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Previous | Next :: We Love Death : Shahid Training : Gaza | June 16, 2014, 1:18 am

We Love Death : Shahid Training : Gaza
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A newspaper I work with in the UK rang up suddenly today ......... requiring pictures I had made of Hamas fighters in Gaza years back ...... the writer I was with at the time..... had remembered a special quality in the pictures I had made back then.

They did not want the pictures already scanned from the original story but had a slightly different requirement ......... They wanted me to look again at the original set ........... So we had to go back to looking at the original transparencies ( I am in our office in Atlanta with Matt where many of the originals are stored ) ......... Suddenly out of nowhere I am reengaging with a group of young men who were training to undertake their stated goal of becoming fighters, even suicide bombers ............ they wanted to become Shahid ....... they wanted to be martyrs.

Lets be clear this was a frightening story to cover, these were frightening people ........... the whole time I was with them I was primarily worried about them killing us or kidnapping us ............ At the time the primary feeling was that of fear...... and worry about self-preservation ....... but now I look back years later from the safety of a modern American city along way from Gaza , the primary sensation I feel is sadness ...... I feel sad for them, I feel pity for them ............ I wonder how many, if any of these boys, these young men , are still alive ..........

These pictures were made as Hamas was becoming ascendent in Gaza ......... I knew already their mantra of : 'From the river to the sea is Islamic land' That this left no room for compromise or deal making, no two state solutions for them, their doctrines and beliefs and actions would mean no end to the violence.

I also knew they were more than willing to die for their cause. In fact these boys, these young men appeared hungry to die for their cause.

In the mosque where they were training with weapons and training in hand to hand fighting, in that setting, they seemed indeed almost to be worshippers of death.

In later years I went on to be present at the funerals of martyrs in Gaza whose families were encouraged and expected to celebrate the deaths of their own sons as Shahid.

" Daily Telegraph “We are going to win, because they love life and we love death,” said Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah. He has also said: “Each of us lives his days and nights hoping more than anything to be killed for the sake of Allah.”

Shortly after 9/11, Osama bin Laden told a reporter: “We love death. The U.S. loves life. That is the big difference between us.” National Geographic

“The Americans love Pepsi-Cola, we love death,” explained Afghani al Qaeda operative Maulana Inyadullah. Daily Telegraph

Sheik Feiz Mohammed, leader of the Global Islamic Youth Center in Sydney, Australia, preached: “We want to have children and offer them as soldiers defending Islam. Teach them this: There is nothing more beloved to me than wanting to die as a mujahid.”

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in a speech: “It is the zenith of honor for a man, a young person, boy or girl, to be prepared to sacrifice his life in order to serve the interests of his nation and his religion.”…Washington Post " <<<<<<<<<

When I made these photographs I first became properly acquainted with the islamic cult of martyrdom jumping from The Shia tradition to The Sunni tradition. I can't help feeling the leaders that have created and fed this modern relatively new cult of martyrdom and death have helped squander any chance of any compromise for peace in places like Gaza (that only may have existed anyway) ............ and also so horribly for their own communities they have certainly squandered the lives of so many ordinary young men including in all likelihood the life of this simultaneously terrifying and tragic young man shown above.

Cheers Jez XXXXXXXXXXXX

PS.......... Yesterday ISIS Jihadist's claim to have executed 1700 Iraqi soldiers ......... Soldiers who had surrendered ........This is a disgusting human rights violation ............ ISIS have posted on-line images they made of this atrocity ......... Hoping no doubt to push Iraq into a full sectarian war between Sunni and Shia ........... All just totally disgusting ........ And totally depressing..............

PPS.......... Israel yesterday accused Hamas of kidnapping or killing 3 missing Israeli teenagers ............ depressing...........

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