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Virgins for Terror By: Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook
Palestinian Media Watch | Wednesday, December 26, 2007

A music video depicting a Shahid (Martyr for Allah) being greeted in Paradise by the Dark Eyed Maidens (Virgins) has returned to Palestinian Authority (PA) television. The return of this of Shahada (Death for Allah) promotion comes at a time the PA leadership may be interested in increasing the motivation of its fighters. The PA fears an Israeli ground invasion of the Gaza Strip in response to the continuous firing of rockets at Israeli cities.

The clip portrays a woman being shot in the back by Israeli soldiers. She is immediately transported to Paradise, where she joins other Maidens wearing identical long white gowns, all joyously dancing, waiting to marry their Shahid. The next scenes depict her male friend visiting her grave, after which he is also shot by Israeli soldiers. His Shahada- Death for Allah is immediately rewarded, and he is transported to heaven, where all the "Maidens" -- including his lover -- turn to greet him.

This is one of the longest-running music videos on PA TV. It was broadcast incessantly for years, often several times a day during the PA terror war (2000-2005) and returned for a month in September 2006. This recurring image of the Martyr being rewarded by receiving the Maidens was part of the multifaceted PA campaign glorifying and encouraging terror, and promoting suicide terror as idyllic Shahada (Martyrdom for Allah).

After an absence of more than a year, PA TV has been broadcasting this video clip regularly for the past month. It is possible that PA TV is attempting to increase the motivation for battle, and especially death in battle, among its men should a ground war develop in the Gaza Strip.

The belief that man is rewarded with beautiful women in Paradise is based on Islamic traditions in the Quran [Suras 42, 44, 52, 56, and others] and the Hadith (traditions attributed to Muhammad), and is expressed regularly in many parts of PA society..

Click on the following 5 links to see expressions of this reward:

1 - Mothers who celebrate terrorist sons' deaths as weddings

Mother: "We do not encourage our sons to die. We encourage them to Shahada for the homeland, for Allah. We don't say to the mothers of the shahids, 'We have come to comfort you,' but 'We have come to bless you on the wedding of your son, on the Shahada of your son. Congratulations to you on the Shahada...' For us, the mourning is joyous. We give out drinks, we give out sweets. Praise to God - the mourning is a joyous occasion." [PA TV, November 17, 2004

2 - Woman says her planned suicide terror would have made her one of the Maidens who would marry a Martyr

Q. Had you succeeded in [your suicide] mission, what would have been your reward?
A. The reward was from Allah, in Paradise. The female Martyrdom-seeker becomes one of the Dark-Eyed Maidens, and she marries one of the Martyrs.
[IBA news, Oct. 2004]

3 - Suicide terrorists who anticipate the Maidens as reward in farewell videos

Terrorist: "Angels of mercy, escort our souls to Heaven after we fulfill this duty of crushing the descendents of monkeys and pigs. Dear father and mother, blessings of honor and respect to you, while you escort me to the Maidens of Paradise as a Martyr."

4 - Mother explaining that her son's motivation to terror was his inability to find a bride so he chose to be a Martyr to marry the Maidens of Paradise

Mother: "He would always dream of Shahada, it was his first and last goal in life. I told him, 'Dear, we all want to be shahids.' He said, 'In this entire world, I can't think of anyone to marry. I want to marry the Dark Eyed [Virgins or Maidens of Paradise].' I said [that] if these are his thoughts, I wish him Shahada."
[PA TV, January 21, 2003]

5 - PA religious leaders teach that the 72 Dark Eyed Virgins is reward of Martyr
We shouldn’t forget that Allah, praise him, in blessing the blood of the Martyr, He forgives him from the first gush of blood. And he sees his place in Paradise. He is shielded from the Great Shock and marries 72 Dark-Eyed Maidens (virgins).” [PATV, program of Sheik Imad Hamato Nov. 3, 2006]

The PA grants Shahid (Martyr) status to all those killed in conflict including suicide bombers and other terrorists.

Itamar Marcus is the founder and director of Palestinian Media Watch. He was appointed by the Israeli government to be the Israeli representative (communication specialist) to the Trilateral (Israeli-American-Palestinian) Anti-Incitement Committee established under the Wye Accords. From 1998 to 2000, Mr. Marcus served as research director of the Center for Monitoring the Impact of Peace, writing reports on PA, Syrian, and Jordanian schoolbooks. He holds a BA in political science from City College of New York and an MA in Hebrew culture from New York University. Barbara Crook is associate director and North American representative of Palestinian Media Watch. She teaches at the School of Journalism and Communications at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. She holds an Honors BA in English literature from Queen's University, an MA in journalism from the University of Western Ontario, and is a Southam Fellow at the University of Toronto.

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