Monday, October 24, 2005

Teen Suicide Bomber - National Symbol of Iran

The text in Persian says:
"In the memory of the Martyr Mohammad Hossein Fahmideh"
Today, instead of exposing another extremist website we'll talk about more old-fashioned things, namely about numismatics. Collecting of coins and paper money is one of the oldest hobbies. Why? Maybe because coins and notes are all a part of history and can tell a lot about their country of origin. Some time ago I got hold of a very ordinary modern Iranian banknote of 1000 Rials. While it is practically worthless for a collector, it is very interesting from the political point of view. Let's have a look.

The front side of this beautiful note is featuring Imam Khomeini. Well, ok. Nothing special. The rear side is more exciting - it has the Al-Aqsa mosque, which clearly shows that Iran is more interested in the affairs of other countries that in its own. No surprise Israel is so anxious about the Iranian nuclear program.
However, the most curious detail is the watermark. The watermark of my banknote happened to be the "youth" type. I guess this needs some clarification. As you can see here, Iranian banknotes have four types of watermarks: republic seal, arms, Khomeini and Youth. Who is this "youth" that happens to be in such a glorious company?

I bet you'll be surprised - the boy is a suicide bomber.
During the war with Iraq (1980-1988) the 13-year old boy Mohammad Hossein Fahmideh (a member of Basij) attached a bunch of grenades to his body and blew himself up in an attempt to destroy an Iraqi tank.

I am not talking now about him being right or wrong. My point is this: Is it normal for a country to make an idol, a role model of an underage soldier who practically chose to commit suicide on the battlefield? Firstly, it's forbidden by the Geneva Convention to use children under the age of 15 as soldiers. And secondly, what message is Iran sending to its youngsters?

Iran Daily, Tuesday November 02. 2004

Young Adults Week Programs Outlined

Advisor to Tehran Municipality's Cultural and Artistic Organization said the Young Adults Artistic Creations Center will be inaugurated concurrent with the National Young Adults Week.Talking to ISNA, Hossein Hatefi said the first day of the week (October 29) was designated the 'National Day of Young Adults' in a bid to familiarize younger generation with the Islamic values.

"Some 2,000 teenagers paid tribute to the mausoleum of Imam Khomeini on this day, and a number of others visited the family of Fahmideh at his residence in Karaj," he said.Mohammad Hossein Fahmideh was the 13-year-old Basiji student and volunteer combatant who attained martyrdom by blowing himself up to destroy an Iraqi tank on the battlefront during the imposed war (1980-88).

"The second day of the week was entitled as 'Meeting With the Sun,' during which the young adults met with national personalities and scholars," he said. "The third day was designated the day of 'Arts and Artistic Creations.' On this day, the teens met with renowned artists."Also, 300 young adults were to create the longest painting with the subjects of Islamic Revolution, Imam Khomeini and US interference in Iran on a canvas as long as 3,000 meters. According to Hatefi, 'Superior Thoughts' is the designation of the fourth day…

Does this all mean that the best thing a young Iranian can do is to kill himself/herself? Or that their lives are worth so little that it won’t be a big loss for the country if Iranian teens use themselves as weapons and get killed? It’s widely known that during the war with Iraq, Iranian youth were often sent to cleanse minefields with their own bodies in order for the state to save on tanks and other machinery that would otherwise be blown up. This logic reminds me of Stalin, and there must be reasons behind the well-known romantic relationship between Islamic extremists and the European Left.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Arafat Martyrs Brigades: Terrorist Act or Honour Killing?

On Tuesday, a 37 year-old Palestinian woman attacked an Israeli female soldier on the Havara checkpoint near Nablus by stabbing her in the face. The attacker was shot by another Israeli officer and later died of her wounds.

Haaretz 4/10/2005:

"The Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades claimed responsibility Tuesday evening for the stabbing of a female Israel Defense Forces soldier in the face by a Palestinian woman at a checkpoint outside the West Bank city of Nablus earlier in the day. The Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, part of Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas's ruling Fatah movement, said 36-year-old Haifa Hindiya, a mother of five, was on a suicide mission to avenge the killing of two gunmen by IDF troops in the West Bank last week."We are not committed to the truce and we will not respect it. We will continue resisting and fighting the Zionist occupation ... She (Hindiya) was on her way to committing a martyrdom (suicide) attack," the group said in a statement".

Here's the official statement from the Al-Aqsa Brigades' website:

In the Name of God, the Beneficent, the Merciful

Think not of those, who are slain in the way of Allah, as dead. Nay, they are living. With their Lord they have provision.

[Al-Imran 3:169]

Allah the Great has spoken the truth.

Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades in Palestine - Saraya Al-Shaheed Al-Qa'id Yaseer Arafat [Brigades of the Leader Martyr Yaseer Arafat]

Oh our people guarding the riches of the beloved Palestine,

Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades - Brigades of the Leader Martyr Yaseer Arafat, "Shaheed Musbah Muhaamid Group" declare full responsibility for the heroic operation at the Havara military checkpoint where our mujaheed martyr, the daughter of bravery and honour, performed her daring act:

Haifa Daud Hindiya, 37 year-old from Nablus

carried out an operation stabbing one of Zionist [female] soldiers who was searching [female] Palestinian citizens at the Havara checkpoint. It was planned that our shaheeda would enter the occupied Palestine and carry out a suicide operation there. However, mashallah she was victorious, and a Zionist [female] soldier was stabbed to death (1).

We in the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades - Brigades of the Leader Martyr Yaseer Arafat, "Shaheed Musbah Muhaamid Group" sent(2) our shaheeda of homeland and duty and we assure that we'll organise suicide operations everywhere in Palestine till the occupation is over. The humiliating checkpoints built by the Zionists will bring nothing but more suicide blows, and we will not accept any calmness [cease fire] and not the present calmness except calmness for the sick souls.

This is only a drop in the sea...and more is coming.

Kata'eb Shuhadaa Al-Aqsa [Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades] in Palestine
Saraya Shuhadaa Al-Aqsa Yaseer Arafat [Brigades of the Leader Martyr Yaseer Arafat]

Notes: (1) This is a lie - the wounded soldier recieved light injuries and is alive.

(2) the word they are using is "zaffa" which means "to send or bring the bride to her groom".

While the situation seems quite clear, one question still remains: why? Why would a 37 year-old lady, a mother of 5 (some sources say 6) children get involved in an attack that would obviously bring her either death or imprisonment? Out of religious fanaticism or due to her extreme political views? Hard to believe. Female extremists usually engage in certain type of activities while they are still very young and not wait till they turn 37 and have 5 kids. According to Haaretz, the attacker's relatives said she was mentally ill. That's even stranger. As we see from the statement, the terrorists sent Hindiya to carry out a clear mission inside Israel. Would they choose an emotionally unstable person for this mission? I doubt it very much. However, there's another possible version that explains everything: the attack was a modern Palestinian-style honour killing. As you probably know, killing of women for their real or imagined "disgraceful behaviour" is wide-spread in the Muslim world.

James Emery writes in his article "Reputation is Everything":

"The murder of females in the Middle East is an ancient tradition. Prior to the arrival of Islam in AD 622, Arabs occasionally buried infant daughters to avoid the possibility that they would later bring shame to the family. This practice continued through the centuries. It may still occur today among Bedouins, who consider girls most likely to sully the family honor".

" Several thousand women a year are victims of honor killings. Numerous murders are ruled an accident, suicide, or family dispute, if they're reported at all. Police and government officials are often bribed to ignore crimes and hinder investigations. A woman beaten, burned, strangled, shot, or stabbed to death is often ruled a suicide, even when there are multiple wounds".

"Honor killings occur for a variety of offenses, including allegations of premarital or extramarital sex, refusing an arranged marriage, attempting to obtain a divorce, or simply talking with a man".

"In the Palestinian communities of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Israel, and Jordan, women are executed in their homes, in open fields, and occasionally in public, sometimes before crowds of cheering onlookers. Honor killings account for virtually all of the murders of Palestinian women in these areas".

Both Israeli intelligence and Palestinian security services noticed long ago that Palestinian terrorist organisations use the pretext of "honour" to recruit women and force them to become suicide terrorists.

Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs:

Jerusalem, 12 February 2002
Blackmailing Young Women into Suicide Terrorism

"Women whose social standing is problematic, including women who have acquired a 'bad name' due to assumed promiscuity or extra-marital relationships, have often been convinced to take part in terrorist operations as a means of rehabilitating their status and character in Palestinian society. Included among these operations are suicide bombings".

"Reliable Palestinian sources, well informed of events in the Bethlehem area, have shed important light on the modus operandi of the Fatah/Tanzim in their recruitment of one such young woman to carry out a suicide attack. The report of the Palestinian sources to Israeli officials described the recruitment as follows:

a. The Target for Recruitment: A 20 year old woman, a resident of Bethlehem, was recruited by Fatah/Tanzim during the course of October 2002, in order to carry out a suicide attack within Israel.

The Method of Recruitment: The young woman was blackmailed into recruitment for a suicide operation by use of social and psychological coercion, after she had become involved in an illicit personal relationship. This method of coercion, often used by Fatah/Tanzim, is characterized by the seduction of young women into illicit relationships, or the arrangement of their rape. Subsequently, overwhelming emotional pressure is brought to bear on the women, in order to convince them to commit suicide in an admirable manner, since the public revelation of their 'impropriety' would, in Palestinian society, constitute an intolerable disgrace to the honor of their families".

As you see, what happened yesterday on the Israeli checkpoint could well be an example of something Euronews or BBC wouldn't want to show. Nevertheless, the issue is too serious to neglect, as the very concept of honour killing is universal throughout most of the Muslim world, and similar acts may take place everywhere, including Europe which has a large Muslim minority. A year or two ago I heard that Chechen women and Slav converts to Islam (also females) were being forced through severe beating and rape to carry out suicide attacks on the Russian military. I think that European police and social services should take a closer look at the domestic affairs of their Muslim immigrant communities now in order to prevent possible trouble in near future. This is actually what Theo Van Gogh was trying to say and what he died for.

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Truth in the Middle East by mef
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