Jordanian pilot Muath al-Kasaesbeh
Jordanian pilot Muath al-Kasaesbeh

Father of pilot burned alive demands Isis be annihilated

OUTRAGE at the murder of the Jordanian pilot burned to death by Isis has spread across the Middle East, as the victim's father demanded the militants be "annihilated" in revenge for his son's death.

Political and religious leaders have called for blood after footage was released yesterday of Lt Muath al-Kasaesbeh being set on fire as he stood in a cage.

Jordan promised a swift and "earth-shaking" response in the wake of the video's release, while early on Wednesday morning local time, state television reported two prisoners, including a female prisoner sought by Isis, had been executed before dawn.

Safi al-Kasaesbeh has told Al Jazeera however that the execution of the two militants was not enough to avenge his son's death.

He said: "I demand none of them amongst us be kept alive. I demand the revenge be greater than executing prisoners. I demand the Isil organisation be annihilated."

Jordan has today said it will intensify its efforts with the international coalition fighting Isis, in the wake of the pilot's killing.

"We are talking about a collaborative effort between coalition members to intensify efforts to stop extremism and terrorism to undermine, degrade and eventually finish Daesh," Mohammad al-Momani said, using an Arabic acronym for Isis, also known as Islamic State and Isil.

As an outpouring of grief and rage spread across the region in the wake of the Jordan pilot's death, the head of Sunni Islam's most respected seat of learning - Egypt's Al-Azhar - said the militants deserved the Koranic punishment of death, crucifixion or the chopping off of their arms for being enemies of God and the Prophet Mohamed.

Al-Azhar's grand sheik Ahmed al-Tayed said: "Islam prohibits the taking of an innocent life."

He said by burning the pilot to death, the militants had violated Islam's prohibition on the mutilation of bodies.

While capital punishment is used across parts of the region, burning to death as legal punishment is unheard of in contemporary Middle East, the Associated Press has reported.

Iyad Madani, the leader of the Saudi-based Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, the world's largest bloc of Muslim countries, also condemned the killing.

In a statement, Madani said the death "utterly disregards the rights of prisoners Islam has decreed, as well as the human moral standards for war and treatment of prisoners".

Condemnations have also been quick from Gulf Arab nations, all close US allies, including the United Arab Emirates, whose foreign minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan reaffirmed his nation's commitment to fighting terrorism and extremism.

"This heinous and obscene act represents a brutal escalation by the terrorist group, whose evil objectives have become apparent," he said.

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