’s quite the mouthful, and when typed it is one of the clumsiest sentences on the planet, but there is strength in that statement. It does not dehumanize the terrorists, but it does condemn them; it takes the narrative and puts it in the hands of those trying to put down this scourge against humanity.
I try very hard never to refer to the new threat from the middle East as anything but the D’aesch. For one, because I study cosmology and theology and it offends me deeply to my core to have the name Isis connected to this murderous group. But mainly because it apparently offends THEM to be called the D’aesch/D’aash, as the name basically accuses them of being murderous thieves.
Another interesting example of the power of the word is a rise in a phenomenon called Hash Tag Diplomacy; in which international policy change is shaped through the power of consensus on social media. This development is so new that there is not yet enough data to reach a conclusion as to its long term efficacy; however, it does certainly give you an idea of the actual strength of those memes you share on social media.