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.


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