Umm Nidal Farhat
In an insightful television interview, a Palestinian legislative candidate told why her Islamic faith required her to sacrifice three of her sons to terrorist operations and why she believes there are no prohibitions against killing civilians until the Jews are completely banished from Israel.
Farhat, also known as Umm Nidal, said her only fear is that her sons would choose a path that would not please Allah.
Jihad, she says, is required of every Muslim.
“It is a sacred duty – one of the duties of Islam, which cannot be abandoned. We would be sinners if we did.”
Farhat was photographed by the Associated Press last Friday, which described her in the caption as the “mother of three Palestinian martyrs.” She was giving a speech during a celebration in Damascus, Syria, of the 18th anniversary of the foundation of the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas.
Farhat is one of around 66 candidates for Hamas in the group’s first campaign for parliament. Last week, the terrorist group swept local elections in West Bank cities.
Reuters said her family’s “militant record” makes her popular with many Palestinians, but the European Union and the U.S. House of Representatives have both threatened to curb aid to the Palestinian Authority if Hamas wins.
Hamas is dedicated to the destruction of Israel and the creation of a single Islamic state.
In the TV interview, Farhat said she prepared all of her sons “for jihad for the sake of Allah, whether by carrying out an attack, or by any other form of jihad. I prepared myself for this. He who chooses a difficult road must be ready to bear the consequences.”
“Some people may consider this a tragedy, but by Allah, it is a blessing,” she said.
“Allah be praised,” she continued, her son Muhammad’s martyrdom was “one of the most successful operations of the first and second intifadas.”
Muhammad broke into a military academy, Farhat said, and “Allah be praised, there were many casualties. About 10 soldiers [were killed], but Israeli radio always conceals the [true number of] casualties.
“The operation was very successful, Allah be praised. Ten soldiers were killed and 23 injured.”
Umm Nidal Farhat with pictures honoring sons who died while carrying out terrorist attacks.
Responding to a question, Farhat said she was sad about losing her son, but considered it a “blessing, not a tragedy.”
“I prepared boxes of halva and chocolates, and handed them out to his friends,” she said.
The interviewer then asked: “Excuse me, Umm Nidal, but in the West … they don’t understand how a Palestinian mother can rejoice at her son’s funeral, and can say ‘Allah Akbar’ (Allah is greatest) when she hears that he was martyred. …”
Farhat replied: “They are completely detached from Islam and its concepts. But we, Allah be praised, are devout Muslims. In these matters, there is a big difference between us and them. They do not understand what Islam is. …”
Interviewer: “But human beings are all the same. Our Lord created one kind of Man.”
Farhat: “Of course, and as a human being, I feel these emotions very deeply. Believe me, when it comes to my sons, I am one of the most compassionate mothers. But this is a sacred duty, which no emotion whatsoever can supersede.”
The interviewer then stated that in Gaza and the West Bank, people are divided over terrorist attacks carried out in restaurants and commercial centers and view them differently from attacks on the military.
But Farhat replied: “All the Palestinians share the same view. They are not divided. The only ones who disagree and think otherwise are, of course, the foreigners, who have no sympathy for us or for our cause, and who know nothing about us. They are the ones who think that this man has come to kill innocent people. This is what they think. But we, as Muslims, think differently. We are familiar with the Quranic verse: ‘One who attacks you, attack him in like manner.'”
Farhat said anyone who “comes from abroad and lives on the land of Palestine is considered an occupier, even if they are women or old people. They are all occupiers.”
The interviewer pressed: “Can’t you distinguish between operations against civilians and against soldiers, even from a psychological point of view?”
Farhat replied: “There is no difference. This is Islamic religious law. I don’t invent anything. I follow Islamic religious law in this. A Muslim is very careful not to kill an innocent person, because he knows he would be destined to eternal hell. So the issue is not at all simple. We rely on Islamic religious law when we say there is no prohibition on killing these people.”
The interviewer then asked, “What does the word ‘peace’ mean to you?”
Farhat: “The word ‘peace’ does not mean the kind of peace we are experiencing. This peace is, in fact, surrender and a shameful disgrace. Peace means the liberation of all of Palestine, from the [Jordan] to the [Mediterranean] Sea. When this is accomplished – if they want peace, we will be ready. They may live under the banner of the Islamic state. That is the future of Palestine that we are striving towards.”
The conversation concluded, with Farhat declaring herself “proud and honored to be a terrorist for the sake of Allah”:
Interviewer: Some say this kind of reasoning is the obstacle to peace, because the Israelis will never agree to be banished. …
Farhat: Let them refuse. We do not expect them to accept this. These people are occupiers, and we want to banish them from our land.
Interviewer: Umm Nidal, who sits here in front of me, is classified as a terrorist throughout the world. Not just a terrorist, but also as a producer of terrorists. …
Farhat: They can classify as much as they like. I am proud and honored to be a terrorist for the sake of Allah. ‘Prepare for them whatever force and steeds of war you can, in order to strike terror in the hearts of the enemy of Allah and of your own.’ I am happy to implement this Quranic verse myself, and to be a terrorist for the sake of Allah.
Interviewer: You have 10 sons.
Farhat: Yes, Allah be praised.
Interviewer: If another is killed …
Farhat: There are many young men. …
Interviewer: Will your heart be filled with unbearable sorrow?
Farhat: No, no. Allah be praised, I am preparing myself. I will sacrifice them all. If my duty requires me to sacrifice them all, I will not refuse – even if it costs me a hundred sons.