James Foley was an American freelance journalist. On August 19 the world saw him brutally killed and beheaded at the hands of the radical Muslim terror group called ISIS. The murderers distributed the video of the beheading through social media sites.
James Foley’s murder was intended to send a message to the American people and to the world at large. Apparently, the lack of news coverage on his 2 year abduction (which began in November of 2012) irked the ransom hungry ISIS. His killing shocked the world (correction: the Western world). In the Middle East region, these cowards and their sorts have bullied religious minorities for as long as I can remember. In fact, some sources like the Martyrs for Christ organization and others have expressed there is daily persecution and human rights violations against religious minorities in the Middle East and the North Africa region. Hundreds of thousands suffer at the hands of Islamic religious extremism daily.
It is important to iterate that most Muslims are amazing, kindhearted, precious people.The general consensus is that the ISIS killers are not properly representing their religion. ISIS continues to make advancements at any and all costs, killing other Muslim sects in their wake. The terror group believes that there are many verses in the Quran and its highly regarded commentaries, including Sahih Bukhari, that support their inhumane and aggressive judgments against non-Muslims. However, my intention is to share my thoughts about Foley and not the doctrine of Jihad in Islam.
This recent atrocity wasn’t Jame’s first time around the block. In 2011, Foley’s whereabouts were unknown for 44 days and the world did not know whether he was alive during that abduction. At the time, Muammar Qaddafi was fighting for his throne in Libya and it had not yet been overthrown. The situation there had been explosive as Libyans rebelled against the Qadaffi regime. Foley and other journalists were attacked by pro Qaddafi forces and over the course of that following month, he was allowed to make one phone call which was to his mother. She answered. He attributed that to being a miracle and a result of “God [being] right there.”
Fast forward a few years and his picture is back all over the news, but this time he did not survive. We mourn his death, but at the same time, honor his life and work. He believed in what he did, so much so, that he went where the danger was knowing the risks. His intention, as he stated, was to “nail down the facts.” What for? Just journalism? Not quite. .
Some felt the cold chill of fear because of the ISIS monsters who exhibited their savagery upon Foley.. but others, like myself, saw and felt something else…
We saw bravery. We felt his courage. We saw a man who put himself back into harms way because he saw an injustice, and he could no longer sit on the sidelines as an inactive participant. James Foley didn’t look like Superman, he had no ultra human power, but what he did have was courage (a rare attribute, especially in the face of death).
James Foley was a good Catholic who prayed his way through his first abduction in 2011. He believed in the freedoms given to him and acted upon them. And in the face of these recent horrors, the injustices, and massacres; James Foley demonstrated super heroic courage by defying those who tremble at God’s given freedoms, including the freedom of speech and press.
His parents released a letter James Foley wrote in prison. Even during these tough times, he is an example of strength:
I remember going to the Mall with Dad, a very long bike ride with Mom. I remember so many great family times that take me away from this prison. Dreams of family and friends take me away and happiness fills my heart.
I know you are thinking of me and praying for me. And I am so thankful. I feel you all especially when I pray. I pray for you to stay strong and to believe. I really feel I can touch you even in this darkness when I pray.
If I could speak to James Foley, I would say, “You’re a good guy. You carried on and finished your calling and job well! Your story was eventually told and this, your greatest story ever, will be shared for generations and ages to come. You left a legacy. You inspired millions, and I honor you.”
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