By Itamar Marcus, Palestinian Media Watch bulletin, August 12, 2003.
Palestinian Authority (PA) music video promising ‘Maidens of Paradise’
to shahids (martyrs) – two days before new suicide bombings.
An integral message of PA social – religious ideology is that great heavenly
rewards await those who die the death of the Shahid, meaning they died for
The PA defines all its terrorists, including suicide terrorists, as Shahids.
One of the rewards promised the “Shahid” in PA Islamic teaching, is “72 dark
eyed virgins” – the “Maidens of Paradise”.
This week a music video that depicts a Shahid joining beautiful maidens in
heaven, broadcast hundreds of times over the past three years, returned to PA
TV. [August 10, 2003]
The clip begins with scenes depicting a romance which is cut short when
soldiers shoot the woman in the back. The woman goes immediately to heaven,
where she joyously joins other young woman all dressed in identical long white
gowns – the “Maidens of Paradise”.
The maidens are dancing in water, a clear depiction of Afterlife in Islamic
tradition, said repeatedly in the Koran to have “flowing streams”.
Later on in the clip, the man visits the woman’s grave and the soldiers
shoot him in the back as well. At the moment he falls to the ground, he
immediately goes up to heaven and joins the “Maidens”.
The PA grants Shahid status to all those killed in the war including, suicide
bombers and other terrorists. This clip has appeared hundreds of times on
Palestinian television since October 2000, as the PA has taught men to believe
that they will get these women, possibly as encouragement to would be suicide
bombers. Now this clip has come back on the air.
To view the video rendition on PA TV – the “Maidens of Paradise”, click the
Today Israel was attacked by 2 suicide bombers. Whereas there is clearly no
causal link between the recent broadcast on PA TV and today’s bombing, there
may very well be a more important link.
The political forces in the PA that control TV and gave the instruction to
rebroadcast this music video encouraging Shahada, are quite possibly the same
political forces that gave the okay to go ahead with the attacks.
Yesterday, the day before the bombing, in interviews on Israeli TV channel 10
and Galei Zahal [Israeli Army radio], PMW director Itamar Marcus warned about
the implications of the return of this music video:
“That this message has returned quickly, after several weeks during
which we did not see it, I view as being very serious, as they are showing men
once again that it is worthwhile to become a Shahid.” [TV -10]
In the past PMW has demonstrated the direct link between PA terrorism and PA
broadcasting, and has been able to accurately project PA intentions and actions
based on PA media.
This promise, of “72 Dark Eyed Virgins” has likewise been taught on PA TV by
PA religious leaders:
“When the Shahid meets his Maker, all his sins are forgiven from the
first gush of blood. He is exempted from the “torments of the grave”
(Judgment); he sees his place in paradise, he is shielded from the great shock,
and marries 72 Dark Eyed Virgins. He is an heavenly advocate for 70 members
of his family, on his head is placed a crown of honor, one stone of which, is
worth more than all there is in this world.”
[Dr. Ismail al-Radouan, PA TV August 17, 2001]