PA celebrates "wedding"
of murderer of Yeshiva students
by Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook
The official Palestinian Authority daily newspaper describes the murderer of eight yeshiva students in Jerusalem as a "groom" and his burial as his "wedding celebration." The story in Mahmoud Abbas's Al Hayat Al Jadida goes on to evoke the neighborhood Jabal Mukbar's "week of anticipation... preparing themselves for the wedding procession."
The term "wedding" is the expression commonly used in PA society, and in PA schoolbooks as well, to describe the death of Shahids - Martyrs for Allah. According to Islamic tradition, they will wed the 72 Dark- Eyed Maidens (Virgins) of Paradise.
The article then reports the "shocking news" for the "thousands who were waiting" that the Israeli Army had decided to force a pre-dawn burial to prevent community celebrations of the murders and the murderer. It bemoans the fact "that the groom was buried in the [early] morning without a celebration and without a wedding procession."
However, the PA daily vows that the wedding celebrations will continue:
"The wedding will not end this way... it will last three consecutive days in which [the town] al-Sawahra will welcome all of those who come to congratulate the groom and will hang his portrait embracing the nation's flags."
Seeing the Martyr's death as a wedding can be found throughout Palestinian society. Some examples:
New Palestinian Schoolbook:
"... I will not cry during this wedding, as our Arabness does not want us to cry over the Shahids."
[Arabic Language and the Science of Language, grade 12, p. 13 (2006)]
Mother of two killed terrorists, called "Shahids":
"We do not encourage our sons to die. We encourage them to Shahada [Martyrdom] for the homeland, for Allah. We don't say to the mothers of the Shahids: "We come to comfort you," rather we say: "We come to bless you on your son's wedding, on your son's Shahada. Congratulations to you on the Shahada." For us, the mourning is [a joyous] wedding. We give out drinks, we give out sweets. Praise to Allah, our mourning is a wedding."[PATV, Nov. 17, 2004]
The PMW bulletin of Dec. 20, 2007, has numerous video examples of the "Maidens of Paradise" reward promised to Islamic martyrs, including a video that has been running on PATV for eight years, depicting a Shahid being greeted in Paradise by the virgins.
The following is from the PA official daily, Al Hayat Al Jadida:
Headline: "Jerusalem groom, Abu-Dahim, [the murderer of 8 in the Mercaz Harav Yeshiva] leaves without his wedding procession
"The residents of the town Jabal Mukbar, were surprised by the sounds of loudspeakers blasting from the [mosque] minarets announcing that the Jerusalem groom, the Shahid, [Islamic Martyr] Ala'a Abu-Dahim [murderer of the 8 Yeshiva students] has gone without their participation in his wedding procession.
An entire week of anticipation, a house of mourning whose sanctity was violated, and soldiers deployed on every street, their military weapons infuriating everyone ... nonetheless [the town of Jabl] al-Mukbar did not tire of the wait and kept its promise to the groom.
Every day, these past seven days, everyone was in a state of anticipation... preparing themselves for the wedding procession. At five o'clock in the morning the loudspeakers of the mosque minarets announced the shocking news to the thousands who were waiting, that the groom was buried in the morning without a celebration and without a wedding procession... frowning faces...expressing their sorrow for having been denied [the right] to participate in the groom's procession and to accompany him to the town's cemetery...
The occupation soldiers sneaked in hours before dawn and lead several adults to the cemetery, while preventing the rest of those who were present despite the darkness of the night, from participating, even preventing the press from participating... They wanted a quiet wedding without music, thinking that way Jerusalem would forget its groom... But the wedding will not end this way... it will last three consecutive days in which [the town] al-Sawahra will welcome all of those who come to congratulate the groom and will hang his portrait embracing the nation's flags."
- Al Hayat-Al Jadida, March14, 2008