Why ISIS Used Fire to Murder the Jordanian Pilot

After ISIS released the video yesterday of 1st Lt. Muath al-Kasaesbeh being burned to death in a cage, U.S. news reports were musing about the method of his murder as cremation is not permissible in Islam.

Pundits and anchors steered toward the conclusion that the fire was intended to be the ultimate insult to the pilot called an apostate by his captors.

ISIS supporters, though, defended burning him alive by claiming the principle of "qisas," claiming that he burned children with airstrikes so should burn himself. They bulldozed rubble over his body, again symbolizing the airstrikes.

Pakistan's Dawn newspaper provides a lengthy primer on qisas: "The Quran provides two options to deal with someone who is found guilty of intentional murder: qisas (ie that he/she be killed in the manner in which the victim was murdered) and forgiveness by the heir/s of the victim."

ISIS and its supporters, which had been using the Arabic hashtag #SuggestAWayToKillTheJordanianPilotPig right after the pilot's capture to suggest murder methods, particularly put social media effort into defending the murder of al-Kasaesbeh, himself a Muslim, as keeping with Islamic laws. There was also some debate on Twitter.