The recent revelation of the identity of the Islamic terrorist known in the media as “Jihadi John” have increased calls that he be brought to justice for his involvement in the beheadings of Western hostages.
Listen to Junno Arocho's report:
On Febraury 26th, the Washington Post identified the militant as Mohammed Emwazi, a 26 year old Kuwaiti native who moved with his family to the UK when he was 6 years old. The report states that prior to joining the so-called ‘Islamic State’, Emwazi graduated with a degree in computer programming from the University of Westminster.
Reaction to the revelation of his identity has ranged from shock to hatred and calls for his death. However, an unlikely reaction has also been made public: forgiveness.
In an interview with UK newspaper The Times, Diane Foley said that any hatred towards Emwazi will only prolong the cycle of violence. “We need it to end,” she said, adding: “As a mom, I forgive him, you know the whole thing is tragic.”
Diane Foley is the mother of James Foley, the first journalist executed by Jihadi John in a gruesome video released by the Islamic State. The parents of the slain journalist took part in a forum at the University of Arizona regarding the dangers faced by journalists in conflict areas. Diane, along with her husband John, have both stated that although the identity of the militant has been revealed, hatred does little to solve the current crisis.
“If we keep hating one another and hurting one another how do we ever get to peace,” she said
The Foley’s spoke to journalists after the forum following the revelation of Emwazi’s identity. John Foley explained that the Islamic State would continue to kill whether ‘Jihadi John’ was committing the atrocities or not.
“And the other thing is that ‘Jihadi John’ would happen to be in that position, but if it weren’t him, it would be would be somebody else. So, in all fairness, discovering who he is might be important to some people but it’s certainly not important to me,” he said.
James Foley worked for the Global Post and Agence France-Presse before he was murdered on August 2014. Following his death, the Foley’s received an outpouring of sympathy from the world, including from Pope Francis who called them shortly after the release of the video of their son’s beheading.
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