Peter Kassig, 26, also known as Abdulrahman Kassig after converting to Islam, was the last victim of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS). He was born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana and was an ex-soldier, humanitarian worker. He established a nongovernmental organization in 2012 to provide help for refugees in Syria and Lebanon with supplies, clothes, food and medical assistance.
He was taken captive by ISIS on Oct. 1, 2013, while he was on his way to Deir ez-Zor in Syria to deliver aid. He converted to Islam and changed his name while in captivity. According to his family, he was not forced to convert to Islam – his path to Islam had already begun before that.
He had no desire to be famous and no desire to be a hero. He just wanted to help Syrian people, to show the world the humanitarian tragedy in Syria and to do what he could. He was named as the next victim to be beheaded in an ISIS propaganda video on Oct. 3, 2014. He was killed on Sunday, Nov. 16. He didn't deserve it. On that day there was another heinous murder in the Middle East along with all the others.
Yusuf Hasan al-Ramuni, 32, was a Palestinian bus driver from al-Tur on the Mount of Olives in East Jerusalem. The father of two was driving to work on Nov. 16. He was supposed to begin his scheduled number 57 route when another driver found his body. He was abducted by Israeli settlers and killed in his bus in the Ras al-Amud neighborhood. He died from strangulation by hanging, and according to experts, he was the victim of an organized murder. Al-Quds newspaper reported that the driver was lynched by six Jewish men. Israeli officials claimed he committed suicide, but his relatives ruled out that possibility while fellow bus driver, Muatasem Fakeh told Agence France-Presse that they saw the signs of violence on his body. He was hanged at the back of the bus, a place where it would be impossible to hang himself alone, according to Fakeh. His brother, Osama al-Ramuni, said his brother's body had bruises on it that shows he had been tortured before he was hanged. On social media, a Jewish settler's photo showing him swinging on a rope in his hands was circled.
He had no desire for fame and he had no plans to be known. He was just a bus driver trying to do his best looking after his family in the occupied territory. He didn't deserve it either.
Both men were not the first victims of their murderers and we know they won't be the last. ISIS killed hundreds of people, including five Westerners who it beheaded, for its cause. Israel has killed thousands of people for its cause, including the victims tortured, burned, hanged and killed at the hands of Israeli settlers.
Israel and ISIS have so much in common. Both are outsiders who occupied the lands they seized and have claimed that it is their right. ISIS alleges that it is an Islamic state while Israel says that it is a Jewish state. They both use religion to justify their crimes and their existence while they continue to destroy holy sites. Israel occupied and settled on the lands of Palestinians with the help of secret agreements and supposedly de jure treaties while ISIS is trying to have Iraq and Syria by force on the ground, i.e., de facto methods.
They reap the harvest of what they sow. Their targets do not accept what the international community wants and do not welcome their enemies' claims. They fight against savages and barbarians and "so-called" states. And unfortunately, innocent people continue to die. It seems like many will die because of what could be a long-standing war.