Pro-ISIL Jordanian activist challenges Sotloff family spokesman to debate
By Ali Younes
In a statement sent to the Arab Daily News last Thursday, well-known Jordanian activist Mohamad Al Hadid challenged Barak Barfi, the spokesman for the family of murdered American Journalist Steven Sotloff, to a debate.
Al Hadid said in his statement that he is ready to debate Barfi on behalf of Islamic state leader, Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, “because it is impossible for anyone to meet with him [Al Baghdadi] or debate him.”
Steven Sotloff is an American journalist and second American who was brutally murdered by ISIL terrorists. ISIL stands for “Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant,” but was also previously known as ISIS, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. The terrorist group released a video of Sotloff being butchered that has been used by investigators to identify the killers as former British citizens.
Al Hadid, whom the Arab Daily News reached in Amman by telephone, is a well-known political activist in Jordan who has a long history of criticizing the Jordanian government for alleged corruption and for its unqualified support for the US policies in the region according to him. Al Hadid offered no criticism of ISIL and made a passioned defense of Islam. Al Hadid volunteered to represent the terrorist leader of ISIL, al Baghdadi, arguing that no one should expect Al Baghdadi to be available to a debate just as no one expects Obama to be available to a debate.
Addressing Barfi, Al Hadid said “I volunteer to debate you and answer all of your questions and comments. As you know, as it is impossible to engage in a debate with [President Barack] Obama, it is impossible to engage in a debate with Caliph Abu Bakr Al Baghadi.”
Al Hadid also told the Arab Daily News that he is willing to debate Barfi in Arabic “in defense of Islam,” a clear attempt to mock Barfi’s broken Arabic.
During a press conference last Tuesday, Barfi responded to the debate challenge from the activist who claims to represent “Caliph” Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi, who is identified as the leader of the terrorist group ISIL.
“I have a message for Abu Bakr al Baghdadi: The month of Ramadan is the month of mercy, where is your mercy?” Barfi said.
Although Ramadan had already ended last July, and t Ramadan has nothing to do with the execution of Steven Sotloff. Barfi, however, was implying that Islam claims to be merciful and was referring to the spirit of Islam in making his Ramadan message.
Barfi was defiant and addressed Al Baghdadi directly “You talk about Islam and the noble Quran, but I know a verse from the Quran : ‘Fight in the Cause of God those who fight you and do not transgress, God loves not the aggressors’,”
“I am here debating you with kindness, I don’t have a sword in my hand and I am ready for your answer.” Barfi added.
Western and Israeli media outlet has since revealed that murdered US journalist Sotloff was a duel Israeli-American citizen and a practicing Jew. Media reports mentioned that Sotloff friends had worked tirelessly to hide his Jewish identity as soon as he was captured by ISIL so as to protect him and not to complicate his possible release. There is no information that the terrorists knew that Sotloff was either Jewish or carried an Israeli Passport as well as his British Passport.
There is no word as to whether Barfi or the Sotloff family will take Al Hadid’s public challenge seriously.
(Ali Younes is a veteran writer and journalist. He can be reached at email@example.com.)
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