Jihadists Debate Permissibility of IS Beheading of Peter Kassig


The Islamic State's (IS) November 16, 2014 video release claiming the killing of American citizen Peter Kassig (also known as Abdul Rahman Kassig)—who was reportedly a practicing Muslim—has triggered dispute among jihadists and jihadist supporters regarding the permissibility of his killing. Such arguments on social media have pertained to both Kassig's sincerity as a Muslim as well as the truthfulness of reports claiming him to be one.

Jihadists condemning the attack largely rested their arguments on numerous reports that Kassig was a Muslim, therefore making his killing impermissible. The Twitter account of "Ibn Nabih," a Nusra Front supporter, participated in a lengthy argument with other jihadists and jihadist supporters after condemning IS's act. He stated in successive tweets:


Other jihadists responded to Ibn Nabih, claiming that he was taking the word of Western media over that of his "fellow muslims" in IS, and that Kassig had only converted to Islam out of fear of being executed. To these statements, Ibn Nabih remained firm that Kassig "was already close to Islam" before his capture, and that "couldnt care less what ISIS sources have 2 say..."

Ibn Nabih also retweeted another users' IS-condemning tweet, which referred to the group's recent announcement of its own currency:


Twitter user "Abu Maria Al-Qahtani," a former Nusra Front Shari'ah leader, proclaimed in a series of tweets the following day:

The matter of killing the American doctor and the aid worker before him at the hand of the renegades is a matter of them being against all who stand with the Syrian people, and the position of the UAE is similar to that of ISIS.

Abu Maria Al-Qahtani also claimed that "ISIS does not represent the Muslims nor Islam," and went as far to call them "a gang led by criminals and followed by fools and naifs [those who are naïve]."

User "Qa'Qa al-Biritani," an alleged fighter with IS, tweeted a rebuttal to the numerous criticisms of the beheading among Muslims, stating in a series of tweets that claims of Kassig's conversion to Islam were misleading statements by the Western media:

Concerning the recent beheading - from what I am aware of, this man was only to of been reported as Muslim by the kuffar [disbelievers].
This is where the fitnah began (feel free to correct me) and it was reported by BBC that he became Muslim AFTER captivity as I have read.
Firstly Allah says: "O you who believe! If a fasiq comes to you with a news, verify it!.." - never mind if the kuffār come to you!

The user also posted an answer on his Ask.fm account after another user asked, "Peter Kasig was a Convert to Islam before he got captured. Why would you guys kill him?" He responded:

Don't tell lies, even BBC said he became Muslim AFTER captivity but as to whether or not he was Muslim, I have only heard this from the kuffar.

Similarly, Twitter user "Ali" posted:


User "Mohamed Ibn Albaraa," to the same note, tweeted:

Other justifications of Kassig's killing accused him of converting to Islam as a means to save himself among other accusations. User "Abu Dunyā Muhajir," a fighter with IS, tried to explain the situation in a series of tweets, stating that Kassig had allegedly provided information "that led to airstrikes," and may have only converted to Islam to "save his neck." He wrote:
I'll try to explain why a revert got beheaded. Seems to be all that people are talking about. I'll be as cogent as 140 characters allow
Seems he was an American soldier, Daleel was provided on that. The accusation was he was spying for his country, providing material
support that led to airstrikes. He reverted, but we know not if it was to try and save his neck or not (only Allah knows)
A Taghut is a Muslim who colludes with the enemy. Hadd punishment is death under Shari'ah as is being a spy
These are the laws of Allah. Our Messenger (saw) brought them to us in the Qur'an and in the Hadeeths. Kuffar [disbelievers] don't understand
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