A Martyr for Freedom

The father of James Foley, an American journalist who was beheaded in Syria or Iraq by a hired assassin of the Islamic State terrorist movement — and the video of the execution displayed widely throughout the world — described his son as “a martyr for freedom.” The mother of the martyr journalist stated that her son reminded her of Jesus.

James Foley, a 40-year-old journalist, was kidnapped in Syria two years ago while working freelance for different news sources. But Foley was not the first journalist, and will surely not be the last, to lose their life practicing their jobs in places of upheaval in the Middle East and other parts of the world. According to the international nongovernmental organization Reporters without Borders, from 1992 until the end of last year, there have been 165 reporters who have died, some on account of the overthrow of Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship and others due to Islamist insurgency. In Syria, 69 journalists have lost their lives since April of 2012, when civil war broke out and caused more than 190,000 deaths, according to the U.N. In general, 1,070 journalists have been killed since 1992, in different places throughout the world.

However, the impact of James Foley’s death has been huge, more so for the incredibly inhumane style of his assassination as well as for the message that this terrible incident entails for the democratic world.

The Islamic State is right now the most powerful and ruthless terrorist group of all, worse than the same al-Qaida that was created by the deceased Osama bin Laden. The objective of the Islamic State is not only conquering all of the countries in the Middle East in order to establish a single absolute and medieval Islamic caliphate. It also hopes to impose it in all Islamic countries, or those with a strong Muslim presence from southern and southeast Asia. But in addition, the Islamic State is preparing for the fulfillment of profound terrorist acts in the United States and Western Europe. The fact that James Foley’s executioner talks in a perfect British accent in the assassination video is a warning that Islamic terrorists come from and are in Europe and the United States.

According to the German press, the Islamic State is planning attempts against many of the objectives of this country, including securing atomic weapons from the United States. Meanwhile, journalist Mariam Karouny of the British press agency Reuters warns in a column that “the group can draw on hundreds if not thousands of foreigners with Western passports that can keep them below the radar” in any European or North American country.

It seems that the United States has begun to wake from its lethargy and recognize the threat of the Islamic State. Because of this, the United States has bombed this terrorist army in portions of Iraq, although only to save the thousands of Christians and followers of the Yazidi religion who are in danger of being exterminated. But after Foley’s execution, President Obama assured that “a group like [the Islamic State] has no place in the 21st century,” and he promised that the United States will confront them like it ought to.

It is obligatory to do so. The security of the United States, and of the whole free and democratic world, is at stake. And with terrorists like those from the Islamic State it cannot stop to contemplate, because they are disposed to do the worst and are incapable of compassion for anyone.

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