Iyad El-Baghdadi: Muslim Activist Sums Up What People Forget About ISIS After Turkey Terror Attack

Author and Muslim activist Iyad El-Baghdadi managed to perfectly sum up what so many people miss about ISIS in the aftermath of the terror attack at Istanbul’s Ataturk airport in Turkey, according to A Plus.

On Tuesday, three terrorists opened fire at the airport, and then detonated suicide vests after engaging in a violent shootout with local police forces. Latest reports show 41 people killed, and more than 230 injured. The Turkish prime minister has been reluctant to publicly link the terror attack to ISIS, and, so far, no organization has come forth to publicly take responsibility for the terror attack.

People in the United States and abroad in other countries besides Turkey, however, have quickly pinned the attack on ISIS — which very well may be true. Perhaps even likely. However, many have linked the terror attack not just to ISIS, but because those people who make up ISIS are Islamic extremists who claim to be committing these horrific acts of violence and terrorism in the name of Islam, people tend to link these attacks to Islam itself.

But in a series of tweets, El-Baghdadi pointed out the problem inherent with linking ISIS attacks to Islam, which is a massive, diverse, and global religious community.

ISIS, El-Baghdadi wrote, attacks a Muslim community during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, and most of the victims of that attack were themselves Muslim. Yet what makes this problem even worse is that people insist on actually helping ISIS by “aiding its narrative” that the terrorist organization is actually somehow representative of Islam itself.

El-Baghdadi’s objection to the idea that ISIS is representative of Islam itself is similar to former Parks and Recreation star Aziz Ansari’s take on the same concept.

“The overwhelming number of Muslim Americans,” Ansari wrote, “have as much in common with that monster in Orlando as any white person has with any of the white terrorists who shoot up movie theaters or schools or abortion clinics.”

El-Baghdadi wants people to understand, though, that the first and biggest target of ISIS are other Muslims.

“ISIS kills Muslims. It crushes Muslim lives. It wants to dominate Muslims. We are the first and biggest victims of ISIS, always.”

On Sunday, ISIS made a devastating attack in Baghdad, detonating an explosion in a crowded commercial area in the Iraqi capital. The explosion occurred at a time when the streets were full of people, coming out after sunset at the close of Ramadan, in a predominately Muslim Shia neighborhood. As of Monday, the death toll has risen to over 200, as bodies of more victims are pulled from the rubble.

ISIS has taken responsibility for the attack.

El-Baghdadi believes that when people equate ISIS with Islam, not only is harm being done to the millions of Muslims who want peace, but doing so also aids the cause of ISIS.

“You give extremists an automatic and big win when you accept their claim that they represent tradition and that the tradition equals Islam.”

Iyad El-Baghdadi is a human rights activist who is, ironically, often mistaken for the leader of ISIS Al-Baghdadi. El-Baghdadi lived in the United Arab Emirates after he was expelled from the UAE for commenting on the Arab spring. His series of tweets commenting upon the oft-repeated and dangerous belief of linking ISIS to actual Islam was met by cheers from many Turkish residents, with the Turkish Press Office calling it the “most meaningful statement.”

[Photo by Emrah Gurel/AP Images]