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Obama Defends Muslim Religion, Doesn't Mention Fate of Other Kidnapped Journalist

Barbara Boland
By Barbara Boland | August 20, 2014 | 4:23 PM EDT

In a statement today regarding the beheading by ISIS on video of American journalist James Foley, Pres. Obama failed to address the threat made in the video to a second U.S. journalist being held hostage.

The video featuring the beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley ends with a stark warning issued by a masked ISIS terrorist: "The life of this American citizen, Obama, depends on your next decision," he says, as he grabs another freelance American journalist, Steven Sotloff, and pulls him before the camera.

Sotloff was kidnapped in August 2013; he was kidnapped near Aleppo (near the Syrian-Turkish border.) He is from Miami and graduated from University of Central Florida in 2004 and has freelanced for Time, the National Interest, the Christian Science Monitor and MediaLine. He appears to have been based in Libya before his disappearance, The Independent reports.

Sotloff's sister's boyfriend took to Facebook to urge people to sign a White House petition to do "everything possible to free American reporter Steven Sotloff":

Yet President Obama's remarks today on Foley's beheading say absolutely nothing at all about American journalist Sotloff or his fate.

Foley's execution video (which has since been removed from YouTube) addressed itself to Obama and his foreign policy. It began with footage from Obama's August 7th televised address authorizing air strikes in Iraq against IS forces to free the trapped Yazidis on Mount Sinjar. Foley then reads a statement that says that the "recent aerial campaign in Iraq" was the "last nail in my coffin."

After Foley is beheaded, the masked ISIS militant grabs Sotloff and warns that his fate depends on Obama's "next decision."

James Foley's mother, in her statement following her son's death, said: "We implore the kidnappers to spare the lives of the remaining hostages. Like Jim, they are innocents. They have no control over American government policy in Iraq, Syria or anywhere in the world."

While Obama took the time to say in his remarks that "ISIL speaks for no religion" and that ISIS' "victims are overwhelmingly Muslim, and no faith teaches people to massacre innocents," he did not find time to make mention of American journalist Sotloff, or his plight.