Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | October 29, 2019

Baghdadi is Dead

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the Iraqi-born leader of ISIS, is dead at 48.

In keeping with a life steeped in violence, Baghdadi did not die alone. As US forces closed in on him in Idlib Province in northwestern Syria, Baghdadi detonated a suicide vest, killing himself and three of his children.

Using women and children as human shields (and suicide bombers) is a tactic commonly used by Islamic terrorists. In the end, Baghdadi hid himself behind his own children and made them the final victims in his long resumé of killing.

Baghdadi earned a reputation as one of the world’s most brutal terrorists. He effectively led ISIS to use acts of brutality to fuel the organization’s propaganda machine. Using social media, he showed the world what terror looks like in graphic, bloody, and unedited detail.

Baghdadi was unquestionably evil and guilty of a host of atrocities and human rights violations. He ordered and documented the beheading of prisoners, crucifixions, rape, and efforts to wipe out the Yazidis to name a few.


Baghdadi was also responsible for the torture, repeated rape, and death of Kayla Mueller. Kayla was a gifted young lady who had devoted her life to helping people in need. She was taken prisoner by ISIS while serving Syrian refugees at a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Aleppo. The US military operation that led to Baghdadi’s death was dedicated to Kayla.

Given Baghdadi’s etched-in-stone reputation as one of the most violent men in the history of the world, I was shocked and puzzled by the Washington Post’s headline after his death: Abu Baker al-Baghdadi, austere religious scholar at helm of Islamic State, dies at 48.

Seriously?

Political partisanship aside, we are all in danger when we fail to recognize evil for what it is and to call it out. The Old Testament prophet Isaiah (5:20) cautioned: “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil; who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.”

Words matter. The Washington Post should know that and, I believe, does know that. Their original headline referred to Baghdadi as the Islamic State’s terrorist-in-chief. They should have kept that headline but instead changed it to refer to Baghdadi as an “austere religious leader.” Yet one more edit in the headline referred to Baghdadi as “extremist leader of Islamic State.”

Baghdadi chose a path that resulted in an untold number of deaths. As an “austere religious leader” his decisions were governed by a religious worldview with an impoverished understanding of the sanctity of human life. Out of respect for those he murdered, like Kayla Mueller, Baghdadi does not deserve the right to be called anything but what he chose to define his life.

In the end, no matter who a person is or what he does, we will all die. And, those who live violently, like Baghdadi, often die in the same manner. Sadly, others will rise to take his place and to devote themselves to acts of death and destruction.

After the death of Bin Laden, I wrote these words:

As a Christ-follower I may be called upon to lay down my life for what I believe but I will never take a life in order to spread what I believe. Bin Laden chose a path that ultimately led to his own destruction. I have chosen a path that will lead to life and to spreading the message of life to others.

The path I have chosen starts at the foot of a cross, a divine plus sign raised on a hill more than two-thousand years ago. The world needs the message of the life-giver who hung on that cross so that fewer will choose paths of death and destruction, like Bin Laden and those he influenced. Bin Laden is dead, a reminder that while the wheels of God’s justice may move slowly, when they come they do grind finely.

And now, Baghdadi is dead. Like Bin Laden, he wrote the script that is now entered into the pages of history — in spite of the Washington Post’s headline.


Responses

  1. My sentiments exactly. Well said Pastor Omar.

  2. Omar,
    Thanks for pointing out evil in this age of political correctness. By ignoring evil we are allowing it to flourish.

    Gerry

  3. Excellent, Omar!!

    • Thanks, Nikki.

      • Omar, am I allowed to post this on my FB page?

      • Yes, indeed, Nikki. Feel free to share on your FB page. Thanks.

  4. Well said Omar! Thanks for putting the Godly perspective on this final chapter in Baghdadi’s reign of terror that is sadly missing from our national media spinners.

  5. Well said Omar!

  6. Brings tears to my eyes as I read of the loss of another faithful like Kayla.

    • Totally heartbreaking, Terry. She was indeed a selfless and remarkable young lady.

  7. Oh I appreciate your dedication to spreading the gospel to all, even in those areas not receptive and dangerous to you. Thank you for your words of wisdom and experience and knowledge. It’s amazing to me that anyone so utterly despicable, who dedicated his life to destruction and the magnitude of horror he created, could be described in any way at all positive. Thank you for calling them out.

  8. Thanks Omar for exposing, once again, the hypocrisy of the liberal, socialist media. They are worst than fake news, they the words, thoughts and views of the very essence of evil. To portray this man in any other way than as you described him is evidence that we have to be living in the last days.

    • Thanks, Gil. Baghdadi certainly defined himself through his actions. He was a brutal murderer. And to do what he did to Kayla Mueller is inexcusable. Out of respect for her and all who suffered under his hand, he deserves to be called nothing less than a murderer.


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