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February 5, 2015

King Abdullah’s Finest Hour

Patricia A. Kelly

How stunning and horrifying was the most recent ISIL crime, the murder of Moath al-Hasasbeh, young Muslim father, Jordanian military pilot and son of one of Jordan’s most important tribes.


Not only was he murdered, he was set afire while in a cage and allowed to burn until his skin was blackened and crispy before being bulldozed and covered with dirt and chunks of concrete. He stood in his cage in a gasoline soaked garment with what appeared to be a footprint on the right chest, able to see the trail of accelerant approaching, and then turning him into a fireball.


His killers first violated Islam by killing him; and, second, by mutilating his body with burning and bulldozing it.


They then apparently pretended he was alive for weeks after his actual death, manipulating the government of Jordan into negotiating a possible prisoner swap for Sajida al-Rishawi, a would-be suicide bomber whose bomb failed to detonate during a murderous attack on a Jordan hotel in 2005. She, along with al Qaeda operative Ziyad al-Karbouli, had both been sentenced to death years ago, but allowed to remain alive during a moratorium on executions.


Their executions, by hanging, took place 24-four hours after release of the video depicting al-Hasasbeh’s death.


One theory advanced about why ISIL resorted to such extremes of brutality is that they have been losing territory, and are attempting, rather than to get their enemies to stop working with the coalition, to get them to overreact, giving ISIL new opportunities to recruit.


King Abdullah of Jordan had participated in the anti-ISIL coalition, urging his sometimes reluctant citizens to follow, because of the anti-Islamic values of ISIL. Some Jordanians had concerns about killing fellow Muslims, such concerns obviously not shared by ISIL thugs.


Al-Hasasbeh’s father has said that the bloodshed was not just that of his son, but the blood of Jordan. He is demanding the destruction of ISIL – and rightly so.


Now King Abdullah has gone home, after a state visit to Washington, vowing severe retribution against ISIL, stating out loud the longstanding truth that ISIL is dishonoring Islam.


Perhaps this young man’s suffering will finally awaken people to the truth. ISIL is not Islamic. It may be working to form a world government, with laws reflecting its distorted beliefs and values, but it is not Islamic.


Allah (simply a word meaning God), in Islam, is known as Allah the Merciful. The “Allah” of ISIL does not exist.


King Abdullah has stepped up to the podium of world leadership, spoken the truth, identified the nature of ISIL, and vowed to destroy it. God willing (or Insha’Allah), this could make the difference.


Even the Grand Imam of al Azhar University in Cairo, Sheikh Ahmed al Tayeb, has called for the killing and crucifixion of ISIL terrorists.


I can see why President Barack Obama might have trouble finding the right word to describe the source of world terrorism, and why he doesn’t want to call it Islamic, because it is not of genuine Islam. I can’t see why he doesn’t get its scope and the threat it presents to the United States.


This moment belongs to King Abdullah, wise enough to see the real truth and to attempt to help his people see the wrong of ISIL.


Hopefully, our president, even though he hasn’t really been able to get a handle on how to deal with terrorism, will finally see that ISIL doesn’t require degradation, but destruction. There is no negotiating with a monster.


Hopefully, President Obama will now manage to follow King Abdullah’s lead by providing requested support to Jordan and our other coalition partners, as well as continuing our fight in the most effective possible way.


May the tragic death of Moath al-Hasasbeh, with the help of God, and the leadership of the most wise and courageous Jordanian King Abdullah, finally turn the tables on the vicious predators of ISIL.


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