ISIS Kills Abdul Rahman Kassig
On Sunday November 16th, 2014, it was reported that Abdul Rahman Kassig, an aid worker working in Syria, was killed by the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. Kassig was captured by within Syria on October 1st, 2013; “Mr. Kassig was based in Gaziantep, this city in southern Turkey roughly one hour from the Syrian border, last year, where he ran a small aid group dedicated to helping victims of Syria’s civil war” (New York Times, 2014). Furthermore, during this time of Kassig’s since capture, the New York Times reports that “The hostages — especially the Americans — were repeatedly tortured, including through waterboarding, an abuse meant to mirror the treatment of Muslim detainees in Iraq at C.I.A. “black sites,” where several members of the Islamic State are believed to have been held.” The New York Times goes on to say that “They were also repeatedly interrogated by their captors, who forced them to hand over the passwords to their Internet accounts; the militants scanned their emails, their Facebook timelines and their private chats for evidence of collusion with foreign governments.”
The Islamic State, in this despicable action against Kassig, continues to show that it has no concern for protecting human rights, as it has continued to kill individuals who are in their way, as well as those who are aiding refugees. The Islamic State has completely misinterpreted Islam, and killing innocents, are going against what the Quran specifically called for, namely protecting the rights of human rights. As Surah 5:32 in the Quran states, whoever kills one human being is as if they have killed the entire mankind. With this action, along with the killings of others such as the Yezidi population, the Islamic State has not only committed crimes against humanity, but they have essentially shown no concern for the human community. Again, such actions are clearly contrary to the teachings of the Quran, which call for peace. Yet, the group does not seem to understand the true teachings of Islam, or choose to act contrary to its messages of justice.
As Abdul Rahman’s family called for, it is important to focus on the critical work and contributions that Abdul Rahman Kassig did with regards to helping the refugees from Syria. Millions of children and other Syrians have faced a number of hardships. Kassig and his non-governmental organization Special Emergency Response and Assistance (SERA) were quite active providing medical assistance to refugees, along with food assistance. It has also been reported that he also trained 150 people to help in giving medical attention to refugees (Yahoo, 2014). These sorts of activities, helping refugees and children, are what Abdul Rahman devoted his life to doing. He went to Syria to help those where were suffering.
May we condemn the actions of the Islamic State, and hope that they are brought to justice for these killings. All the while, let us remember the bravery and commitment that Abdul Rahman had for his fellow human beings, as he made such a difference in the lives of those who were fleeing Syria. He was truly committed to supporting his fellow human.