Thursday, March 03, 2005

Palestinian Press Glorifies A Mass Murderer


The Scene In Tel Aviv Last Friday

In their piece in the March 2 edition of the Jerusalem Post, Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook review the case of young Abdullah Badran, who murdered four people and wounded fifty in Friday night's terror attack on a beachfront Tel Aviv night club. The editorial is titled, "Saboteur or Shahid?" Viewing the link requires registration and is worth the 2-3 minutes required to do that. An excerpt:

While the foreign media accept at face value the PA's official condemnation of Friday's suicide bombing, the [Palestinian Authority-controlled media are glorifying the bomber as a shahid (martyr who died for Allah) – the highest level of human achievement for a Muslim. By granting shahid status to the murderer, the PA media are portraying bombing as a positive religious act.

Within this context the official condemnations need to be understood not as deploring the act, but its consequences – damaging the Palestinian cause.

Sunday's front-page coverage of the story in the official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadeeda features a giant color photo of the terrorist at the top of the page, with the caption: "The executor of the Tel Aviv operation, the shahid Abdullah Badran." Another photograph shows his mother holding a picture of her son, and is captioned: "The mother of the Shahid."

The daily newspaper Al-Ayyam refers to "the family of the Shahid."

Al-Quds refers to "the family of the shahid Abdullah," and to the arrest of "the shahid's two brothers" and to a "mourning tent in memory of the shahid."

Ah, yes, Islam: A religion of peace.

(Thanks to reader and frequent contributor Ralph Kostant for alerting me to this piece. Itamar Marcus is founder and director, and Barbara Crook is associate director and North American representative, of Palestinian Media Watch.)


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