CALLS have been made for Oxfordshire businesses to reclaim the word ‘Isis’ from the jihadist terrorist group in the Middle East.

The name has been used for years to describe the part of the River Thames which runs through Oxford, north of Iffley Lock, and is believed to come from the Latin name, Tamesis.

But intense media coverage of atrocities committed by the jihadists – formally known as Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), now Islamic State (IS) – has prompted a complaint to five national newspapers.

Summertown estate agent Rowan Waller, whose business is called Isis Estate Agents, said the media should stop using ‘ISIS’ to describe the jihadist group because it could affect local businesses in Oxfordshire, a number of whom use the word as part of their name.

Mr Waller wrote to The Independent, The Guardian, The Observer, The Daily Mail and The Times on Tuesday and said they should call the group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

Yesterday he told the Oxford Mail: “I don’t at all want to belittle the suffering being caused by IS in the Middle East, or the threat they pose here. But I want to remind Oxford that the Isis is ours and should only be something that resonates very positively on a local level.”

Oxfordshire Town Chambers Network director Keith Slater said: “Strong Oxford ‘Isis’ brands will override the high amount of coverage of the Islamic State.

“But if such a brutal group does become associated with the ‘Isis’ name in the long term, I think some firms would ask if they should consider changing their names.”

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