Mom makes Islamic appeal for life of her journalist son
MIAMI (AP) — The mother of an American journalist held hostage and threatened with death makes an Islamic appeal for his life in a video addressed to his captors.
In the video aired on the Al-Arabiya television network, Shirley Sotloff says she has "learned that Islam teaches that no individual should be held responsible for the sins of others." She said her son, 31-year-old Steven Sotloff, "travelled to the Middle East to cover the suffering of Muslims" and should not be punished for U.S. government actions.
Steven Sotloff was last seen in August 2013 in Syria. He was threatened with death by Islamic State militants on a video unless the U.S. stopped air strikes on the group. The same video showed the beheading of fellow American journalist James Foley.
Shirley Sotloff asks the militants' leader to spare her son's life "and to follow the example set by the Prophet Mohammad, who protected 'People of the Book.'"
Jerusalem police search for missing US student
LAKEWOOD, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey political leaders and a rabbi are calling for the safe return of a U.S. religious student who disappeared in Israel.
Republican Congressman Chris Smith joined a news conference Tuesday in Lakewood, where Aharon Sofer (AH'-run SOH'-fur) grew up. Smith says U.S. and Israeli officials are "leaving no stone unturned" as they try to find the 23-year-old rabbinical student.
Sofer has been missing since Friday when he went hiking with a friend in the Jerusalem Forest. Israeli police say they have interviewed the friend and are pursuing all avenues in the investigation, including the possibility that Sofer may have been attacked by Palestinian militants.
Sofer's parents have flown to Israel, where their son is an ultra-Orthodox student at a Jewish religious school. A family friend, New Jersey Rabbi Yisroel (yees-ROH'-ul) Serebrowski, says they're in anguish, wondering if he's being tortured or held captive.
President Carter, Gov. Snyder to speak in Detroit
DETROIT (AP) — Former President Jimmy Carter and Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder will speak at an Islamic conference in Detroit this week.
Snyder is scheduled to speak at the opening ceremonies Friday. The nation's 39th president is expected to talk during a Saturday luncheon about his latest book titled "A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence and Power."
The 89-year-old Carter is set to visit Michigan again on Sept. 22 as part of Grand Rapids Community College's Diversity Lecture Series.
MLive.com reports that Snyder previously addressed Muslims during the Michigan Muslim Community Council's Unity Banquet in Livonia last year. He criticized what he said was a "dumb" system that draws smart Islamic students to Michigan universities but then tells them "to get out" when they graduate.