ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi committed suicide during a raid by American special forces. But, in typical liberal fashion, The Washington Post decided to downplay his mass murdering ways and cite his supposed credentials as a “religious scholar,” who was forced to turn to terrorism after the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Needless to say, the obituary is a disgrace to one of the nation’s most premier newspapers. 

Based on the obituary, it wouldn’t be surprising to believe that the writer admired this terrorist. In the article, the author writes, “Despite the group’s extremist views and vicious tactics, Mr. Baghdadi maintained a canny pragmatism as a leader, melding a fractious mix of radical Islamist militants and former Iraqi Baathists and army officers into a powerful military force capable of overrunning cities and defeating Iraqi divisions in battle. It was this combination of extremist ideology and practical military experience that enabled the group to seize and hold territory that would form the basis of a declared Islamic caliphate.” 

Since when has the American media been in the business of proclaiming the supposed virtues of a terrorist leader? (Don’t answer that.) 

Especially one that reportedly raped American citizen and humanitarian aid worker Kayla Mueller. Let’s also not forget the terrorist attacks inspired by ISIS that took lives at the Bataclan Theatre in Paris, the Nice, France truck attack on Bastille Day, the San Bernardino mass shooting and the Orlando night club shooting at Pulse

It seems like the loss of at least 63 American and 217 French lives would matter, but apparently extolling the virtues of Baghdadi’s ability as a leader to inspire nearly 150 terror attacks all over the world takes priority.

The obituary also goes out of its way to put the blame for Baghdadi’s actions squarely on the shoulders of the U.S. invasion force. According to the article, Baghdadi was a scholar working on his Ph.D. dissertation and wasn’t interested in fighting until the U.S. coalition forces invaded Iraq in 2003. After the invasion, he signed up for a local militia movement. In 2004, he was arrested in Fallujah and sent to the U.S. run Camp Bucca prison, where he interacted with and became a disciple of al-Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

Throughout the obituary, far more effort is spent explaining his motivation as a terrorist than the mass and often brutal killings his organization committed. To the victims’ families, it probably feels a bit like a punch in the face. 

When ISIS first started making waves, I was working at Samaritan’s Purse, an international NGO. I clearly remember being in the “war room,” where the ministry supports its emergency response operations, watching the news coverage about the elaborate beheading videos produced by the terrorist organization. It was shocking and disturbing.

Later, the ministry offered humanitarian assistance to members of the minority Yazidi community, who were the victims of genocide, in the Kurdistan region of Iraq and helped the thousands of refugees displaced during the coalition’s campaign to recapture Mosul from ISIS. Those refugees have a much different assessment of the now dead terrorist leader. 

Mosul Eye, an independent blog written by a historian in Mosul under ISIS rule, published this in the days after his friend was executed and the coalition forces began their assault, “Who will I lose next? What else will I see? I have seen and lived more than enough. I have seen chopped heads, amputated arms, I have seen people thrown from the top of buildings, thrown over stones. I have seen their souls trying to hold on to their bodies, but their bodies are so torn apart to hold their spirits. I saw those spirits wondering on the allies of this city!”

Unlike The Washington Post, Baghdadi’s death was met mostly with jubilation by the people of Mosul. There was some skepticism, but it had nothing to do with sadness over his death and everything to do with making sure he’s really dead. Most expressed a desire to see the body for themselves to finally feel a sense of peace.

Baghdadi was a terrorist, plain and simple. He died like a coward, killing three of his children in the process. The Washington Post should be ashamed to publish a seemingly glowing review of this vile man’s life. Leave that type of analysis to the academics and historians, not  an obituary published in one of the nation’s most prestigious newspapers.