By Charlie De Mar
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Oct. 13,2014)- New portions of a letter written by the Indianapolis native being held captive by ISIS are giving new perspective into how the terror group treats its prisoners.
Abdul-Rahman, formerly known as Peter, had the letter carried out by a hostage who had been released. The letter was delivered to Abdul-Rahman’s parents, Ed and Paula Kassig.
Dr. David Carlson teaches philosophy and religion at Franklin College. He specializes in religion and violence.
“Whatever the outcome of his fate is, he might not be being treated as badly as we think he is,” said Carlson.
Carlson says the letter sheds a new light on how ISIS is treating its prisoners.
“I think we imagine that if they are beheading, something that seems so monstrous, then we imagine they are torturing them all the time,” he said.
The Kassigs also said that an audio recording was sent from their son about two weeks ago. The message was sent via email and said that his time was coming to an end, according to a family spokesperson.
Here’s the letter written by Abdul-Rahman Kassig (new portions in bold):
It is still really hard to believe all of this is really happening… as I am sure you know by now, things have been getting pretty intense. We have been held together, us foreigners … and now about half the people have gone home. … I hope that this all has a happy ending but it may very well be coming down to the wire here, and if in fact that is the case then I figured it was time to say a few things that need saying before I have to go.
The first thing I want to say is thank you. Both to you and mom for everything you have both done for me as parents; for everything you have taught me, shown me, and experienced with me. I cannot imagine the strength and commitment it has taken to raise a son like me but your love and patience are things I am so deeply grateful for.
Secondly, I want you to know about things here and what I’ve been through straight from me so you don’t have to wonder, guess, or imagine (often this is worse than the reality). All in all I am alright. Physically I am pretty underweight but I’m not starved, & I have no physical injuries, I’m a tough kid and still young so that helps.
Mentally I am pretty sure this is the hardest thing a man can go through, the stress and fear are incredible but I am coping as best I can. I am not alone. I have friends, we laugh, we play chess, we play trivia to stay sharp, and we share stories and dreams of home and loved ones. I can be hard to deal with, you know me. My mind is quick and my patience thinner than most. But all in all I am holding my own. I cried a lot in the first few months but a little less now. I worry a lot about you and mom and my friends.
They tell us you have abandoned us and/or don’t care but of course we know you are doing everything you can and more. Don’t worry Dad, if I do go down, I won’t go thinking anything but what I know to be true. That you and mom love me more than the moon & the stars.
I am obviously pretty scared to die but the hardest part is not knowing, wondering, hoping, and wondering if I should even hope at all. I am very sad that all this has happened and for what all of you back home are going through. If I do die, I figure that at least you and I can seek refuge and comfort in knowing that I went out as a result of trying to alleviate suffering and helping those in need.
In terms of my faith, I pray everyday and I am not angry about my situation in that sense. I am in a dogmatically complicated situation here, but I am at peace with my belief.
I wish this paper would go on forever and never run out and I could just keep talking to you. Just know I’m with you. Every stream, every lake, every field and river. In the woods and in the hills, in all the places you showed me. I love you.