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United till the end

Feb 04,2015 - Last updated at Feb 04,2015

The last moments in the life of Jordanian pilot Muath Kasasbeh are as compelling as they are telling.

A videotape and pictures released Tuesday show the airman standing tall before an army of masked men. Then, footage shows Kasasbeh put in a cage, bravely facing his captors, head held high.

A masked man sets fire to the cage; Kasasbeh stands, his body on fire, hands shaking sideways in an attempt to defy fire and pain, but, most importantly, challenging his captors, cowardly criminals hiding behind masks.

It is horrible footage, disturbing to all those who have the stomach to watch it.

Airing, sharing or posting it online certainly contravenes ethics — human and media — is agonising to viewers and must be excruciatingly painful for the pilot’s family.

But the pain shared by viewers cannot equal a fraction of the pain the brave pilot — and the many other victims of terror for that matter — endured, nor what his family has been going through ever since his capture on December 24.

The lonely pilot’s courage and defiance of this army of terrorists even in his death, reportedly on January 3, is exemplary.

Following the release of the video and the pictures by Daesh Tuesday evening, Jordanians were exchanging news and pictures of brave, proud Kasasbeh, words of condolences and sympathy, as well as rage.

They were also voicing their unity behind their leadership and army in the face of this ruthless group’s inhuman act that shows the spitefulness it has for Jordan and Jordanians.

Never before has Daesh executed a hostage in such a cruel, malicious manner.

Kasasbeh was a soldier who deserved better treatment, as a human being and as a prisoner of war. But Daesh, which calls itself “Islamic State”, having nothing to do with Islam and being a state only in its sick imagination, showed its intentions towards Jordan and Jordanians, and true Muslims and their friends everywhere.

The act of burning a human being, dead or alive, contravenes Islamic teachings and the sayings of Prophet Mohammad.

But then, this group, from the very beginning, has been acting in breach of the teachings of Islam and human behaviour, killing, maiming, enslaving, destroying, terrorising, discriminating and looting.

This all shows that Daesh followers have no notion of Islam and civilisation, and is proof that the world is right to unite to fight terrorism, radicalism and extremism.

The deceit that this group showed over the past weeks, trying to negotiate an exchange deal —  Kasasbeh for convicted terrorist Sajida Rishawi — also shows that it is not to be trusted, particularly by the few who believed that it had an iota of integrity, the very few who believed that it might be representing the true Islam.

Jordanians today stand united with the family of the slain pilot — who is now the son of all Jordanians — with their armed forces and with their leadership.

Jordan’s response to this heinous crime will certainly come.

The country will continue, alongside its allies, the war that will ensure that this group is totally destroyed, that its damaging ideology is wiped out and replaced with the true teachings of Islam.

This is a war Jordan’s hero Kasasbeh sacrificed his life for and that the country and its army will continue to wage until its goal is achieved.

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