August 31, 2004 Special Reports No. 32

MEMRI TV Project Special Report: Arab and Iranian TV Clips in Support of Suicide Bombing

August 31, 2004
Special Reports No. 32


The following are clips from MEMRI's TV Project on support for suicide attacks. They include TV segments from leading Muslim religious figures such as Sheikh Tantawi, Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Abd Al-Rahman Al-Sudayyis, Imam of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, and Sheikh Qaradhawi, one of the prominent leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood Movement.

Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Muhammad Sayyed Tantawi

On New TV (Lebanon), August 19, 2004 the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Muhammad Sayyed Tantawi was interviewed about suicide operations. The following is an excerpt from the interview:

Interviewer: "Will you issue a fatwa about the resistance and especially what is happening in Iraq?"

Sheik Tantawi: " I was very clear: Anyone defending his right, his land, his money, and his religion and gets killed is a martyr. Anyone who blows himself up amongst the enemy that wants to kill him and he can find no means of defending himself except blowing himself up amongst these soldiers who are occupying his land and destroying his home, and so he blows himself up amongst these aggressive soldiers, is a Shahid, Shahid, Shahid."

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Prominent Leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, Sheikh Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi

On Al-Jazeera TV (Qatar) Apri 25, 2004, Dr. Sheikh Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi, a prominent leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, explained his support of suicide operations on his weekly religious program. The following is an excerpt from his program:

Sheikh Dr. Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi: "There are clerics who oppose martyrdom [i.e. suicide] operations in Palestine. By these operations Allah has compensated the Palestinians for their lack of strength. They do not, as the Zionists do, have Apache helicopters, warplanes, tanks, missiles. Allah has compensated them for this with these human bombs. This is divine justice.

"[God] gives the weak a weapon for self-defense that the strong, despite his military and nuclear arsenals, can do nothing against. There are clerics who condemn this and even say that these are suicide operations that are not allowed in Islam. We need a religious law to clarify this issue. On the other hand, you find among those who claim that they waged Jihad, people who have left the Americans, the Jews, and the Zionists. They left the enemies and aimed their arrows at their own people."

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Former President of Al-Azhar University, Ahmad 'Omar Hashem

On Channel 1 of Egyptian TV, April 23, 2004, Sheikh Ahmad 'Omar Hashem, the former President of Al-Azhar University delivered a Friday sermon. The following is an excerpt from the sermon:

Dr. Ahmad 'Omar Hashem:"We ask of our believing brothers not to forsake Jerusalem. We want our believing brothers to see their brothers in the occupied land, who have no support and no weapons, no money, and no [assistance] in the struggle. They have nothing except for their souls and their bodies, which they turn into a weapon and blow themselves up before the enemy in defense of their honor and their stolen land. Shall we not stand by them as Mujaheedin ?"

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Imam of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Abd Al-Rahman Al-Sudayyis

On Saudi TV Channel 1, April 2, 2004, in his Friday sermon at Al-Haram Mosque in Mecca, Saudi government-appointed Imam of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Abd Al-Rahman Al-Sudayyis discussed Jewish history and the modern Jihad. The following are excerpts from the sermon:

Imam Al-Sudayyis: "The history of the [Jewish] people is written in black ink, and has included a series of murders of the prophets, the Mujaheedin, and righteous people. This, although the book descended upon Moses is all mercy. Allah has said: 'And is preceded by the Book of Moses which was a guide and a mercy for people before him…' So where is this mercy in all this barbarity, devoid of moral and human values? But maybe it is the beginning of their end.

"Oh Brothers in the land of missions and the cradle of valor, Oh Sons of brave Mujaheedin, Oh descendents of conquering heroes… You have revived the hopes of this nation through your blessed Jihad. By Allah, be patient until, with Allah's help, one of two good things will be awarded you: either victory or martyrdom. Our hearts are with you; our prayers are dedicated to you. The Islamic nation will not spare money or effort in support of your cause, which is the supreme Muslim cause, until the promise made by Allah, who never breaks a promise, is fulfilled."

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Sunni Iraqi Cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Al-Qubeisi

On Dubai TV, May 5, 2004, the Sunni Iraqi cleric Sheikh Ahmad Al- Qubeisi discussed suicide bombings on his weekly religious program. The following is an excerpt from the program:

Sheikh Al-Qubeisi: "Any Arab ruler who tries to please this enemy by keeping silent about its crimes, which the entire world has seen, by obeying it while he curses the Muslims and Islam and the [Islamic] groups, and the clerics, and treats the martyrs with contempt, as well as those who commit martyrdom [i.e. suicide] operations who are, by Allah, the greatest martyrs in Islamic history...

"The Prophet said: 'I will show you who are the most noble among the martyrs. They are Hamza, and a man who came to preach to an oppressing Imam, reproaching him, and was killed. All the more so, (someone who killed) a Jew! Why is he under attack? He wraps himself in an explosive belt, and dies for the sake of Allah, and then they say he was a terrorist and condemn him?'"

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On Iqra TV (Saudi Arabia), March 25, 2004, the Saudi-based religious television channel interviewed the Sunni Iraqi cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Al-Qubeisi, who discussed the situation in Iraq. The following is an excerpt from the interview:

Sheikh Al-Qubeisi: "The nation is unstable?! This Nation that begets courageous and brave girls, this amazing steadfastness, this commendable return to this great religion and this awareness the like of which you cannot find anywhere in the world. An unstable nation?! How could this nation be unstable when it has a girl who, in the spring of her life, with two children blows herself up, and she is in the height of her happiness. The nation is not unstable. It is the regime that is unstable."

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Lebanese Preacher, Sheik Ahmad Al-Zein

On Al-'Alam TV (Iran), July 22, 2004, Sheik Muhammad Al-Zein, a Friday preacher at Al-'Omari Mosque in Sidon, Lebanon, was interviewed on the Arabic-language Iranian channel, and called on Palestinians to increase suicide operations. The following is an excerpt from the interview:

Sheik Al-Zein: "I call to our brothers, the Intifada youths, whether from Hamas, [Islamic] Jihad, or Al-Aqsa Martyr's Brigades to rise above internal conflict and raise the banner of Jihad and martyrdom for the sake of Allah in order to contend with the Israeli enemy…

"We cannot confront this entity in familiar ways of politics and negotiation, calling for peace and other conventional ways. The struggle should be … through resistance and martyrdom, by which we can achieve balance with the Zionist entity…"

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PA Cleric, Sheikh Ibrahim Mudeiris

On Palestinian Authority TV, May 21, 2004, i n his weekly Friday sermon from a mosque in Gaza, Sheikh Ibrahim Mudeiris warned of future suicide attacks: The following is an excerpt from the sermon:

Sheikh Ibrahim Mudeiris: "Have you forgotten [suicide bomber] Hanadi [Jaradat] who avenged the death of her brother and fiancé by killing dozens of Zionists? It is they who opened the gates of hell upon themselves. These Zionists will get many more black [body] bags. By Allah, we will show them no mercy. When Allah allows us victory over them, we will show them no mercy at all.

"What Sharon is doing now is not strange. What the Zionist Entity state is doing to our people in Rafah is not strange. They are avenging the deaths of their cowardly soldiers who were torn to shreds, here in the southern entrance of Gaza, in the Zaytoun neighborhood. They saw our children playing soccer with the heads and body parts of their soldiers. Our children do not fear body parts or blood, nor do our women and youth..."

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Hamas Spokesmen, Sami Abu Zuhri

On Al-Majd TV, a UAE religious channel, June 13, 2004, Hamas spokesman in Gaza, Sami Abu Zuhri, and Faraj Shalhoub, an expert on Palestinian affairs discussed the recruitment and training of Palestinian suicide bombers. The following are excerpts from the debate:

Faraj Shalhoub:"The volunteers are those who initiate and accept upon themselves to commit a martyrdom operation. There is a widespread misconception, propagated by the Zionist enemy, that there are recruiters among the Palestinian fighters who look for martyrdom bombers.

"The opposite is true. The martyrdom bombers are the ones looking for the resistance factions in order to commit martyrdom operations. We are talking about hundreds of martyrdom bombers waiting in line to commit martyrdom operations…"

Sami Abu Zuhri:"There are hundreds of female martyrdom bombers, who stream en masse and insist on participating in martyrdom operations. This is a unique phenomenon, reflecting the live spirit of Jihad among this people…

"We see this stream of young men and of women seeking martyrdom. This people emphasizes its adherence to the option of martyrdom, especially, in light of the models of female martyrdom bombers."

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Member of the Palestine Religious Association, Sheikh Muhammad Al-Bajirmi

On Al-Manar TV, March 24, 2004, Sheikh Muhammad Al-Bajirmi, a member of the Palestine Religious Scholars Association, talked about death in Islam. The following is an excerpt from his comments:

Sheikh Bajirmi: "The Jews or the Zionists are the people who preserve life the most. The Koran uses the word 'life' negatively, meaning 'any life.' This, while our Islamic principle, as the Prophet Muhammad has taught us, yearn for death and you will be given life. As much as the Muslim yearns for death for Allah, he will be awarded life. Not any life, but a life of dignity."

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