“Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, welcome to the world of memes.”
On April 29, a video released by the ISIS showed their organizational leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, a man who has managed to evade public sightings since 2014. This video mentions the recent bomb blasts which left Sri Lanka in a state of despair and devastation.
The last time Al-Baghdadi had appeared in a video was back in 2014, when the Islamic Caliphate State was at the height of its power. However, now, Al-Baghdadi and his organization have been reduced to nothing but a meme in the hands of Sri Lankans.
It is truly amazing what the world of social media can do to you. You would expect Sri Lankans to harbour fear in their hearts for the organization that claimed responsibility for the Easter attacks which tore through their country only a few weeks ago. But instead, Sri Lankans took the road less travelled and found a different way to bring him down. They’ve taken a still from the video in which Al-Baghdadi can be seen sitting cross-legged. The image has then been photoshopped multiple times to show the all-powerful terrorist in various ordinary situations, performing seemingly trivial tasks.
For instance, in one of the memes, he can be seen selling fish. In another, he can be seen partaking in a Sufi event. Take a look at some of them:
It’s rather interesting to see how the memes here don’t exactly classify as “trolling” or “online hate.” On the other hand, it isn’t an attempt to lighten up a rather grim situation either. But as a user wrote on Twitter, “Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, welcome to the world of memes,” where not even one of the most powerful and feared terrorist leaders will be spared.