Shirley Sotloff hasn't seen her son in over a year -- ever since he was captured by ISIS, a militant Islamic group internationally recognized as a terrorist organization. Steven Sotloff is a 31-year-old freelance journalist whose life is in grave danger, having been threatened in a video of the alleged beheading of James Foley.
On Wednesday, this grieving mom released a video pleading for the release of her son. She directly addressed Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS and the self-declared caliph of the Muslim world, becoming the first non-Muslim to recognize his title. Most Muslims don't even recognize him as caliph.
But desperate times call for desperate measures, and Shirley wanted to appeal to his religious roots by calling upon him to "follow the example of the Prophet Muhammad" and show clemency to her son.
As a mother I ask your justice to be merciful and not punish my son for matters he has no control over ... I ask you to use your authority to spare his life and to follow the example set by the prophet Muhammad who protected people of the book.
I want what every mother wants: to live to see her children’s children. I plead with you to grant me this.
In the video of Foley's beheading, someone wearing a black hood made Sotloff kneel before grabbing his collar and declaring, "The life of this American citizen, [President] Obama, depends on your next decision."
The whole situation is absolutely heartbreaking, and not for one second do I think this video will cause ISIS to release this man. But it is a reminder that there is evil in the world that affects real people all over the globe. This is an American, who was in the Middle East to bring awareness to a horrible situation, so we can't close our eyes and pretend like it isn't happening.
It's obvious the apple didn't fall too far from the tree. We can only hope that this video will set off a series of events that leads to the safe homecoming of Steven Sotloff.
Do you think Shirley Sotloff's video plea for her son's release is helpful?
Image via The Washington Post