In Memoriam: A Journalist Extraordinaire–James Foley

Posted on August 20, 2014

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James Foley

As reported elsewhere, “The extremist terrorist group ISIS posted a video on Tuesday that it said showed the beheading of James Foley, an American journalist who was kidnapped in Syria nearly two years ago, according to a transcript released by the SITE Intelligence Group.

The authenticity of the video, which was also posted on YouTube, could not be verified, and a telephone call placed to Mr. Foley’s family was not immediately returned. YouTube later took down the four-minute, 40-second video.”

James Foley was one of a rare breed of journalists who did not report from afar even when it came to being in one of the most dangerous places of earth. As he said, “It’s part of the problem with these conflicts. We’re not close enough to it.” He was indeed a very brave soul and was not afraid of reporting the truth. “The honest fact is that when you see something really violent, it does a strange thing to you. It doesn’t always repel you,” he added. “Feeling like you survived something, it has a strange sort of force that you are drawn back to.”

For his professionalism, his bravery and his willingness to go wherever needed to get the facts right, we honor him, and pray to God that whoever killed him be brought to justice.

Here is a video of James doing an interview after his return from Libya where he had been kidnapped:

Finally, the Islamic Society of America, the largest Islamic umbrella organization in the US and Canada, issued the following announcement following James Foley’s murder.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

ISNA Condemns ISIS Execution of Journalist James Wright Foley
Terrorist Group Contradicts the Mainstream Teachings of Islam

(Plainfield, IN 8/20/14) Today theIslamic Society of North America (ISNA) condemns the vicious execution of journalist James Wright Foley at the hands of the terrorist group that calls themselves “IslamicState of Iraq and Syria” or ISIS.According to media reports, Foley was kidnapped at gunpoint in northern Syria on Thanksgiving Day in 2012. He had not been heard from during his time in captivity.  A graphic video was released yesterday purportedly showing Foley reciting threats against America before he is executed by an ISIS member.

“We condemn this un-Islamic behavior,” said ISNA President Imam Mohamed Magid. “ISIS actions have never been representative nor in accordance to the mainstream teachings of Islam. This act of murder cannot be justified according to the faith practiced by over 1.6 billion people.”

Over a week ago, ISNA denounced ISIS attack on religious minorities near Northern Iraq and the Kurdish region. In 2005, ISNA was also a signatory to the Fatwa Against Terrorism issued by the Fiqh Council of North America. This expert legal opinion (fatwa) clearly stated that it is forbidden to commit terrorism and violence against civilians. Those who take part in acts of terror are criminals.

The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) is the largest and oldest Islamic umbrella organization in North America. Its mission is to foster the development of the Muslim community, interfaith relations, civic engagement, and better understanding of Islam.

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CONTACT: ISNA Communications Director Edgar Hopida, 317-839-1820 or 317-679-6350,  ehopida@isna.net

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