DOHA: A 21-minute video showing a man purported to be Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi, the reclusive leader of the militant Islamic State, delivering A Friday sermon in a mosque in Mosul went viral on social media all over the Arab world yesterday.
Though the credibility of the video remained suspect, the surprise public appearance of Al Baghdadi has shocked many in the Arab world, who have expressed doubts and fears about the intentions of the militant movement, which was previously known as Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
The Iraqi government denied that the video, which carried Friday’s date, was credible, Reuters reported yesterday.
The recording showed a bearded man in a black robe and black turban slowly ascending the pulpit below the black flag of the Islamic State, before delivering a sermon and leading prayers.
“Beware of ISIS, it is a hostile movement. They want to gather all Sunnis in place to kill them together. If you believe or not, this is the fact. You will see it. Muslim brothers, please do not be cheated by the false media propaganda by ISIS to carry out a sabotage. Please listen to Islamic scholars and groups who are known to you,” read a comment posted on alarabia.net.
Another commentator described Al Baghdadi as a “barking dog” that is not going to bite.
“If you are a supporter of Muslims and Islam, why don’t you come out openly. These are all gimmicks to destroy the Islamic countries, especially oil-rich countries like Iraq and Libya. You are killing hundreds of Muslims and asking others to migrate to Islamic countries,” read the comment.
Another wrote, addressing Al Baghdadi, “If you have decided to restore the rights of Muslims, wage war against infidels and get back the rights of Palestinians whose territories are being occupied by Israel. Try to get back the rights of people in Myanmar and Africa. Stop killing innocent people every day.”
Most commentators said the ISIS was the outcome of a conspiracy to destroy the Arab and Islamic world.
“ISIS for sure is conspiracy. A movement committing such crimes does not deserve an existence in the 21st century. Are you going to conquer Rome? This is ridiculous,” read a comment.
Another said the people behind ISIS were once fighting against Syrian rebels. “The US is providing weapons to Al Maliki regime, which is handing them over to ISIS,” read the comment.