RAQQA, Syria — The leaders of ISIS collectively surrendered yesterday after reading a highly compelling open letter posted on the internet, according to an apologetic and heartfelt statement released by the terrorist group.
The open letter, written by former enlisted Army communications specialist Brian Murphy, was posted on his personal blog and shared to his 67 Twitter followers last week. The post went viral after Murphy spent most of his early separation pay on Twitter advertising.
In what is being called an "EPIC takedown" that "blasts" and "totally destroys" ISIS, Murphy starts with a long and detailed history of his military service, describing his experiences at basic training and his deployments to Afghanistan. He then presents a grammatically confusing exegesis of the Quran that simultaneously proves that neither he nor ISIS has ever read it.
"Ultimately," Murphy said, "the idea was to take the power and non-ego-threatening nature of a personal, private conversation and then make it even more powerful by removing the privacy. People are always sure to listen more intently and respond more rationally when they know they have a giant audience."
The ISIS reaction was widespread and unanimous: Terrorism is wrong, and nobody should do it.
"We've read literally thousands of highly researched, scholarly articles that deconstruct our view of Islam before," said Ahmed El-Masri, a reformed member of ISIS. "But there's just something about a letter that is so compelling, It's like he was talking right to me. And Mahmud, and Salim said the same thing — it was as though someone actually sent me a physical letter with papyrus from Paper Source, sealed it with that wax stuff, and put it in my mailbox."
"It was like all of a sudden I could understand his struggle," El-Masri said. "English is my second language, and I also confuse the many forms of 'there.' I could relate to a man with his own inner jihad. And now our jihad is over."
Bryan Murphy may have made his mark on history, but the usefulness of the open letter is far from over. As a result of the surrender, the US government has already begun other open letter campaigns to end racism, hunger, and using two spaces after a period.