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UJ students organise march to condemn killing of Jordanian pilot

By Suzanna Goussous - Feb 05,2015 - Last updated at Feb 05,2015

AMMAN — University of Jordan (UJ) students condemned the killing of Royal Jordanian Air Force pilot Muath Kasasbeh in a march on Wednesday.

University professors, administrators and students rallied across campus in solidarity with the pilot’s family a day after the so-called Islamic State group released a video showing its members burning Kasasbeh alive.

Students read verses from the Koran and prayed that God would grant his family endurance.

Participants in the march also performed “prayers for the absent”, group funeral prayers performed for those who die in foreign lands and do not receive a proper burial. 

Speaking at the march, UJ President Ekhleif Tarawneh condemned “the criminal and inhuman act” committed by the terrorist group, which revealed the falsehood of their claims to be “Islamic” and showed that they do not live up to laws and human values.

Tarawneh said it is essential to “guard our national unity” among university students against the forces of oppression, extremism and terrorism.

UJ students at the march called for unity and harmony among Jordanians at this critical time, and supporting the Hashemite leadership in pursuing wise policies in cooperation with the international community to promote world peace.

Tarawneh expressed condolences to the pilot’s family on behalf of UJ’s staff and students. 

He announced that the replica aeroplane near the engineering faculty had been named after Kasasbeh, in recognition of the pilot’s efforts in protecting the country.

“This act is to show gratitude for the noblest and finest meanings of sacrifice and patriotism and to fight the forces of evil and darkness, which have committed the most heinous crimes and violations against humanity,” Tarawneh said.

In a speech after the prayers, UJ Islamic studies professor Mohammad Majali said Islam forbids killing by burning, stressing that Islam preaches reform, security and world peace.

Students called on Jordanian Muslims and Christians to pray to God to grant the pilot’s family and friends peace of mind.

“This will only bring us closer together; it will never tear us apart. We are one unit and will not give the terrorists what they want,” student Hassan Jaabari said.

The students stressed the importance of dealing decisively with the terrorist organisation.

“We want the world to know that this is not Islam; it is terrorism and terrorism does not belong to any religion. What happened is tragic and does not relate to Islam at all,” Umayma Mahadeen noted. 

“We will all wait for a reaction from the Jordanian government and we will not be silenced,” stressed Muhammad Sayouri, another student.

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