Yesterday, the international community was shocked to learn of the barbaric murder of Jordanian Air Force Pilot Lt. Muath Al Kasasbeh. Jordanians lost a brother and a son, and passionate emotions of grief and anger spread across the entire country.
While our heartbreak and anger may push us towards seeking revenge, let us hone in on our emotions to unite in our humanity instead. Beyond any military war, it is the love and compassion encouraged by Islam and all religions that is our greatest weapon.
I grew up in Jordan, but any visitor and guest of the country will tell you of the great qualities of hospitality and generosity its people transmit. It is no coincidence that it is such a country that has overcome a range of political, economic, and social challenges, consistently opening itself up to aid refugees and fellow Arab populations in times of need despite significant resource constraints.
As we continue to mourn the death of the brave martyr, let me explicitly note that ISIS is not an extremist version of Islam. Their followers in no way, shape, or form, abide by any version of Islam, let alone any other religion. Let us in our reaction and remembrance of Muath expose ISIS for what they truly are, nothing more than a collection of monsters. Let us delegitimize them by exercising the true meaning of Islam, a religion that was built on love and compassion to overcome an era of ignorance (Jahl) that ISIS embodies today.
Rest in peace Muath. You will not be forgotten.