A Sydney-family is calling the public and media to stop referring to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria militant group as ISIS, an acronym synonymous with their eight-year-old daughter’s name.
The Leskiens called their daughter after Isis, the ancient Egyptian goddess of magic and life, the Daily Mail reported.
The name spells and sounds like the acronym used to describe the notorious militant group that has been accused of war crimes, crimes against humanity in addition to displacing thousands in Iraq and Syria.
The concerned parents hope to end the association between the extremist group and their daughter’s name, in effort of barring harm from coming to one of the 'tens of thousands' of women who share the same name.
“It's a beautiful name we spent so long choosing it. [The Egyptian goddess] Isis is a nurturer and someone who cares. People used to say to us: ‘What a beautiful name’,” Isis’ father, Frank Leskien told the Daily Mail Australia.
“This is hurting my little family and we've lost family because they're scared and don't want anything to do with us...it's soul-destroying,” he said, adding that people are distancing themselves from his family out of fear.
“I have been calling her Isis for eight years, if not longer, because I was calling her Isis while she was in the womb…do we have to wait until something that happens to one of them before [someone listens]?” he said.
The Mail said that the family asserted that their calls had nothing to do with race or religion, but only revolved around the safety of their daughter.
“I just want her name to be safe and be what it's meant to be,' the father said.
“All I really want is to go back to my quiet simple life. We’re just simple people,” adding it his duty to “try as hard as I can as a father to protect my daughter.”
Maximus, Isis’ 13-year-old brother, told his father that he was put in a situation where he had to defend his sister’s name at school.
“We go to soccer and I call out ‘Isis’ and people look at me,” he was quoted as saying.
“People are scared to...be associated with us.”
The Leskiens are not alone in their plight, as a U.S. woman recently started a petition demanding news outlets to stop calling the group ISIS. But the Leskiens are not the only one taking up the fight to reclaim the name, Isis.
“You can help save the name of #ThousandsofWomenNamedIsis and save us from the backlash of being associated with this horrific terrorist group of monsters,' Isis Martinez, who started the petition, wrote.
“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,” she said.