A family in Sydney, Australia, is pleading for the public and media to stop referring to the extremist Islamic militant group as ISIS because it’s synonymous with their daughter’s name.
Now the name is connected with the terror group Islamic State, who has made headlines recently for the beheadings of journalists and a humanitarian aid worker.
“Every day there’s some sort of reference in the media or brought up in conversation about fighting ISIS, about how ISIS is evil, and I’m worried that she’s going to be targeted,” Isis’s mom tells news.com.au.
“It’s ruining our family and it’s ruining Isis’s future. I’m heartbroken for all the families being affected (by Islamic State), the journalists, the different people who are suffering, but my family is suffering too,” she added.
As a result, friends have distanced themselves from the family who live in Bexley, saying they’re afraid to be associated with them.
Isis’ brother, Maximus, 13, has experienced bullying at school because of her sister’s name.
“Some people say we should change her name, but that's just ridiculous,” Leskien says.
“She’s eight years old, she’ll hardly be told what to do at all. What people need to do is stop using this beautiful name for this evil group.”
The Leskians are not alone in their suffering.
The Sydney mother was the 56th person to sign an online petition started by Isis Martinez, of Florida, calling on the media to stop using the acronym ISIS for the group.
“You can help save the name of #ThousandsofWomenNamedIsis and save us from the backlash of being associated with this horrific terrorist group of monsters,” Martinez wrote in a post on the “Thousands of Women and Girls Named Isis, Petition Media to Stop Calling the Terrorists by Our Name” petition, according to the Daily Mail.
“Little girls, especially in the United States, named Isis have reported bullying while women with the name are facing negative associations through their employment and in public places like airports, airplanes even at times being called terrorists themselves,” the petition adds.
“These shameful excuses for human beings should not have been assigned an English acronym with the name of thousands of women and children but there's still time to change the course of this path and more accurate names available.”
The care2 petition has almost reached its goal of 33,000 signatures.