Sunday, January 9, 2011
[By Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik, from Palestinian Media Watch.]
Dying as a Martyr for Allah - becoming a Shahid - continues to be presented as a positive achievement in Palestinian society. As documented by Palestinian Media Watch, for years the Palestinian Authority has promoted Martyrdom as an ultimate value and goal both to adults and children. Still today, aspiring to become a "Martyr" is considered an honor and praised by society. Often the death and funeral of a "Martyr" is referred to as a wedding and he himself is considered a "groom" who marries the virgins of Paradise.
When a Palestinian was killed by Israel last week while placing a landmine by the security fence in the southern part of the Gaza Strip, a female relative explained:
"Today he is a groom. I've sounded a joyous cry. He is a groom. He wanted to become a Martyr for a long time. When I told him: 'Find a job,' he said: 'I want to be a Martyr.'"
Emphasizing the idea of the "Martyr" becoming a groom, a woman earlier this year exclaimed on PA TV:
"By Allah, we welcome every Martyr as if he were a groom among us."
Parents who themselves have lost children, encourage others to also "sacrifice" their children. A mother of a "Martyr" said about her dead son: "Praise to Allah, he sought Martyrdom, and he achieved it. My message to every mother is to sacrifice her child for Palestine."
"If I were young and could bear children who would fight the way my children fought, and another generation of my children could arise, I would do it," said a mother of one Shahid (Martyr) and five prisoners, expressing pride in her children.
Another mother, whose son died in prison said: "I know that my son, praise Allah, died as a Shahid, and all the glory and honor is that my son is a Shahid."