NEW DELHI: The Islamic State (IS), who the world cannot decide to refer to as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), or the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), is reportedly upset with the French government, which has decided to add yet another name to the list.

According to a statement by the French Foreign Ministry, the word used to refer to the group will henceforth be “Daesh.” The term Daesh is formed using arabic letters D?l, ?Alif,?Ayn and Š?n (Shin), which form the acronym of the group’s former official Arabic name, “al-Dawla al-Islamiya fi Iraq wa ash-Sham.”

The term is not a French invention, being used widely in Syria and Iraq by the group’s detractors as it is similar to Arabic word, Das, which means to trample. The group considers the term derogatory and has reportedly used flogging as punishment for those known or suspected to use the term in areas it controls.

France’s Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius explained his government’s decision regarding the change in name as stemming from the fact that IS represents "a terrorist group, not a state." “I do not recommend using the term Islamic State because it blurs the lines between Islam, Muslims and Islamists. The Arabs call it ‘Daesh,’ and I will be calling them the ‘Daesh cutthroats,'" Fabius said, as quoted by France 24.

The French government is joined by US Secretary of State John Kerry in being critical of referring to the group as “Islamic” or a “State.” “I call them the 'enemy of Islam' because that's what I think they are, and they certainly don't represent a state even though they try to claim to," Kerry said at a hearing last week.

Meanwhile, a group of British muslims echoed the same sentiment in a letter to Prime Minister David Cameron. “We propose that 'Un-Islamic State' (UIS) could be an accurate and fair alternative name to describe this group and its agenda - and we will begin to call it that," the letter, which has been signed by prominent figures such as Sughra Ahmed, the president of the Islamic Society of Britain, members of New Horizons in British Islam, the Association of British Muslims and the Association of Muslim Lawyers, says.

Despite the fact that the Islamic State is most certainly neither an accurate representation of Islam, nor a State, large sections of the international community have chosen to refer to the group by this name following the group’s change of name to “al-Dawlah l-?Isl?miyyah” from “al-Dawla al-Islamiya fi Iraq wa ash-Sham.”

The change of name coincided with the establishment of a caliphate comprising of all of the group’s captured territory, and the declaration of its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, as "the caliph" and the "leader for Muslims everywhere.” The change in name purportedly marked a change in the group’s ambitions, which came to represent a wider territory than the term “al-Sham,” used to refer to Levant or the region of Syria, could do justice to.

To add to the confusion, the group only adopted the name “al-Dawla al-Islamiya fi Iraq wa ash-Sham” in 2013, and changed it to “ad-Dawlah l-?Isl?miyyah” earlier this year, having captured large swathes of territory in Iraq. Known by a number of names through its history, the group came into existence in early 2004 as the Jam??at al-Taw??d wa-al-Jih?d, or "The Organization of Monotheism and Jihad" (JTJ). The founding ideology of the group was based on resistance to American intervention in Iraq, with foreign fighters allegedly playing a key role in the establishment of its network. At this point, the group was led by the late Abu Musab al Zarqawi.

The group soon after swore allegiance to Osama Bin Laden, and changed its name to Tan??m Q??idat al-Jih?d f? Bil?d al-R?fidayn, or "The Organization of Jihad's Base in the Country of the Two Rivers.” At this point, the group came to commonly be known as “Al Qaeda In Iraq” although it never formally went by that name.

In 2006, the group merged with a number of other militant groups, to form the "Mujahideen Shura Council," which later that year, following the death of Zarqawi at the hands of US forces, organised itself into the “Islamic State of Iraq” (ISI) or the Dawlat al-?Iraq al-Isl?m?yah. It was in this year that the group made some key advances, securing the Dora neighbourhood in southern Baghdad.

In 2007, it is estimated that the group killed over 2000 civilians, targeting Shias specifically in its onslaught. In June 2006, ISI killed 13 people at a meeting of Al Anbar tribal leaders in Baghdad, saying that the attack was in response to the rape of a Sunni woman by Iraqi police.

In 2009, the group claimed responsibility for the October Baghdad bombings, in which 155 people were killed, and the December Baghdad bombings, wherein 127 people died. The group followed these attacks with a January 2010 bombing that killed 41 people, an April 2010 bombing that killed 42 people, an August 2010 Baghdad bombing, and a December 2010 Church attack. It continued bombings in 2011 and 2012, during which time it began making inroads into Syria. In June 2013, the group attacked prisons at Abu Ghraib and Taji in Iraq, freeing several hundred prisoners.

In Syria the group began consolidating itself in the city and province of Raqqa, expanding into northwest areas of the country. In September 2013, the group overran the Syrian town of Azzaz, with the Syrian Observatory of Human Rights labelling the group as the “strongest group in Northern Syria” by November 2013.

As the group expanded from Iraq into Syria, it renamed itself the "Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant", or the "Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham” in 2013, under the supervision of its current leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who took over in 2011. The name change was based on Baghdadi’s intent to merge ISI with the Syria-based Nusra Front. Nusra Front and Al Qaeda leaders immediately rejected the merger.

When the group captured Mosul in June this year, the international community was taken by surprise at the strength of a relatively unknown Iraqi group. Whilst the world is debating on what to call the group, the militants who refer to themselves as the Islamic State continue their advancement in Iraq and Syria, and, if a name is anything to go by, set their sight on a wider region.