December 21, 2005.
Arab mother Um Nidal sent three children on anti-Israel death missions. Now
she is the first female candidate on the Hamas list in the upcoming Palestinian
Authority (PA) parliamentary elections.
Um Nidal, also known as Mariam Farahat, became famous when she was
filmed bidding her 17-year-old son Mohammed farewell to die through terror.
She ordered him “not to return except as a shahid ” – and he
Political observers in the PA are convinced that Hamas’ fielding Um Nidal as a
candidate will gain the terrorist group votes.
Palestinian Media Watch Director Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook commented
on Nidal’s nomination, “It is striking, and indicative of the very nature of
Palestinian society as one that accepts and values terror as a way of life, that a
woman could be chosen to be a legislator solely by virtue of her celebration of
her son’s terrorism and death.”
Marcus is quick to add that the phenomenon is not limited to extremists in the
PA: “We are trying to point out that the adoration of mothers who send their
sons to die is not a fringe sentiment in PA society. It is mainstream, promoted
by the leaders and the academic infrastructure as well.”
In the film that made Nidal famous, she advised her son on combat techniques
before he murdered five Jewish students in the Gush Katif town of Atzmona on
March 7, 2002.
The five students, who were taking part in a Torah lecture at the time at the
local pre-military religious academy, heard explosions and gunfire; they turned
off the lights and lay down on the floor. The terrorist then entered the lecture
hall, spraying gunfire and throwing grenades at the unarmed students. In
addition to the five murdered, 24 others were wounded, including three
In another interview filmed after the terrorist attack, Nidal explained that it was
a mother’s love for her son that motivated her to be joyous over his Shahada
(martyr’s) death. With the distribution of the two filmed segments, Um Nidal
instantly became a heroine and role model among the Arabs of the PA.
Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) released the video depicting Nidal sending her
17-year-old son to his death, as well as her interview after his attack. The PMW
video starts with a short segment of her starring in a new 25-minute Hamas
election video released this month. Click “play” below to view the PMW video
click here if video does not appear
Nidal’s son Nidhal was eliminated by the IDF in 2003 while preparing for an
attack against Israeli troops.
Her third son Rawad was in a vehicle laden with Kassam rockets earlier this
year when an Israel Air Force helicopter scored a direct missile hit on it,
abruptly terminating his terrorist career.
Um Nidal has three more sons.
President of Al-Quds University Sari Nusseibeh, hailed as a moderate in the
West, had strong words of praise for Nidal during an Al-Jazeera interview: Sari
Nusseibeh: “What comes to mind as I listen to sister Um Nidal is the verse
‘Paradise is under the feet of the mothers’. Praise is due to this woman, and to
every Palestinian mother…”
Um Nidal (explaining why she sent her son to die): “My son is not dearer than
Islam. I have offered him as a gift and a sacrifice to Allah, may he be glorified,
and to His true faith…”
Marcus points out, “Moderation in PA society is relative to people who may be
suicide bombers, but relative to western standards, even the most moderate
Palestinians have extreme terror-promoting ideology.”
Arab society in the PA responded to Um Nidal by dubbing her the “Al-Khansa of
Palestine (see Palestine Info website). Al-Khansa is a heroic figure from Islamic
history who is glorified and revered solely for celebrating the deaths of her four
shahid (martyred) sons. The PA has underscored the importance of joyfully
sacrificing sons for Allah in many different ways. In Bethlehem, Jenin, Nablus,
Khan Yunis and Rafiah, girls’ schools were named after Al-Khansa, sending a
clear message to young girls about their future role as the mothers of shahids.
Al-Khansah was honored in a televised play and official sermon by the PA on
International Women’s Day.
Marcus says, “Transforming Palestinian society into one that unabashedly
embraces terror has necessitated terror promotion at all levels of its social,
educational and political infrastructure. One of the most important components
has been the indoctrination of mothers to see the deaths of their sons as
positive – even beneficial – for their sons and their family status.”
Armed with numerous examples of video documentation which appear below,
Marcus concludes, “The Palestinian Authority has accordingly made it a
principle to honor not only suicide terrorists but also the mothers who actively
send their sons on suicide terror missions, as well as the mothers who express
joy after their sons’ Shahada – Death for Allah.”
* In the clip below, a mother describes the suicide death of her two sons as a
“wedding.” Click here to play video. * In this clip, a mother describes how she
prayed during her pilgrimage to Mecca for her son to die as a shahid. * A
Palestinian Authority social welfare official explains how the governing bodies
teach “daughters and granddaughters” to celebrate the death of sons as a
* A mother describes how her son sought Shahada in order to marry the “Dark
Eyed” – the 72 maidens (or virgins) of Paradise.
* A mother describes how she hoped her son would die because “I wanted the
best for him,” and because it would bring honor to her entire family.
* A PA TV video clip, broadcast for years, directed mothers to send their sons
to battle. The actress portraying a mother is shown expressing the traditional
sound of joy after her son is killed. She then hands his gun to her next son and
sends him into combat.
* The mother of a murderer of three Israelis describers her joy upon hearing of
her son’s death, and recounts that he aspired to Shahada because, in the son’s
words, “72 Dark Eyed of Paradise are waiting for me.”