In Pursuit of Death


In Pursuit of Death

Radical Islamists love death like Westerners love life.

Here’s some footage you’ll never see on bbc or nbc. In it, Hamas politician Fathi Hammad boasts about the thriving Palestinian “death industry” and the radical Islamists’ love for death.

“The enemies of Allah do not know that the Palestinian people has developed its methods of death and death-seeking,” bellows Hammad. Translated and aired by the Middle East Media Research Institute (memri), the clip continues (emphasis mine throughout):

For the Palestinian people, death has become an industry, at which women excel …. The elderly excel … and so do the mujahideen and the children. This is why they have formed human shields of the women, the children, the elderly, and the mujahideen, in order to challenge the Zionist bombing machine. It is as if they were saying to the Zionist enemy: “We desire death like you desire life.”

It would be a mistake to dismiss these remarks as the aberrant ravings of a lunatic. They are the premise of radical Islam’s war on the West—an empowering sentiment behind Islam’s culture of violence—a mainstream doctrine among radical Muslims.

Death is a celebrated event in the world of radical Islam.

Moreover, this quest for death (“martyrdom”) is being injected into Muslim societies, especially the impressionable minds of young Muslim children, around the world. “We want to have children and offer them as soldiers defending Islam,” preaches Sheik Feiz Mohammed in Sydney, Australia. “Teach [the children] this: There is nothing more beloved to me than wanting to die as a mujahid.”

“We love death. The U.S. loves life. That is the big difference between us,” said Osama bin Laden shortly after 9/11.

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah spews forth the same message: “We are going to win, because they love life and we love death. [E]ach of us lives his days and nights hoping more than anything to be killed for the sake of Allah.”

“The Americans love Pepsi-Cola, we love death,” brags al Qaeda operative Maulana Inyadullah.

“It is the zenith of honor for a man, a young person, boy or girl, to be prepared to sacrifice his life in order to serve the interests of his nation and his religion,” said Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in a speech in 2002.

This creed, perhaps once confined to radical preachers and malleable young men, increasingly pervades Muslim society. Witness Zahra Maladan, an educated woman and editor of a women’s magazine in Lebanon. She is also a loving mother, who at the recent funeral of Hezbollah terrorist mastermind Imad Moughnaya was quoted by the New York Times as warning her son, “If you’re not going to follow the steps of the Islamic resistance martyrs, then I don’t want you.”

That’s motherly advice, radical-Islam style. Where American mothers encourage sons to attend college and find a nice girlfriend, extreme Muslim mothers threaten banishment if their sons don’t strap explosives to their chest, stroll confidently into a crowd of infidels and detonate themselves.

Zahra Maladan is not an anomaly. On February 4, Muhammad Hirbawi blew himself up in the Israeli city of Dimona, killing an elderly Jewish woman and wounding 38 others. Rather than descend into grief-stricken depression, Hirbawi’s mother celebrated her son’s suicide by transforming her second floor apartment in Hebron into a makeshift recruiting office for others yearning to walk in Hirbawi’s footsteps. “At the front door, surrounded by her curious children, she received visitors by handing them Hamas flyers on which her son was pictured, smiling, beside his accomplice … holding aloft a copy of the Koran” (Jerusalem Post, March 15).

Not only did she value her son’s death more than his life, but she exploited it in an advertising campaign.

Women like Hirbawi’s mother and Zahra Maladan represent a dramatic shift in the paradigm of war, says Harvard Professor Alan Dershowitz. In places like Iraq and Israel the number of female suicide bombers is increasing; it is not only easier to conceal explosives under the flowing head-to-toe garb worn by many Muslim women (especially in religious centers), but Muslim customs preventing men from touching women make it easier for female bombers to elude security checkpoints.

Aspirations for death breed a culture of violence, particularly when those aspirations cross the full spectrum of society.

Traditionally, especially in the West, women in general and mothers in particular have been viewed as a counterweight to male aggression and bellicosity. “Now there is a new image of mothers urging their children to die, and then celebrating the martyrdom of their suicidal sons and daughters by distributing sweets and singing wedding songs,” Dershowitz wrote. “More and more young women—some married with infant children—are strapping bombs to their (sometimes pregnant) bellies, because they have been taught to love death rather than life.”

Worshiping death has become a mainstream phenomenon.

This illogical aspiration for death is challenging the premises of conventional warfare and presenting Western democracies with a serious dilemma, says Dershowitz: “The two basic premises of conventional warfare have long been that soldiers and civilians prefer living to dying and can thus be deterred from killing by the fear of being killed; and that combatants (soldiers) can easily be distinguished from noncombatants (women, children, the elderly, the infirm and other ordinary citizens).” Historically, perseverance in war is often determined by the number of casualties inflicted. In the West, particularly in modern conflicts, the risk of death is under perpetual calculation. Why? Because in democratic states, a low-casualty war is exceedingly more tolerable and easier to justify than a high-casualty war. As the risk of casualties rises, there is a point where the fear of death becomes so high it demands a change of tactics or even surrender.

This is how nations have historically approached war: The purpose of conflict is to drive the enemy to the point where the fear of death and defeat breaks his will to continue fighting and forces his surrender. Success is a function of the value the enemy places on the lives of its people. This is how America and Israel approach their confrontations with radical Islam, be they in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Gaza Strip, Lebanon or the West Bank.

The problem is, this war calculus fails when the enemy loves death.

Radical Islamic teaching celebrates the death of a martyr. Valuing death over life removes any hesitation to use women, children and the elderly as human shields. And if those women and children have been taught to desire death more than life, as in the case of Zahra Maladan, then they will volunteerthemselves as human shields. Civilians thus become enemy combatants.

Fear of death is simply not a dissuading factor for adherents to radical Islamic teaching. History teaches that the way to prevent such an enemy from fulfilling its cruel, merciless ambitions is to confront it with catastrophic and uncompromising force.

For now, America, Britain and even Israel still possess the military power to confront radical Islam in such a manner. But they lack the strength of will to employ such means.

This is not to say Islamic power will go uncontested. Biblical prophecy shows that a revived, globe-encompassing fascist European empire will swoop with overbearing, fearful force into the Middle East and overrun radical Islam. Learn about the details of this soon-coming conflict by reading The King of the South.