Middle Eastern terrorist group Islamic State has hailed the decision of student-run magazine ISIS not to change its name. Last term, Oxford magazine ISIS ruled out any suggestion that it would change its name in light of its unfortunate shared title.

Praising the magazine, established in 1892, a spokesperson for the Islamic State told Cherwell, “We thank the magazine for holding steadfast despite the unwarranted pressure to change its name. This decision will clearly do much to raise the profile of Islamic State. After all, ISIS represents the caliphate’s longest-running independent namesake.”

The Islamic State spokesperson, dubbed ‘Journo John’, thought to be acting as the group’s press officer and image consultant, continued, “This development firmly establishes the axis of IS influence – from Mosul, to Tripolitania, to Chibok and St Aldates.”

In the same statement, the Islamic State expressed its support and admiration for the reserve Oxford Blue boat Isis, which swept to victory against Cambridge in last month’s Boat Race, and also ruled out any suggestion of a name change last term.

Journo John continued, “The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant feels that it shares many values with Isis, not least perseverance, endurance, and a pervasive inferiority complex. With a look of exultation, he added, “Clearly sharing a name with a crew that many thousands of British students look up to as second-best will do much to further our campaign for radicalisation of the youth in Western Europe. Besides, I’ve always considered myself something of a Dark Blue.”

Meanwhile, Syrian President Assad has pledged a “merciless onslaught” against the magazine and rowing crew. In a statement released yesterday evening, the Syrian government denounced Oxonians for “furthering the cause of Islamic extremism through the flagrant inflexibility Syria has come to expect from Oxford societies”.

Kurdish forces fighting IS were more laid back in their approach despite the magazine’s decision. “Personally, I am a light blue,” General Barzani told Cherwell from the front line. He continued, “But I don’t hold it against the Isis crew. They won the race fair and square. The river did indeed flow Dark Blue.”

ISIS editorial staff and Oxford University Boat Club declined to comment on the issue.