February 13, 2002 Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 84

Wafa Idris: The Celebration of the First Female Palestinian Suicide Bomber - Part II

February 13, 2002
Palestinians, Jordan | Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 84

Female Suicide Bombers are the True Feminists
In an editorial titled, "It's a Woman!" the Egyptian Islamist weekly Al-Sha'ab wrote: "It's a woman!! A woman, oh men of the [Islamic] nation; a woman, oh youth of the nation; a woman, oh women of the nation; a woman, oh those who call for the liberation of the nation's women; a woman, oh soldiers of the nation; a woman, oh rulers, princes, and leaders of this nation; it is a woman, a woman, a woman."

"It is a woman who teaches you today a lesson in heroism, who teaches you the meaning of Jihad, and the way to die a martyr's death. It is a woman who has inscribed, in letters of fire, the battle of martyrdom that horrified the heart of the enemy's entity. It is a woman who has shocked the enemy, with her thin, meager, and weak body… It is a woman who blew herself up, and with her exploded all the myths about women's weakness, submissiveness, and enslavement."

"It is a woman who today teaches you, oh Muslim women, the meaning of true liberation, with which the women's rights activists have tempted you… It is a woman who has now proven that the meaning of [women's] liberation is the liberation of the body from the trials and tribulations of this world… and the acceptance of death with a powerful, courageous embrace…"

"It is a woman, a woman, a woman who is a source of pride for the women of this nation and a source of honor that shames the submissive men with a shame that cannot be washed away except by blood… It is a woman in the spring of her youth who swore in the name of her God, with every drop of her blood, with every limb of her body, and with every one of her cells that turned into coals that burned the hearts of the enemy with the fire of fear, loss, and pain…"[1]

In the Jordanian daily Al-Dustour, Hussein Al-'Ammoush commented, "…There is no need to bring examples of the status of the Arab and Muslim woman. The Arab woman has taken her place and her dignity. It is the women's rights activists in the West who robbed women of their right to be human, and viewed them as bodies without souls… Wafa Idris, like the rest of the young women of her generation, never dreamed of owning a BMW or of having a cellular phone… Wafa did not carry makeup in her suitcase, but enough explosives to fill the enemies with horror…"

"Wasn't it the West that kept demanding that the Eastern woman become equal to the man? Well, this is how we understand equality – this is how the martyr Wafa understood equality… Oh Wafa Idris, mercy upon you and shame upon us."[2]

Sociologist Dr. Ahmad Al-Magdoub wrote, in Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood mouthpiece Afaq Arabiya: "The West has already understood that all the money it expends to disrupt the consciousness of the Muslim woman and make her think that her body and her needs are most important… is wasted money. The women recruited by the West… are incapable of influencing the women in any Arab country… All their words on women's liberation, equality with men, and their right to be prostitutes, to strip, to reveal their charms, and claims of this kind raised at their symposiums funded by America and the West will fall on deaf ears, except for a small group of unimportant and superficial women who have lost all hope…"

"It is true that these [superficial] women have served the West by giving their [Arab] countries drug-addicted young men and women… [who] have perverse [i.e. homosexual] relations, commit rape, theft, and murder… But they are still a minority, even if they make a lot of noise. The majority of young Muslims are still in good shape. It is true that they are silent, but we have seen how the silence of Wafa Idris ended."[3]

Dr. Samiya Sa'ad Al-Din wrote in her column in the Egyptian government daily Al-Akhbar: "I examined the end of the Palestinian woman martyr whose martyrdom engraved the signs of horror on the face of the Zionist enemy… At first, these were the dreams of a little girl, as she held her doll and whispered in its ear her childhood dreams. Then came adolescence, and rosy dreams of being able to fly in the skies of hope. But suddenly the path changed, and the dream within her changed as well. Her dreams became dreams of the homeland…"

"...Palestinian women have torn the gender classification out of their birth certificates, declaring that sacrifice for the Palestinian homeland would not be for men alone; on the contrary, all Palestinian women will write the history of the liberation with their blood, and will become time bombs in the face of the Israeli enemy. They will not settle for being mothers of martyrs…"[4]

Ahmad Taha Al-Naqr, a columnist for the Egyptian government daily Al-Akhbar, declared the week of Idris's attack to be "The Week of the Woman in the Arab-Israeli Conflict." According to Al-Naqr, while Swedish Foreign Minister Anna Lind was criticizing the U.S. administration's attitude towards Arafat, Idris was carrying out her attack in Jerusalem. He wrote: "...It is strange that everyone knows the truth about the American position but do not dare to warn [the Americans] of its risks… except for Swedish Foreign Minister Anna Lind, who spoke while the men were silent… [and] exploded when she expressed her concern about America's comparing Arafat to a terrorist… A brave woman said this when the men showed fear to do so. Yes, one woman [Lind] spoke, and another woman [Idris] acted!"[5]

From Joan of Arc to Jesus Christ
While Al-Ahram columnist Zakariya Nil called her "the Palestinian Joan of Arc,"[6] Abd Al-Halim Qandil, acting editor of the Nasserities' weekly Al-Arabi, hinted broadly that Idris was something much greater: "A nation that has in it [a woman like] Wafa Idris will never be defeated, will never be humiliated… Wafa Idris looks beautiful in the archive photos, but she became the most beautiful of the women in this world and in the world to come the day she rose to Heaven. What is more beautiful than someone who chooses his fate? What is more beautiful than someone who turns the event of his death into the day of his return to life? What is more beautiful than this death that instills life? What is more beautiful than the transformation of a person from a chunk of flesh and blood to illuminating purity and a spirit that cuts across generations? How beautiful you were, oh Wafa Idris, the day you returned to life, with your noble and voluntary death in the bosom of Jerusalem. How beautiful you were, oh Wafa Idris, on the day of your martyrdom. How beautiful you were when you freed us from our sins. How beautiful you were when you elevated the humiliated nation to Paradise."[7]

Dr. ‘Adel Sadeq, head of the Department of Psychiatry at Cairo's 'Ein Shams University, compared her openly to Jesus Christ: "Perhaps you were born in the same city; perhaps even in the same neighborhood and in the same house. Perhaps you ate from the same date palm and drank from the same pure water flowing through the veins of the holy city… If it was the Holy Spirit that placed a child in Mary's womb, perhaps that same holy spirit placed the bomb in the heart of Wafa, and enveloped her pure body with dynamite. From Mary's womb issued a child who eliminated oppression, while the body of Wafa became shrapnel that eliminated despair and aroused hope. It is not surprising that the enemy in both cases was the same [i.e. the Jews]..." [8]

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