[Quote from Guardian article:]
In August, 2001, the American television channel CBS aired an interview with a Hamas activist Muhammad Abu Wardeh, who recruited terrorists for suicide bombings in Israel. Abu Wardeh was quoted as saying: "I described to him how God would compensate the martyr for sacrificing his life for his land. If you become a martyr, God will give you 70 virgins, 70 wives and everlasting happiness." Wardeh was in fact shortchanging his recruits since the rewards in Paradise for martyrs was 72 virgins. But I am running ahead of things .
What do you think would happen if this guy enjoying his 10-minute fame at the CBS walked up to ANY muslim and said this? I thought so.
First, let me make it clear that I do not condone killing civilians (nor soldier, for that matter), not by "coward" suicide-bombers, not by kick-ass air-bombers, and not as collateral damages. I have to make this statement because, although this has been pointed out by others, there is still some confusion between this moral judgement and the analysis of why and how things happen.
As pointed out, there are many religious AND secular groups who have been engaging in suicide bombing. Regular non-suicide bombing is typically not connected with any cultish behavior -- it is business as usual.
My argument is that the diversity of the cultural traits connected with suicide bombing shows that such a cultural trait is not the cause but the tool. Could you imagine a Saudi seikh becoming a suicide bomber? I can't. There must be oppression (real or perceived), there must be a need (real or perceived) to harm someone, and that someone must be so well protected that the only vulnerable point one can find are the civilians.
But all the above do not automatically make someone a suicide bomber. Here is where the cultural trait we were talking about is needed. It may be in the form of a suitable religion, such as Islam, but it may also be in the form of a secular mythology, with heroes and martyrs honored by the community, and this is usually the case with the Palestinian kids ("When I grow up I am going to become a martyr like <martyr's name>").
The latter case -- heroes and martyrs ingrained in childhood memories -- is in fact much deeper than the first, which means that this mentality will stay with us for one more generation (15-20 years) after the hostilities end. Hopefully, if there is no more oppression, this mentality will remain latent, except for the occasional pathological (traumatized) case.
---- This message was posted by rhinoceros to the Virus 2002 board on Church of Virus BBS. <http://virus.lucifer.com/bbs/index.php?board=51;action=display;threadid=25957>
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