Did Omar Offer Condolences to Loved Ones of ‘Austere Scholar’ al-Baghdadi?

A routine review of content labeled satire.

  • Published 30 October 2019


U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar offered her condolences to the friends and family of deceased Islamic State leader and "austere scholar" Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.


Labeled Satire
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On Oct. 28, 2019, the website Genesiustime published an article positing that Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, D-Minnesota, had offered her condolences to the friends and family of Islamic State leader and “austere scholar” Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi after the terrorist leader died during a U.S. military raid:

Omar offers condolences to friends and family of ‘austere scholar’ al-Baghdadi

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the reclusive leader of the world’s most austere religious movement, was killed during a daring nighttime raid by U.S. Special Operations soldiers in northwestern Syria.

US Rep. Ilhan Omar released a statement offering her condolences to the friends and family of the deceased religious leader.

“It is with a heavy heart that I offer my thoughts and prayers to the friends and family of such a remarkable man—the austere religious scholar, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi,” Omar said. “I probably would’ve married him if we were more closely related.”

This item was not a factual recounting of real-life events. The article originated with a website that describes its output as being humorous or satirical in nature, as follows:

We strive to provide the most up-to-date, accurate fake news on the Internet. Our team of journalists, hacks, and starving writers only want one thing: to make you laugh and/or cry.

This fictional article’s inclusion of the phrase “austere scholar” is referencing an errant obituary headline that briefly appeared on WashingtonPost.com after al-Baghdadi’s death. Omar was likely chosen as the target of this piece of satire because she is a Muslim. Omar, however, did not praise al-Baghdadi or offer condolences to his family. 

Here’s what the Minnesota lawmaker actually said after al-Baghdadi’s death:

For background, here is why we sometimes write about satire/humor.

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