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The group's declaration of a new caliphate in June 2014 and its adoption of the name "Islamic State" have been criticised and ridiculed by Muslim scholars and rival Islamists both inside and outside the territory it controls.
In a speech in September 2014, United States President Barack Obama said that ISIL is neither "Islamic" (on the basis that no religion condones the killing of innocents) nor is it a "state" (in that no government recognises the group as a state), and other countries generally call the group "ISIL", while much of the Arab world uses the Arabic acronym "Dāʻish" (or "Daesh").
The group proclaimed itself a worldwide caliphate In Syria, the group conducted ground attacks on both government forces and opposition factions and by December 2015 it held a large area in western Iraq and eastern Syria, containing an estimated 2.8 to 8 million people, interpretation of sharia law.
It was better to recruit by calling to arms against corruption and tyranny than against the Antichrist.
France's Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said "This is a terrorist group and not a state. Army Lieutenant General James Terry, head of operations against the group; and Secretary of State John Kerry had all shifted towards use of the term Daesh by December 2014.
I do not recommend using the term Islamic State because it blurs the lines between Islam, Muslims, and Islamists. According to Hayder al Khoei, ISIL's philosophy is represented by the symbolism in the Black Standard variant of the legendary battle flag of Prophet Muhammad that it has adopted: the flag shows the Seal of Muhammad within a white circle, with the phrase above it, "There is no god but Allah".
The Arabs call it 'Daesh' and I will be calling them the 'Daesh cutthroats.'" Retired general John Allen, the U. Such symbolism has been said to point to ISIL's belief that it represents the restoration of the caliphate of early Islam, with all the political, religious and eschatological ramifications that this would imply.
However, other sources trace the group's roots to Wahhabism.
and upon proclaiming a new caliphate on 29 June, the group appointed al-Baghdadi as its caliph.