ISIS vs. mainstream Muslims: The media battle

We are not ignorant of the enemy’s schemes.

CNN Belief Blog

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Editor

(CNN) — The challenge was directed at the leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. But the impassioned message, laced with Islamic phrases, sought a much wider audience.

The statement came from Barak Barfi, a spokesman for the family of slain American journalist Steve Sotloff. Sotloff, who reported for Time and other publications, was beheaded in a video ISIS released on Tuesday.

Barfi is a research fellow at the New America Foundation, a Washington-based think tank, where he specializes in Arab and Islamic affairs. On behalf of Steven Sotloff’s family, he had tried to secure the journalist’s release.

On Wednesday, Barfi stood outside the Sotloff family’s Miami home, with dozens of microphones and cameras thrust before him, and stepped into a fierce war of words between ISIS and the rest of the Muslim world.

“I am ready to debate you with calm preachings,” Barfi told al-Baghdadi, directly…

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