Story Archive

A Daesh of Intolerance

Amanda Fernandes of Winnipeg, Man., Canada, and Heather Taylor of Illawarra, NSW, Australia, have both seen first-hand how a name’s meaning can change over time. Their daughters, both named Isis after the Egyptian goddess, have been unable to get custom items with their names, since people confuse the name with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. Isis Fernandes was in an obstacle course at the University of Winnipeg. At the end, a soldier was signing congratulatory certificates for each child. “He said, ‘I’m not writing your name down. I don’t think this is your real name. That’s not your real name. This is not funny’,” Isis remembers. “He got all mad and stuff.” The soldier later apologized, saying he didn’t intend to hurt her feelings. Isis Taylor’s aunt, meanwhile, tried to buy customized jars of Nutella at a Myer department store, but the manager refused, quoting the protocol of Nutella’s parent company, Ferrero Australia. “I’m really quite upset by this,” Taylor told Ferrero chief executive Craig Barker. “You are actually making my daughter’s name dirty. You are choosing to refuse my daughter’s name in case the public refers to it negatively.” Taylor is also upset at a Woman’s Day article listing 12 baby names that should be criminalized. Number one on the list is “Isis”. In the number two position: “Nutella”. (MS/CTV News, Sydney Morning Herald) ...If you think it’s hard for these girls, think of what young Albert Qaeda’s parents must be going through.
Original Publication Date: 13 December 2015
This story is in True’s book collections, in Volume 22.

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