The Washington Post was criticized Sunday for the headline of its obituary for the self-described Islamic State’s leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, which prompted a series of parody death notices on Twitter.
Baghdadi was labelled an “austere religious scholar” after an edit; the initial headline called Baghdadi the “terrorist-in-chief.” It was later changed to a third version, referring to him as an “extremist leader.”
The “austere religious scholar” description drew widespread outrage for its oddly positive view of the terrorist leader, particularly from some of President Donald Trump’s GOP allies:
The president had announced in a press conference earlier that day that Baghdadi was dead following a successful U.S. military operation in northwestern Syria.
“The headline should never have read that way and we changed it quickly,” Kristine Coratti Kelly, The Washington Post’s vice president of communications, said in a statement to HuffPost.
People on Twitter mocked the “austere religious scholar” line and crafted their own inappropriately positive obituary notices for various real and fictional villains: