Didn’t we all face this dilemma when it hit home that our high school years were coming to an end? Get a job? Join the Peace Corps? Go to college? Blow yourself up in an act of murder for the promise of paradise in the afterlife? No, it wasn’t quite like that.
Seriously, though, there are two points of interest in this story. One is the depth of indoctrination children and young adults experience at the hands of Hizballah. Remember that the next time someone argues that groups like Hizballah and Hamas “provide social services,” as this is the other part of the package.
The other is the co-existence of modern, “Western” traits like her attire (the obligatory jeans and tennis shoes), education, and social mobility, alongside the very un-Western desire to kill and be killed in jihad (Qur’an 9:111), proving again that poverty, alienation, poor social skills, etc., do not create jihadists. Ideology does — and that ideology is found in mainline Islamic texts and traditions. “Martyrdom beckons Lebanese teen, but she really wants to direct,” by Borzou Daragahi for the Los Angeles Times, January 13 (thanks to Awake):
Reporting from Tyre, Lebanon — Hiba Qassir dreams of making movies. She’s ambitious and precocious enough. At 18, she’s taught herself how to edit video and sound on a computer, and has her sights set on directing gripping social and psychological dramas.
But if the movie business doesn’t work out, that’s OK. She has other dreams: perhaps to become a cop or a pilot. Or maybe a suicide bomber.
“Martyrdom is the shortest way to heaven, and the history of martyrdom is not like any history,” Hiba says. “It made victory. We wouldn’t have achieved victory without these martyrdoms.”
Hiba wears a colorful head scarf and faded bluejeans and running shoes under a black cloak as she gives a tour of Hezbollah’s annual “martyrdom” exhibit here in this southern port city.
Cheery and rosy-cheeked, she helpfully guides visitors past mannequins of guerrilla fighters armed with rocket-propelled grenades and automatic weapons, and placards chronicling suicide operations against Israeli troops during the Jewish state’s two-decade occupation of southern Lebanon. Recorded sounds of machine-gun fire, helicopters and walkie-talkie chatter fill the halls of a drab brick community center on the outskirts of Tyre.
“Here is some information about each martyrdom operation,” she informs a small tour group.
She points to a hall lined with posters adorned with artificial flowers. “The first one was in 1982 here in Tyre,” she says. “You can see that [late Israeli leader] Yitzhak Rabin said that this operation took the lives of many people, especially those with special qualities and skills.”
That suicide bomber was 18, just like her, when he drove an explosives-filled Peugeot sedan into the Israeli command post here on Nov. 11, 1982, and killed 75 Israeli soldiers, border guards and intelligence officers, according to Lebanese accounts. Israel has long maintained that the blast was an accident, caused by a gas leak.
His name was Ahmad Qassir, and Hiba is particularly proud of her uncle, martyr No. 1 in the official history of Hezbollah’s long war against Israel.
“Israel usually says that these people are hopeless people and lovers of death,” Hiba says. “But we always say that martyrdom is our way to heaven.”…
Read it all.