News & Politics

WaPo Calls Fanatical, Bloodthirsty Terrorist Baghdadi an 'Austere Religious Scholar'

WaPo Calls Fanatical, Bloodthirsty Terrorist Baghdadi an 'Austere Religious Scholar'
(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

The Washington Post published a jaw-dropping obituary for ISIS terrorist leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi that was headlined “Austere religious scholar at helm of Islamic State dies at 48.”

I love this tweet from “Comfortably Smug”:

In the same vein, Allahpundit wrote, “John Wayne Gacy, children’s party clown, dead at 52.”

Britt Hume tweeted: “The Washington Post has become unembarrass-able.” If that seems a little harsh, here are the opening lines of the obit.

When Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi took the reins of the Islamic State of Iraq in 2010, few had heard of the organization or its new leader, an austere religious scholar with wire-frame glasses and no known aptitude for fighting and killing.

But just four years later, Mr. Baghdadi had helped transform his failing movement into one of the most notorious and successful terrorist groups of modern times. Under his guidance it would burst into the public consciousness as the Islamic State, an organization that would seize control of entire cities in Iraq and Syria and become a byword for shocking brutality.

As it turns out, the hed, at least, was altered by an editor. Journalist Yashar Ali said the Post “had it right the first time.”

Following an avalanche of criticism and ridicule, the Post changed it again to “Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, extremist leader of Islamic State, dies at 48.”

Better, but it still doesn’t capture the full flavor of the man’s inhuman brutality. Baghdadi executed men and women, using the most barbaric methods — methods that hadn’t been seen in hundreds of years. He tried to wipe out the Yazidis. He set up slave markets for women and captured females for the exclusive purpose of turning them into sex slaves. He enticed young Western girls to travel to Syria and then married them off to his fighters. Some of the girls had three husbands before they were 15.

Referring to Baghdadi as an “austere religious scholar” is not just a travesty of journalism, it was a betrayal of the public trust.

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