“These people [Gaza civilians killed in war]
– their time had come, and they were martyred.
They have gained [Paradise]…
Don’t be disturbed by these images…
He who is Martyred doesn’t feel…
His soul has ascended to Allah.”
[Al-Aqsa TV (Hamas), July 20, 2014]
by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik
Hamas is trying to both justify and console Gaza’s population over the many civilian deaths it has caused in the Gaza war. While broadcasting gruesome pictures of dead civilians, including children, a TV host explained that since in Islam a person’s time of death is predetermined by Allah, the people who have been killed in the recent fighting have actually “gained”: They would have died now anyway, but now they will receive the rewards of Martyrdom – Shahada – in Paradise.
Palestinian Media Watch has documented Hamas’ use of civilians as human shields, which has led to a high civilian death toll. Hamas has instructed Gaza civilians to disregard Israel’s warnings to evacuate areas before they were bombed, and has decried those who have criticized the high civilian death toll.
The glorification of Martyrdom both justifies the Hamas activities that led to these deaths and also may console the population. In addition, this message may persuade civilians to continue endangering their lives by protecting Hamas terrorists and their terror infrastructure with their bodies.
Recently, PMW reported on a sermon by the former Palestinian Authority Minister of Religious Affairs, Mahmoud Al-Habbash, who likewise glorified Martyrdom death as something to which Palestinians should aspire.
Here are some excerpts from this sermon:
Palestine Authority Minister of Religious Affairs Mahmoud Al-Habbash: “We know for certain that as long as we [adhere] to the truth, we will face challenges and be made a target – as individuals and as groups – we know this for certain. Nonetheless, we are also confident in the words of Allah: ‘Say, ‘Do you await for us except one of the two best things’ (Quran, Sura 9:52). What do you expect, enemies, cowards (indistinct word), what do they expect will happen to us? ‘One of the two best things.’
Brothers, Allah willing, only one of the two best things will happen to us – victory or Martyrdom (Shahada) – and what a good fate this is, what a good level is this – victory or Martyrdom…
Await, wait a short while, I swear the signs heralding victory are seen on the horizon. I swear in a God, beside whom there is no other God, that the end of the tyranny and the tyrants is near. This occupation and its growths and creations that wish to spread corruption in our land… We tell them all, the occupation and the occupation’s instruments and any who serve the occupation: ‘Await for us except one of the two best things’ – we, Allah willing, [will be] either Martyrs or victors on our land. […]
Pay attention, it is Allah who says: ‘They will not harm you except for [some] annoyance’ (Quran, Sura 3:111, translation Sahih International) – it is possible that they will harm you. I say to you, it is possible that they will kill us, it is possible that Allah will sentence us to Martyrdom. It is possible that we will be wounded, it is possible that terrorism will be laid on us – ‘They will not harm you except for [some] annoyance’ – but in the end, ‘and if they fight you, they will show you their backs’ and the conclusion – ‘then they will not be aided’ (Quran, Sura, 3:111, translation, Sahih International). We ask for victory more than we ask for life. We ask for the strengthening of our people in this good and blessed land.
END OF SERMON
It appears to be all about martyrdom or victory. “We ask for victory more than we ask for life” pretty well sums up the views of this guy and of “true believers”, religious extremists.
Now a photo gallery of some really good photos about World War II. One picture is worth a thousand words.