First, this morning Jill’s mother Mary Beth made an appeal for Jill’s release in an interview on CNN, saying "Jill has always shown the highest respect for the Iraqi people and their customs. We hope that her captors will show Jill the same respect in return."
Over the last 24-36 hours, a number of significant Muslim organizations have made appeals for Jill’s release, including the Muslim Brotherhood and the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR). CAIR is also sending a delegation to Iraq to help secure her release. This is really great news and very positive. I’m hopeful. The first statement is form the Iraqi Islamic Party (IIP), one of Iraq’s main Sunni political parties.
The IIP denounces the kidnapping because it is conducted against innocent people, who mostly sympathize with the Iraqis in their miseries. At the same time, the IIP urges the kidnappers to release this female journalist as soon as possible.
This next statment comes from Adnan al-Dulaimi, head of the Iraqi Accordance Front and the man that Jill apparently had an appointment with the day she was kidnapped:
Kidnapping is un-Islamic. Publish this statement on my behalf condemning this act, although it’s going to expose me to danger. We reject this act. It is absolutely condemned. We will do as much as possible to release Jill
The Muslim Brotherhood has also issued a powerful statement saying that Jill — as well as other journalists — should not be targeted:
We call upon the brothers in the Iraqi resistance not to target media workers . This contradicts the principles of our religion and doesn’t help the cause of liberating the country.
Also condemning the kidnapping and threats against Jill was Muthana Harith al-Dari, a leader of Iraq’s Muslim Scholars Association, an umbrella group for a number of leading Sunni clerics, or Ulama. His statement has particular resonance within Iraq. Dari said kidnapping is always wrong and called for Jill’s immediate release:
All kidnappings and assassinations are completely rejected… especially when kidnapping a journalist. Journalists are here to tell the world about the occupation so kidnapping a journalist is going to hide the truth.
UPDATE: A story highlighted here earlier from the BBC appears to be more complex than that article suggested. The BBC apparently got information that a number of female detainees in Iraq were being released. CNN is reporting that "Of the 14,000 people detained by the United States, eight are women, according to the U.S. military. Iraq’s Justice Ministry said six already were scheduled for release in an action unrelated to the abductors’ demands." This latter fact resonates with a statement from the U.S. military in a report just published by Reuters:
The U.S. military does not expect to release Iraqi female detainees in the near future, a move demanded by kidnappers to spare the life of an American journalist, a Pentagon spokesman said on Thursday.
Navy Lt. Cmdr. Joe Campbell said that eight Iraqi women who are being held by the United States in Iraq are going through the normal process of review to see if they will be released or continue to be held.
"There is no expected resolution of their cases in the near future," Campbell told Reuters. "There is no accelerated process with regards to the women and how it relates to the kidnapped journalist in question," he added, responding to questions about the threat by kidnappers to kill U.S. journalist Jill Carroll unless all women held by the U.S. military in Iraq were released.