Why ISIS Burned the Jordanian Pilot Instead Of Beheading Him
ISIS shocked the world Tuesday by releasing video of Jordanian pilot Muath al-Kassasbeh being set on fire and burned to death inside a cage, a grisly escalation of social media murders-on-video that progressed from grisly beheadings to child executioners. Al-Kassasbeh was to be part of a prisoner exchange that ISIS has been negotiating for weeks, but his killing reportedly took place on January 3, making the Jordanians’ insistence on a proof of life a canny and prescient demand. At a White House event Tuesday afternoon, President Obama reacted to the news with disgust:[su_center_ad]
[su_thin_right_skyscraper_ad]I just got word of the video that had been released. I don’t know the details of the confirmations. But should, in fact, this video be authentic, it’s just one more indication of the viciousness and barbarity of this organization. And it, I think, will redouble the vigilance and determination on the part of a global coalition to make sure that they are degraded and ultimately defeated.
And it also just indicates the degree to which, whatever ideology they’re operating off of, it’s bankrupt. We’re here to talk about how to make people healthier and make their lives better, and this organization appears only interested in death and destruction.
Late Tuesday evening, the president met with Jordan’s King Abdullah II, who had already been scheduled to meet with Vice President Joe Biden, but was added to the president’s schedule after news of the pilot’s murder broke. Their conversation was kept mostly private, but shortly thereafter, the king returned to Jordan, where Sajida al-Rishawi and Ziad al-Karbouli, two of the prisoners who had been discussed in the trade for al Kassassbeh, were executed early Wednesday morning by hanging.
As the president and others have noted, the latest iteration of ISIS’ grisly theatrics represents further evidence of their barbarity, but it was more than just a ratcheting up of the cowardly horrors they like to inflict on hostages. Burning to death is a particularly agonizing and horrifying way to die, but it’s also a particularly un-Islamic way to die. The burning of bodies after death…READ MORE
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