The parents of Peter Kassig, the former U.S. Army Ranger being held captive by ISIS and threatened with beheading, have released a letter written by their son earlier this year in which he says he is afraid to die but is at peace with his conversion to Islam. In the letter, the 26-year-old hostage thanked his parents, Ed and Paula Kassig, and writes, “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.” He goes on to write, according to his parents, that he prays every day, is not angry about his situaton, and “I am at peace with my belief.” Kassig, who took the name Abdul-Rahman, voluntarily converted to Islam sometime between October and December last year, his parents said.
This is the letter that Paula and Ed Kassig received from their son in captivity. Before it was released the text was edited for length and sensitive information redacted:
‘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.
‘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.’