Man On Fire


The image of a man set on fire is haunting. The fact that ISIS’ brutal act of burning alive a captured Jordanian pilot, a fellow Muslim, was performed in the name of God makes it even worse. If this is not a call to moderate and peace loving Muslims to join the battle against ISIS and radical Islam, then I don’t know what is. 

The silence of moderate Muslims needs to be broken and I’m hoping that Jordan’s revulsion at their air pilot Moaz al-Kasasbeh’s kidnapping and murder will propel them and other Muslim nations to speak out and fight back.

We keep saying the war against terrorism is a war against radical Islam, not Islam per se. The Islamic world now has the chance to make that distinction clear. If, and hopefully, when peaceful Muslims speak out and act, we must be here to embrace them.

Now is the chance for Jews, Christians, Muslims and all religious groups to stand side by side and show the world that religion is not synonymous with war; that religious leaders can bring peace and love into the world, not just war and hatred, like so many today believe. Now is the time for religious leaders to show the world a face of religion that respects the dignity of all humankind and promotes peaceful coexistence.

If this could even start to happen, then perhaps Moaz al-Kasasbeh’s tragic death would not have been in vain.

Founder and director of Manhattan Jewish Experience New York, N.Y.