The rise of the Islamic State group has become a huge concern for international security — and hugely annoying for people named "Isis." As the extremist organization based in Syria and Iraq often referred to as ISIS has grown in strength in recent years, Isises around the world have encountered snide comments, the Chicago Tribune reported Saturday. Some have opted to use their middle names while others have decided to fight stigmatization.
"I like my name. I don't see myself as an Ashley or a Brittany," Chicago State University student Isis Martin told the Tribune. "I wouldn't hurt a fly on the wall."
A search on HowManyOfMe.com, which uses Census data to back its results, shows there are more than 3,200 people in the United States with the first name Isis. Most of them are female.
The name is linked to the ancient Egyptian goddess Isis, the mythical magical wife to underworld god Osiris. That's one of the main themes more than 60,000 people have argued in the comments of an online petition begging the media to call ISIS "ISIL" or "Daesh," the latter of which is seen as a derogatory term.
"I named my daughter Isis because it’s strong and meaningful,” the New York Times reported Shani Allman of Florida wrote on the page. “To have it degraded and have her jeopardized by the media’s insensitivity is completely disturbing.”
Several Isis stories have made the news in the past year. An Isis condominium in Florida changed its name. An engineer named Isis Anchalee had her Facebook deactivated. Nutella declined to customize a jar for a young Isis.
The Isis issue was back in headlines this month when 14-year-old Isis Brown of Oklahoma made a viral video defending herself. The middle schooler transferred schools because of it, Washington Post reported.
"I had people come up to me [and say] ‘Why are you killing us Americans?’ I’m an American, too,” Brown said in the video. She went on to offer advice to all other Isises watching: “Love your name. Cherish your name. ... You’re named after a goddess. You’re not named after the terrorist group.”