Muslim group based in central Indiana condemns ISIS capture of Hoosier

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By Aishah Hasnie

PLAINFIELD, Ind. (Oct. 6, 2014)-- A national Muslim group based in central Indiana is expressing outrage after an Indianapolis man captured by ISIS was threatened to be killed in the name of Islam.

Abdul-Rahman Kassig, formerly known as Peter Kassig, was captured by ISIS in October of last year, according to his family. Last week, he was shown in an ISIS produced video and threatened to be next in line on a growing list of public beheadings.

In response, Kassig’s parents released a YouTube video pleading for their son’s safe release.

“We implore those who are holding you to show mercy and use their power to let you go,” said his mother Paula Kassig.

The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) which is headquartered in Central Indiana, condemned the terror group again on Friday and fought back claims that its actions were based on Islamic principles.

“There is absolutely no religious justification to the actions of what ISIS is doing,” said Edgar Hopida, spokesman for ISNA.

Hopida explained to FOX59 that Muslims are forbidden from forcing anyone to convert to Islam.

“We do not force people to become Muslim. We do not threaten people to become Muslim. And we do not threaten or kill people that are different from us,” he added. “We joined 120 Muslim scholars from around the world in a point by point refutation of Baghdadi and his group saying that there is no religious justification to the actions that they are committing.”

Kassig’s family hopes ISIS will show mercy on their son, because he converted to Islam. They said he took the religion on his own.

Hopida said ISIS’ threat to kill Kassig proves anyone who does not follow the group’s extreme ideology is a target, even if they converted to Islam.

“That just re-enforces that they’re not Muslim. They are un-Islamic and we should stop calling them the Islamic state,” said Hopida. “We’re all about peace. We’re all about building a better community and we feel that this group is making our religion look bad and we want to separate ourselves from this terrorist group called ISIS.”

A group of Muslim Hoosiers is planning a Muslim-led prayer for Kassig’s release this week. FOX59 will share details on the prayer when they are finalized.

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