April 17, 2002
Despite U.S. government urging to take a strong stand against suicide terrorism, politicians, religious and cultural leaders in the Arab world praise and glorify suicide bombings, often hailing these murderous actions as "martyrdom" that will be rewarded in paradise|
Terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians have become an almost daily occurrence during the 18-month Palestinian uprising.
Suicide bombers with explosives strapped to their bodies have detonated themselves in crowded markets, outdoor cafes, pizza parlors and public buses. Such killings have claimed the lives of more than 640 Israeli civilians and have recently increased in their frequency and intensity.
The Palestinian terrorist organizations taking credit for the attacks insist that there are hundreds of Palestinian men and women prepared to take up the "call to martyrdom" against Israel. The U.S. government is urging Arab leaders to take a strong stand against suicide terrorism. However, statements by politicians, religious and cultural leaders praise and glorify suicide bombings, which are often hailed as acts of "martyrdom" that will be rewarded in paradise.
Throughout the Arab world, Palestinian suicide bombers are being praised for their deadly results. There are few, if any voices in the Arab world that openly defy this culture by speaking out about the moral and humanitarian issues of killing innocents.
Examples: Arab Religious, Political, Intellectual Leaders Praise Suicide Terrorists
Saudi Official: Bombers sacrifice "their souls for freedom"
Palestinian suicide bombers are sacrificing "their souls for freedom."
"When young men and women offered their souls for the sake of freedom and independence and in defense of their religion, dignity, self and family, the United States could not find anything to describe these great sacrifices except to say they are terrorist, criminal actions."
"What's the difference between the taking of innocent lives in New York and Washington and the taking of innocent lives in Ramallah and Bethlehem?."
-- Amhed al-Tuwaijri, member of the Consultative Council of Saudi Arabia, in a letter to President George W. Bush and members of Congress. April 16, 2002
Suha Arafat: "No Greater Honor"
There is "no greater honor" than martyrdom.
"Would you expect me and my children to be less patriotic and more eager to live than my countrymen and their father and leader who is seeking martyrdom?"
-- Suha Arafat, wife of Yasir Arafat, in an interview with the London-based Saudi Newspaper, Al Majalla. April 12, 2002
Saudi Ambassador dedicates poem to "Martyrs"
"Tell Ayat*, the bride of loftiness … She embraced death with a smile while the leaders are running away from death. Doors of heaven are opened for her."
"We complained to the idols of a White House whose heart is filled with darkness"]
-- Ghazi Algosaibi, the Saudi Ambassador to the U.K. and noted poet, in a poem titled "Martyrs." The poem appeared on the front page of the London-based pan-Arab newspaper Al Hayat. April 12, 2002
(*Reference to Ayat Akras, an 18-year-old Palestinian female suicide bomber who attacked a Jerusalem supermarket on March 29, killing two and injuring 25).
Saudi Telethon Raises $100 million for Palestinian "Martyrs"
A three-day telethon organized by the Saudi "Committee for the Support of Al-Quds Intifada" raised more than $100 million with frequent references to the Palestinian "martyrs" and their terror operations against Israel.
During the televised event, Islamic clergymen made calls for the destruction of Israel and America. According to various reports, one Saudi offered his car so that it could be used "to blow up a military barracks and kill (Israeli) soldiers" and a 6-year-old boy made a symbolic donation of fake plastic explosives. April 12, 2002
Sermon Broadcast on Palestinian TV Hails "Martyrs"
"Anyone who does not attain martyrdom in these days should wake in the middle of the night and say: 'My God, why have you deprived me of martyrdom for your sake? For the martyr lives next to Allah'…"
"Oh Allah, accept our martyrs in the highest heavens…
Oh Allah, show the Jews a black day…
Oh Allah, annihilate the Jews and their supporters…
Oh Allah, raise the flag of Jihad across the land…
Oh Allah, forgive our sins…"
-- Sheikh Ibrahim Madhi, Palestinian Authority Imam, in a Friday sermon delivered at a Gaza City mosque and broadcast live by Palestinian TV. April 12, 2002 *
Egyptian Clerics Voice Support for Suicide Missions
Israeli citizens are "forces of occupation." Therefore "martyrdom operations … (are the) highest form of jihad operations. Suicide attacks are "an Islamic commandment until the people of Palestine regain their land and cause the cruel Israeli aggression to retreat."
-- Sheikh Muhammad Sayyed Tantawi, the head of Al Azhar University in Egypt, April 4, 2002 *
"Tantawi, demanded that the Palestinian people, of all factions, intensify the martyrdom operations against the Zionist enemy, and described the martyrdom operations as the highest form of Jihad operations. He says that the young people executing them have sold Allah the most precious thing of all.
"[Sheikh Tantawi] emphasized that every martyrdom operation against any Israeli, including children, women, and teenagers, is a legitimate act according to [Islamic] religious law…"
-- Web site associated with Al Azhar University, April 4, 2002 *
"The solution to the Israeli terror lies in a proliferation of Fidai (suicide) attacks that strike horror into the hearts of the enemies of Allah. The Islamic countries, peoples and rulers alike, must support these martyrdom attacks."
-- Sheikh Dr. Ahmad Al-Tayyeb, the newly appointed mufti of Egypt, April 4, 2002 *
Saudi Columnist Applauds Passover Massacre
"You entered silently, with the faith and confidence with which Allah inspired you. Despite all the obstacles, fortifications, and security measures, you reached [the appointed place], sat down at one of the tables, talked, told a few jokes, and laughed with them, and then Allah decreed for you a martyr's death. What heroism, courage, and strength - almost unmatched on the face of the earth!"
-- Dr. Khalil Ibrahim Al-Sa'adat, a columnist, writing the Saudi government-controlled daily Al Jazirah. The quotation applauded the actions of the Palestinian suicide bomber who detonated himself at a Passover Seder in a Netanya hotel. April 1, 2002 *
Palestinian Leadership in Ramallah
"Oh God, give me martyrdom like this. We are all potential martyrs, the whole Palestinian people."
-- Yasir Arafat in his Ramallah compound, following a suicide attack that killed 27 civilians at a Passover Seder in Netanya. March 30, 2002
* Source: MEMRI - Middle East Media Research Institute