A gruesome 22-minute video began to circulate social media on January 27, showing a Jordanian pilot named Muath al-Kaseasbeh being burned alive in a cage by ISIS. Lieutenant al-Kaseasbeh was flying over Syria on Dec. 24 when his F-16 was shot down by ISIS militants. For months now, ISIS, also known as ISIL, has been claiming that they have rebirthed an Islamic caliphate, otherwise known as the line of successors/caliphs of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Throughout its existence, ISIS has systematically massacred and displaced thousands.
While ISIS claims to be a Muslim group, their violence is in no way Muslim. Among the countless disgusting crimes ISIS has committed, they have killed women, children, and the elderly, forced women into marriage with them, and forced their captives to convert to Islam. In Islam, the main goal of its law is to preserve life. Even your enemies have rights over you in Islam. The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) would always tell his followers and army not to harm any woman, child, elder, or even cut down or harm trees. Furthermore, the Prophet (PBUH) specifically forbids the use of fire when it comes to torture. Yet this so-called “Islamic state” caged Muath al-Kaseasbeh, doused him in gasoline, and set him aflame for the world to see. Al-Kaseasbeh’s wife, Anwar Tarawneh, couldn’t believe her ears when her mother called her in tears telling her what had happened, until Anwar saw the video for herself on her Facebook feed.
As a Muslim, I am absolutely disgusted by the atrocities ISIS has perpetrated. Muath was not the first victim of ISIS, as they’ve released countless videos of the torture and wrongful killings of American and Japanese journalists. These monsters call themselves Muslims but are far from what Muslims truly are. ISIS has failed to embody the true values of Islam and has used the name of such a beautiful and peaceful religion to carry out their barbaric agenda.
Muath al-Kaseasbeh was only 26 years old and leaves behind a family that will miss him dearly, including his wife whom he married in July. Tarawneh has said “The five months married to Muath were better than all the 25 years before.” Muath was a devout Muslim and his mother told reporters that, “He always carried a Koran…and never missed a prayer.” Being a Muslim myself, I can attest that Muslims can identify more with Muath and his values than that of ISIS and what the media portrays Muslims to be. The terror ISIS has inflicted onto the lives of many in no way, shape, or form finds its roots within Islam. The last time Anwar spoke to her husband, he reminded her to pray the sunset prayer, and told her that he himself had prayed double for the martyrs. That night Muath was captured and on his way to what turned out to be his own martyrdom.