No, Donald Trump, Islamic State Does Not Honor Obama

Donald Trump, the man whose daily output of bold remarks rivals that of the sun’s rising each morning in reliability, made yet another one of his salacious and factually incorrect claims. Namely, that President Obama not only created Islamic State, but that the group honors him:

“ISIS is honoring President Obama. He’s the founder of ISIS. He’s the founder of ISIS. He’s the founder. He founded ISIS,” said Trump in a redundant remark on Wednesday.

Although attribution of who created ISIS is murky, and there is certainly blame to go around, nevertheless the organization most definitely does not honor Obama.

How do we know? Because Islamic State regularly features him in its propaganda, and it is far from positive.

While this reporter’s lack of fluency in Arabic limits the ability of Thought Front to delve into every detail of anti-Obama coverage in ISIS propaganda, nevertheless the group conveniently puts out an English-language magazine, Dabiq, which regularly features attacks on President Obama.

In issue number 14, ISIS bashed Obama for not engaging in negotiations to release people held by ISIS, instead allowing them to be beheaded:

Initially the anger was directed at the mujāhidīn for conducting the executions, but very soon it became clear the governments involved could have done a great deal more to get their people out and all eyes turned towards them. The deaths were a result of the actions – or rather complete inaction – of the American and British politicians.

…Just days before he was killed, Steven Sotloff’s mother was still, impossibly, trying to get Obama to discuss the freeing of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui in exchange for Steven’s life. One mum versus an entire government. Of course, she lost.

The magazine even posted unflattering photographs of Obama, including reproducing the New York Daily News cover lambasting him for playing golf soon after the beheading of photojournalist James Foley by ISIS.


And in issue 12, ISIS also blasted Obama for not negotiating – this time, for not engaging in diplomatic negotiations with Islamic State to recognize it as a legitimate state:

Failed attempts by the coalition to “contain” the Caliphate are already old news. But the N-word, negotiate? That’s a bombshell. Just recently, Obama said there still “would be no negotiating” with the Islamic State, a fact not lost on my former cellmates. But then he changed his policy regarding that, so maybe he or the next president will have to change their policy on this.

And in issue 11, ISIS heavily quotes articles from the Wall Street Journal to lambast Obama’s thawing of relations with Iran, intended in part to gain the country’s support to fight Islamic State:

Although the Western crusaders’ cooperation with Iran, Syria, and Russia, is undeniable, they attempt to downplay it officially to conceal their role in the Safawī [a derogatory term for Shi’a Muslims] war against the [Sunni] Muslims. Here we will provide some insight into this relationship despite the matter being more visible than the sun at noon on a clear day

It goes on to cite various Wall Street Journal articles about Obama reaching out to Iran.

The magazine then reproduces a column from former CIA intelligence officer Michael Scheuer saying Islamic State is winning and the only option for the US is isolationism. Among the choice words from column is the following:

…the U.S. military is worn out after two decades of war-losing; is being neutered by Obama’s calculated-to-destroy budget cuts, manpower reductions, and effeminization…With two deliberately lost wars, a broken military, a governing elite and president unattached to reality, a bankrupt treasury, a political system corrupted by the U.S.-citizen agents of foreign powers, next-to-useless European allies, a Western world that prefers its own death to slaughtering its enemy, and an Islamist enemy far smarter and more talented than it is given credit for…

Or consider issue 9, where ISIS mocks Obama for his inability to quash Boko Haram:

The mujāhidīn of West Africa control much of Nigeria and their attacks are intensifying, pushing back an exhausted and smashed national army that is now is in a virtual state of collapse. They declared allegiance to the Caliphate in March, and they are the same group, remember, that Obama claimed just last year was being successfully pushed back by American intervention policy. Indeed, he claimed that the same model (cutting finances, recruitment tools, and the will to fight) that worked so “well” in the degradation of the mujāhidīn there before their pledge of allegiance, would work just as well on the Islamic State.

Some things just don’t work out as planned.


So no, Islamic State does not “honor” Obama. All Trump has to do is check the evidence instead of spewing demagoguery to find that out. His claim is yet another one in a long, long line of falsehoods from Trump.