Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas's official daily newspaper has honored the terrorist who gunned down eight high school students at point blank range with the status of shahid, or holy Islamic martyr.
The March 8th edition of the official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida prominently placed a picture of the terrorist on the front page, with the caption, "The Shahid Alaa Abu Dheim." In a page one article on the massacre at the Mercaz HaRav Kook Yeshiva, his crime was again defined as an act of martyrdom (shahada).
Watchdog group Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) said that in publishing the article, "the PA is sending its people a straightforward message of support for the terror murders and the murderer." According to the PA's interpretation of Islam, PMW explained, a human being can achieve no higher status than that of shahid.
Will it cost them?
Besides its effect in inciting and encouraging terror, the honoring of terrorists by the PA has significant financial ramifications, PMW explained. Last week the US Administration sent a request to Congress to allocate $150 million to the Palestinian Authority. However, in response to earlier PMW reports on the widespread PA practice of honoring terror, Congress made it illegal for the US to give money to entities that "advocate" terror, as follows:
"[The Secretary of State] shall terminate assistance to any individual, entity... which she has determined to be involved in or advocating terrorist activity." Congress further legislated that "none of the [U.S.] ... assistance under the West Bank and Gaza Program may be made available for the purpose of recognizing or otherwise honoring individuals who commit, or have committed acts of terrorism" (2008 Foreign Operations Bill).
PMW stated Sunday: "Since a society's honoring of terrorists is one of the greatest terror prom
"[The Secretary of State] shall terminate assistance to any individual, entity... which she has determined to be involved in or advocating terrorist activity."
otions, and as the budget for the PA newspaper comes from the PA's general budget, the incessant honoring of this and all recent terrorists by Abbas's PA as Holy Islamic Shahids should render the Palestinian Authority ineligible to receive any American money under the terms of US law.
To strengthen its case, PMW gave examples of statements made by five Palestinian religious leaders in the past few years, all teaching of the supreme status of the shahids:
"Shahada [Islamic Martyrdom] is an honor, only those who Allah desires, attain the privilege" (Sheikh Yusuf Abu Sneina, Al Aqsa Mosque, Friday Sermon, PA Radio, Dec. 28, 2001).
"When the Shahid meets his Maker, all his sins are forgiven from the first gush of blood, and he is exempted from the torments of the grave. He sees his place in Paradise. He is shielded from the Great Shock and marries 72 dark eyed [maidens]. He is a heavenly advocate for 70 members of his family. On his head is placed a crown of honor, one stone of which is worth more than all there is in this world" (Dr. Isma'il al-Raduan, Friday Sermon, PA TV, Aug 17, 2001).
"The believer was created to know his Lord to fulfill Islam... to be a Shahid or intend to be a Shahid. If the believer does not hope for Shahada he will die as in the Jahiliya [pre-Islam]... We must yearn for Shahada and request it from Allah. If we truthfully request it from Allah, he will grant us its rewards even if we die in bed" (Sheikh Ahmad Abdul Razak, PA TV Friday Sermon, March 22, 2002).
"We are not like you, because we do not desire life. If you threaten to kill President Arafat, we will pray to Allah: 'Grant the President Shahada for you.' Yes, we do not pray - like other preachers pray - for longevity for the rulers; here in Palestine we pray: 'Lord, grant the President Shahada for you'" (Sheikh Ibrahim Mudyris, PA TV Friday Sermon, April 30, 2004
"When a man sees one of his brothers being killed for Allah, a person with no head, no legs, his body completely burned. Intestines outside, fingers are gone... The most difficult thing which we fear is what the Shahids wish for most of all. They ask Allah: 'Oh God, bring us back [to earth] to be killed by the Apache, so the planes will blow us up, that our heads will be cut off...'
We shouldn't forget that Allah, praise him, in blessing the blood of the Shahid, 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)" (Sheikh Imad Hamato, PA TV religious program, Nov. 3, 2006).