Wednesday, August 27, 2014

VIDEO: Shirley Sotloff Appeals to Islamic State for the Release of Her Son, Steven Sotloff — #ISIS

An amazing development in the realm of international affairs. A bereaved mother appeals directly to the head of a transnational terrorist organization for the release of her son, held captive as a pawn in the terror war Islamic jihad is waging against the West. The video itself is particularly interesting for its production quality, and its apparent sponsorship by the New York Times. This is some kind of private party diplomacy that is extremely unusual. I'd have to research it, but we'd have to go back to the period of the 1980s, and the kidnappings conducted by the Islamic Jihad Organization in Lebanon, for something similar.

In any case, at the New York Times, "American Hostage’s Mother Issues Appeal to ISIS Leader: Plea to Islamic State for Release of Steven Sotloff" (via Memeorandum):

The mother of an American hostage being held by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria released an emotional video appeal to his captors on Wednesday. Shirley Sotloff, the mother of the 31-year-old freelance journalist Steven J. Sotloff, addressed her plea directly to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS and the self-declared caliph of the Muslim world.

Ms. Sotloff addresses Mr. Baghdadi as caliph, a title he bestowed on himself a few months ago, and calls on him to exercise his right to show clemency and follow the example of the Prophet Muhammad as previous caliphs did.

“I am sending this message to you, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi al-Quraishi al-Hussaini, the caliph of the Islamic State. I am Shirley Sotloff. My son Steven is in your hands,” she begins. “You, the caliph, can grant amnesty. I ask you please to release my child,” she continues. “I ask you to use your authority to spare his life.”

Mr. Baghdadi — an Iraqi national who was jailed briefly by American forces in 2004 — declared a caliphate this year after his group captured a significant chunk of territory in Iraq. His claim to authority has not been recognized by most Muslims. In addressing Mr. Baghdadi as caliph of the Muslim world, Ms. Sotloff’s appeal is almost certainly the first time a non-Muslim has acknowledged his authority, a move that may prove controversial.