Remember when Rolling Stone magazine glorified Boston Bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev by giving him a cover story? Well, TIME magazine wasn’t far from doing the same thing with its recent announcement of terror boss Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi making its ‘Person of the Year’ short list.
While, German Chancellor Angela Merkel took the top spot as TIME’s ‘Person of the Year’ and rightfully so—an online survey conducted by NBC showed that Baghdadi was the clear winner with 64% of the vote. When TIME’s ‘Person of the Year’ was announced on the Today Show, they noted that Baghdadi was the second contender for the honor.
Just think about the message it would’ve sent to ISIS if we glorified its leader by naming him the ‘Person of the Year’. ISIS has already basked in the knowledge that the United States doesn’t have a comprehensive strategy to defeat and destroy them. ISIS has inspired radicals to carry out deadly terrorist attacks around the globe and have proudly claimed responsibility for the innocent blood spilled as a result of their heinous violence.
“In 2015, al-Baghdadi, 44, transformed the breakaway al-Qaeda group from a battlefield force operating in the chaos of Syria and Iraq into a transnational terrorist franchise killing civilians in more than a dozen countries around the world. Orchestrating deadly attacks against far-flung targets—including sports stadiums, beach resorts and museums—ISIS has killed more than 1,200 civilian victims outside of Iraq and Syria this year while luring a steady stream of recruits to the so-called Islamic State.”
Why should TIME glorify Baghdadi who is infamous for his ability to rally and recruit thousands of fighters to pledge their loyalty to him and the Islamic State? Yes, it is no secret that his evil has been effective and his efforts to spread global jihad have been successful—and as a result thousands of innocent people have died. Is the number one terrorist worldwide someone that we want people all over the world to glorify by honoring him? There are military age men all over the world who are already susceptible to ISIS recruitment, placing Baghdadi on TIME’s short-list only serves as an additional recruitment tool for the terror group. By feeding into the hype of Baghdadi and the Islamic State we only hinder our efforts to eradicate this heinous terror group through giving them a tool to help encourage susceptible recruits.
Baghdadi may be one of the most wanted men in the world, but he definitely has no reason to be on TIME’s short list of people for ‘Person of the Year’ for his role as the ‘new face of terror’.