People And Businesses Named ‘Isis’ Really Don’t Want To Change Their Names

What irritating problem do a fictional Labrador retriever, a pharmaceutical company, a spiritual bookstore in Denver, my old Honda Accord, and women and girls all over the world have in common? They’re all named Isis. After a terrorist group best known by that name claimed credit for the bombing of a Russian airliner and a shooting spree in the city of Paris, the group’s name has been in the news constantly. This isn’t working out so well for companies and people called Isis.

You might remember one early victim, the Isis Mobile Wallet, which changed its name last year to Softcard to avoid any confusion with the group.

Where it gets confusing is that not everyone refers to the group as ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria)––governments, media outlets, and law enforcement agencies writing for English speakers variously call them ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and Levant, which the White House prefers) Daesh (the group’s acronym in Arabic) or just Islamic State. We’re going to guess that the group, with a strict interpretation of Islam, did not name themselves after a winged Egyptian goddess.

However, some poorly-informed people have decided to harass and vandalize a Denver bookstore named after the goddess. The store’s owner has spent much of this week making the case to the public that it is not a terrorist-owned establishment. A company called Isis Pharmaceuticals has been in business for almost 25 years under that name, but it has become enough of a burden that they’re considering changing it.

When You’re Named Isis for the Goddess, Not the Terror Group [New York Times]