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Interfaith vigil offers support, prayers for victims of ISIS

ASU students made signs to show sympathy for victims of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.  The vigil was organized by student organizations to protest the actions of ISIS. (J. Bauer-Leffler/The State Press)
ASU students made signs to show sympathy for victims of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. The vigil was organized by student organizations to protest the actions of ISIS. (J. Bauer-Leffler/The State Press)

ASU students made signs to show sympathy for victims of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.  The vigil was organized by student organizations to protest the actions of ISIS. (J. Bauer-Leffler/The State Press) ASU students made signs to show sympathy for victims of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. The vigil was organized by student organizations to protest the actions of ISIS. (J. Bauer-Leffler/The State Press)

Students of all faiths and backgrounds gathered in solidarity on Hayden lawn Monday night to show support and sympathy for victims of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria and to offer prayers for missing Arizonan aid worker Kayla Mueller.

Seema Kassab, president of the Muslim Liberty Project, organized the event as a way to bring students together and to show that the ideology of ISIS needs to be stopped.

ISIS does not represent the religion of Islam, and it has actually killed more Muslims than people of any other faith, Kassab said in her speech.

“The murder of Jordanian pilot Muath Al-Kaseasbeh prompted the vigil after being locked in a cage and burned alive,” Kassab said. “As horrific as the killing of Muath was, we must not forget all the journalists and aid workers who have disappeared before him since the start of the Syrian revolution.”

Kassab said the Muslim Liberty Project was there to to provide a voice for the silent majority of Muslims against radicalization.

Jared Hirschl, president of Students Supporting Israel, said he sees the issue not as a religious issue but as a Middle East issue.

“Israel is in the Middle East, and they are killing our brothers and sisters,” he said. “Whether they are Muslim, Jewish or Christian, they are still our brothers and sisters in the Middle East and when you kill someone it affects people in Israel, Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria. So, I think ISIS is a good reason for us to drop the conflicts that we have now and focus on the fact that we are humans dealing with people who are trying to kill us.”

Timothy Sapio went to high school and college with Kayla Mueller, who ISIS claimed was killed in an airstrike by Jordanian forces but has not been verified, and offered his condolences to the family as well as what he thought Mueller would like to hear from people who are praying for her and her family.

“If she were here today for someone she was praying for she wouldn’t be praying for the destruction of anything,” he said. “She would be praying for the end of violence.”

Sapio said Mueller devoted her life to ending violence and helping people who were suffering regardless of who was causing it.

“Thats what she was about,” he said. “If you want to support anything, support ending human suffering and violence. I hope she is still alive, and there is still hope that we are all hanging onto that she is not dead.”

Reach the reporter at jshanco2@asu.edu or on follow @joey_hancock on Twitter.

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