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Iran's Martyr Recruitment Website By: MEMRI
FrontPageMagazine.com | Wednesday, March 08, 2006


The Iranian reformist Internet daily Rooz reported on March 2, 2006 that "the Iranian martyrdom-seeking [i.e. suicide] forces have launched a website, http://www.esteshhad.com/index.php , called 'To Die as a Martyr,' [1] and have declared an alert among the Iranian martyrdom-seeking forces."

The following are excerpts from the Rooz report: [2]

"Thousands of Young Martyrdom-Seeking Iranians are Counting the Minutes Until They Can Give Their Souls"

"The website of the Iranian martyrdom-seekers began its operations by declaring an alert amongst the Iranian martyrdom forces... The site also demanded that the Iranian martyrdom-seeking forces intervene in Iraq and protect the Shi'ite holy places [there]."

Rooz quoted from an article posted on the site: "The World Islamic Organization's Headquarters for Commemorating the Shahids has set as its goal the unification of the forces of struggle in the Islamic world, in order to confront the heresy [i.e. the forces of the West] and the occupying Zionism. The Headquarters hereby warns the egotistical and debased occupying enemies in Iraq that thousands of young martyrdom-seeking Iranians are counting the minutes until they can give their souls for the sake of their holy places, and until they strike the lightning blow of their sacred rage upon the heads of the agents of world arrogance [i.e. the U.S. and the West].

"Headquarters demands that high-ranking officials of the [Iranian] regime permit the martyrdom-seeking forces to go to Iraq, in order to fulfill their religious obligation and to defend the sacred precincts of the four cities holy to the Shia [Najaf, Karbala, Kazemin, and Samarra]..."

"Headquarters Spokesman Muhammad 'Ali Samedi... Claimed That So Far... 53,900 Have Signed Up"

Rooz added that the martyrdom-seekers website enjoyed the support and aid of prominent figures amongst "[Iran's] conservatives." No names were mentioned. The report continued: "The site includes a form for registration and membership in the Iranian martyrdom units, as well as an appeal to martyrdom-seekers to join the organization. [It states]: 'Please refrain from indicating your home phone number. If you don't have a mobile phone, wait to be contacted by us via email. The next stages of the registration will be sent to you via email.'"

Rooz added: "Previously, the registering of young Iranians for the martyrdom units had been perceived [primarily] as psychological warfare against the West; however, the operation of the martyrdom seekers website, the continued activity of the World Islamic Organization's Headquarters for Commemorating the Shahids, and the call to join Iranian martyrdom units indicate that organized and planned activity is afoot.... Headquarters spokesman Muhammad 'Ali Samedi... has claimed that so far... 53,900 have signed up."

"The Planners of This Apparatus for Suicide Missions Have Succeeded in Attracting More Iranian Women and Girls Than Men"

"With the launch of its operations, the Headquarters website also posted religious justification for martyrdom operations, and registration for volunteers. In this section of the site, titled 'A Religious Commandment,' it states: 'According to Dr. Yousef Al-Qaradhawi, there is a consensus among clerics that when the enemy attacks one of the Muslim lands, jihad becomes an obligation incumbent upon all. [In such a case,] a woman can participate [in jihad] without her husband's permission, and a son without his father's permission...'"

Rooz wrote further that "the news items published about the headquarters of the Iranian martyrdom-seekers... indicate that the planners of this apparatus for suicide missions have succeeded in attracting more Iranian women and girls than men. The posting of the photos of the Palestinian women who carried out martyrdom [operations], and the presentation of photos of martyrdom-seeking women without the hijab [head and body covering] at this apparatus's registration locations, all while emphasizing Koran verses about equality between men and women [in jihad], indicate that the directors of this apparatus are more interested in recruiting Iranian girls and women."

Rooz also pointed out that billboards have been out up in various places across Tehran: "One showed the photos of eight Palestinian women martyrs, and another showed a photo of the martyr Reem Saleh Al-Riyashi, who [in January 2004] carried out a martyrdom operation even though she was the mother of two children. All this was in order to devote special attention to [recruitment of] young Iranian women."

Rooz also notes that the "Religious Commandment" page of the website offers Muslim women religious justification for exposing their hair: "Should a Muslim who seeks martyrdom be compelled not to maintain her [head] covering in order to carry out the important thing that she has undertaken [i.e. martyrdom], she will commit no crime. One of the principles of Islam is that in time of need, some prohibitions become permitted..."


[1] It should be noted that as of this writing, the site is not active.

[2] http://www.roozonline.com/01newsstory/014387.shtml.

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