Virgins for suicide bombers?

This piece appeared originally in

Noordin Mohd Top, Asia’s most wanted terrorist, was shot dead by a crack Indonesian anti-terrorism squad during a shoot-out in a village in Central Java.

The 41-year-old Malaysian-born Noordin, who had eluded the authorities for nine years, was gunned down along with three others in an ambush at his hideout in Solo. He was said to be responsible for a string of deadly bombings in Indonesia, including those in Bali in 2002 and two luxury hotels in Jakarta recently.

The above incident reminds us of a cartoon which appeared once in the West, depicting a small suicide bomber approaching the gates of heaven. He has his explosives around his waist. The angel, looking at his register on the rostrum, informs him, “Sorry, your name is not here, only the names of your victims”.

How can we and our leaders lost sight of the sanctity of the human life? How can we all have lost sight of the meaning of “…He who takes life out of death and takes death out of life”? Allah does these things, no one and nothing else. Any effort by Muslim or non-Muslim to correct this tragic misconception that suicide has a role in our modern religious life deserves our close attention.

If you are concerned about the infiltration of this false legitimising of suicide into the life of our ummah, no matter how much you may tend to hate America, McDonald’s, or the many other manifestations of globalisation that America carries, you must understand that the real enemy, an enemy that has been fought on many fronts throughout the 20th century, is fascism.

The simplest definition of a fascist is someone who believes that he can, without your permission or cooperation, completely take over your life and do with it as he so pleases. The misguided Muslim suicide bombers and their teachers, are no less fascist for imagining they are serving Islam. All fascists are criminal fanatics.

Men get virgins, what about women?

Noordin Top is widely known as a bomb maker and his explosives have been implicated in various suicide attacks. The young Muslims who take their own lives are promised virgins when they are received with triumph in heaven. What about the muslimah? What about the young Palestinian mother who killed both herself and her unborn baby on a Tel Aviv bus some years back?

Was she expecting something in heaven? We do not know. What we know is that her sponsoring group was a heretical organisation calling themselves ‘Islamic Jihad’. This name reminds me of George Orwell’s “double-speak”, a fascist tool for calling something its opposite, thereby changing its ethical position from negative to positive.

Fascist Muslims nowadays use the term “martyrdom operation” in such a way. As a military tactic, suicide bombing has undeniable advantages. Its victims can be pin-pointed to great accuracy – all the bomber has to do is walk among them. No warning is possible. It is the ultimate surprise attack.

This suicide-nik is trained to walk in a confident way, as if he belonged there. How to walk is one part of the suicide bombing course. Although he is carrying a weight in his explosive vest, including nails and broken glass to increase the suffering of his innocent victims, he must walk in a nonchalant way, without attracting any attention to himself. He must look healthy and normal in his eyes, although he is in fact totally psychotic. It appears to be a bit of an art.

And what about motivation? These bombs that Noordin Top engineered must be certain to detonate once the bomber is cut loose from the motivational experts who accompany him almost to his bomb site. What sane ustaz, or even doting girlfriend for that matter, would be so foolish as to want to commit suicide along with him?

So the handler sends the bomber further toward his destination with some companion to whisper in his ear that the virgins are waiting. Finally, even the last motivational expert in the chain abandons him and he walks alone, with a well-known smile on his face (is he already imagining his virgins?) into the midst of his victims.

Without engineering, these attacks become merely crazy shots-in-the-dark. It is Noordin Top’s body-bombs that make these attacks controllable and as precise as any weapon could be. And now, here comes Malaysia’s Home Ministry wanting to repatriate Noordin Top’s alleged body from Indonesia back to Malaysia.

One is sickened by the very thought of expressing any vestige of honour or respect to the body of a man who has mutilated hundreds of other bodies, most of whom are not even known enemies of his or any other Muslims.

Nevertheless the Indonesians are quite understandable in wanting to return this excrescence back to its origins, that is, the family cradle of this criminal. He is most certainly not an Indonesian, they say.

Latest chain in fascist devils

Noordin Mohd Top is the latest in a chain of fascist devils that have appeared throughout history, but especially in the past century or so. To the extent that George W Bush was responsible for the death-agonies of thousands of Iraqis and their children, wanting to impose his western ideals upon them, he had veered close to being a fascist himself.

But perhaps Bush was less of a fascist than monster Saddam, who was no more the “president” of anyone than Hitler was a priest. “President” is an honourable title designating someone who has been freely chosen by his people. We have many such phony “presidents” in the world today. These are the gangsters who always win their so-called “free elections” by at least 90 percent.

Alas, if even the American governing systems, which at least choose leaders by a small margin rather than an unbelievable 90 percent-plus, cannot protect us from fascism, what can we expect from the much less effective Muslim governments? It is an ongoing struggle.

As one American patriot observed, “The price of liberty is eternal vigilance”. Let us begin as Muslims by, at the very least, disowning someone like Noordin Mohd Top and sending his body back to the Malay family psychosis that spawned him.

AZRIL MOHD AMIN is a lawyer and one of founding directors of recently established think tank Islamic Strategic Studies Initiative (ISSI-Malaysia). He is former vice-president of the Muslim Youth Movement of Malaysia (Abim).

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