NEW YORK – A prominent Muslim author has publicly acknowledged that the Palestinian Arabs’ own culture of hatred and violence incites young Arabs to become terrorists.
Irshad Manji, best-selling author of The Trouble With Islam: A Muslim’s Call for Reform in Her Faith and host of the Canadian Television show Big Ideas, wrote in the Los Angeles Times (Sept. 5, 2004): “[L]iberals like me need to deal with the ideological occupation of the Palestinian people by their own leadership, their own culture.”
While critical of some Israeli policies, Manji said that Palestinian Arab culture is “a popular culture of incitement that doesn’t exist in Israel.” She contrasted Israelis who protest by “demonstrating and jeering,” with Palestinian Arabs who protest by “blowing up buses and the people in them. That’s a life-and-death difference in choices.”
Manji wrote: “Posters of shaheeds — martyrs — plaster the buildings of the West Bank and Gaza. Billboards proclaim their undying honor. Adolescents make up rap tunes to them while expressing hope that one day they will imitate the self-immolators. Even a soccer tournament on Palestinian Children’s Day is named for a suicide bomber.”
Manji quoted a statement by Islamic Jihad terrorist leader Mohammed Hindi, who denied that “despair” was what motivates suicide bombers. Manji commented: “Hindi’s answer floored me. By his own admission, what drives so many of today’s suicide bombers isn’t that which the material world has failed to deliver to them, but something besides — perhaps the Quran’s promises for the afterlife, or perhaps more precisely, Palestinian culture’s ideological exploitation of the Quran’s promise of afterlife.”
Morton A. Klein, National President of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), commented: “An entire generation of Palestinian Arabs has been raised to hate Jews and Israel. Giving them Israeli land or American money will not solve the problem — in fact, it will have the opposite effect, but sending a message to them they need not change their ways. Like German society after World War II, Palestinian Arab society will require a lengthy and intensive period of de-Nazification, to wean them away from their hatred and violence. What they need is years and years of education towards peace, democracy, and coexistence. As long as the PA educates its people for hatred, in the official PA schools, summer camps, television, radio, newspapers, speeches, and religious sermons, peace will not be possible.”