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Meet Candidate “Martyr Mom” By: Andrew G. Bostom
FrontPageMagazine.com | Thursday, January 05, 2006

Umm Nidal Farhat mothered three Hamas terrorist sons all of whom were killed while participating in so-called martyrdom operations aimed at slaughtering Israelis, indiscriminately, whether military personnel, or civilians. She relished the most notorious of these actions, the murderous rampage by her son Muhammad:

I prayed from the depths of my heart that Allah would cause the success of his operation. I asked Allah to give me 10 [Israelis] for Muhammad, and Allah granted my request and Muhammad made his dream come true, killing 10 Israeli settlers and soldiers. Our God honored him even more, in that there were many Israelis wounded.

In recognition, Umm Nidal was bestowed the honorific appellation Khansaa Filastin after the poetess Al-Khansaa, a convert to Islam and contemporary of the Muslim Prophet Muhammad. Al-Khansaa is deemed “the mother of the Shahids” because she did not mourn when her four sons died in the battle of Al-Qadasiyya (637), instead thanking Allah who had “honored her with their deaths.” 


Propelled by this notoriety, which the larger Palestinian Muslim society clearly extolled, including “moderate” Professor Sari Nusseibah (who stated on Al-Jazeera television [Qatar], June 29, 2002, “When I hear the words of Umm Nidal, I recall the [hadith] stating that ‘Paradise lies under the feet of mothers’. All respect is due to this mother, it is due to every Palestinian mother and every female Palestinian who is a Jihad fighter on this land”), Umm Nidal is now a proud candidate for the Palestinian Legislative Council in the forthcoming late January elections. During a recent interview, Umm Nidal made clear the normative Islamic context of her willingness to sacrifice three sons as “martyrs”:


I protect my sons from defying Allah, or from choosing a path that would not please Allah. This is what I fear, when it comes to my sons. But as for sacrifice, Jihad for the sake of Allah, or performing the duty they were charged with - this makes me happy… "I prepared all my sons for Jihad for the sake of Allah, whether by carrying out an attack, or by any other form of Jihad. I prepared myself for this. He who chooses a difficult road must be ready to bear the consequences.


Umm Nidals’ religious views are supported by both the contemporary pronouncements of acclaimed Muslim Brotherhood cleric Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, and the research of Professor Franz Rosenthal. At the July 2003 meeting (in Stockholm) of the European Council for Fatwa and Research, which he heads, Sheikh Al-Qaradawi stated,


Those who oppose martyrdom operations and claim that they are suicide are making a great mistake. The goals of the one who carries out a martyrdom operation and of the one who commits suicide are completely different. Anyone who analyzes the soul of [these two] will discover the huge difference between them. The [person who commits] suicide kills himself for himself, because he failed in business, love, an examination, or the like. He was too weak to cope with the situation and chose to flee life for death…In contrast, the one who carries out a martyrdom operation does not think of himself. He sacrifices himself for the sake of a higher goal, for which all sacrifices become meaningless. He sells himself to Allah in order to buy Paradise in exchange. Allah said: 'Allah has bought from the believers their souls and their properties for they shall inherit Paradise…While the [person who commits] suicide dies in escape and retreat, the one who carries out a martyrdom operation dies in advance and attack. Unlike the [person who commits] suicide, who has no goal except escape from confrontation, the one who carries out a martyrdom operation has a clear goal, and that is to please Allah


In his seminal  1946 essay, “On Suicide in Islam.” (Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol. 66, pp. 243, 256), Rosenthal observed, consistent with Qaradawi’s statements:


While the Qur’anic attitude toward suicide remains uncertain, the great authorities of the hadith leave no doubt as to the official attitude of Islam. In their opinion suicide is an unlawful act....On the other hand, death as the result of “suicidal” missions and of the desire of martyrdom occurs not infrequently, since death is considered highly commendable according to Muslim religious concepts. However, such cases are no[t] suicides in the proper sense of the term. (Emphasis added.)


Moreover, in this exchange with her interviewer on December 21, 2005, Umm Nidal recapitulates another normative Islamic doctrine, the concept of Dar al Harb, where the lives (and possessions) of all the non-Muslim “harbis” (in this case, all Israelis) are muba’a, or licit for the Muslims:


Interviewer: Can't you distinguish between operations against civilians and against soldiers, even from a psychological point of view?"

Umm Nidal: There is no difference. This is Islamic religious law. I don't invent anything. I follow Islamic religious law in this. A Muslim is very careful not to kill an innocent person, because he knows he would be destined to eternal Hell. So the issue is not at all simple. We rely on Islamic religious law when we say there is no prohibition on killing these people.


Once again, Umm Nidal’s understandings are substantiated by both Sheikh Qaradawi’s contemporary statements, and the writings of  the mid-20th century Belgian scholar Armand Abel, a noted expert on the concept of Dar al Harb. Qaradawi stated the following in July 2003:


It has been determined by Islamic law that the blood and property of people of Dar Al-Harb [the Domain of Disbelief where the battle for the domination of Islam should be waged] is not protected. Because they fight against and are hostile towards the Muslims, they annulled the protection of his blood and his property… in modern war, all of society, with all its classes and ethnic groups, is mobilized to participate in the war, to aid its continuation, and to provide it with the material and human fuel required for it to assure the victory of the state fighting its enemies. Every citizen in society must take upon himself a role in the effort to provide for the battle. The entire domestic front, including professionals, laborers, and industrialists, stands behind the fighting army, even if it does not bear arms. Therefore the experts say that the Zionist entity, in truth, is one army


Nearly a half century earlier (in 1958), Armand Abel observed,


Together with the duty of the “war in the way of God” (or jihad), this universalistic aspiration would lead the Moslems to see the world as being divided fundamentally into two parts.  On the one hand there was that part of the world where Islam prevailed, where salvation had been announced, where the religion that ought to reign was practiced;  this was the Dar ul Islam.  On the other hand, there was the part which still awaited the establishment of the saving religion and which constituted, by definition, the object of the holy war.  This was the Dar ul Harb. The latter, in the view of the Moslem jurists, was not populated by people who had a natural right not to practice Islam, but rather by people destined to become Moslems who, through impiousness and rebellion, refused to accept this great benefit. Since they were destined sooner or later to be converted at the approach of the victorious armies of the Prophet’s successor, or else killed for their rebelliousness, they were the rebel subjects of the Caliph.  Their kings were nothing but odious tyrants who, by opposing the progress of the saving religion together with their armies, were following a Satanic inspiration and rising up against the designs of Providence.  And so no respite should be granted them, no truce:  perpetual war should be their lot, waged in the course of the winter and summer ghazu. [razzias] If the sovereign of the country thus attacked desired peace, it was possible for him, just like for any other tributary or community, to pay the tribute for himself and for his subjects..indeed, anything within the reach of the Moslem armies as they advanced, being property of impious men and rebels, was legitimately considered their booty;  their men, seized by armed soldiers, were mercilessly consigned to the lot specified in the Koranic verse about the sword, and their women and children were treated like things.


When will our policymaking and media elites finally learn and acknowledge the daily impact of barbaric, yet normative Muslim doctrines—rooted in jihad—such as “martyrdom” and “Dar al Harb”?  And how moribund is our world that the mother of three murderous jihad terrorists—a triumphal “Martyr Mom”—can run for elective office in the Palestinian Legislative Council, and this harrowing spectacle is regarded with the same banality by these elites as if she were a “Soccer Mom”?


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Andrew G. Bostom is a frequent contributor to Frontpage Magazine.com, and the author of The Legacy of Jihad, and the forthcoming The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism.

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