A campaign on Twitter aims to inspire Muslim men to join war in the Middle East by featuring the faces of the dead – smiling.
The Middle East Media Research Institute report says the macabre images are to convince additional fighters to join the effort to overthrow Bashar al-Assad in Syria.
Besides the images, there are messages. One of the Tweets even mentions the smile on the jihadist’s face and invokes the war against Assad.
“A deceased martyr smiling … your glory oh Allah (oh Allah make the ending better) #martyr #Syria Oh God, your glory eclipses the land of Bashar.”
Another Tweet mentions the smell coming from the martyr’s body.
“The scent of musk emanated from his pure body, and it was smelled by the mujahideen. Women trilled loudly after they smelled the musk emanating from his body.”
Another Tweet told of a man who didn’t marry because of his coming martyrdom.
“He refrained from marriage because he was hastening to meet the virgins under the shadows and the trees. As he died, he will be honored with the company of the prophet Muhammad’s companions and the love of the prophet Muhammad.”
Another references Syria and a Muslim convert coming from Europe.
“He came from Spain, leaving behind him a well-off and blissful life; Abu Adam the Moroccan was killed, may Allah have mercy on him, in one of the battles in Aleppo.”
This is MEMRI’s second installment on the topic. WND reported in February on the launch of the jihadist recruiting campaign.
The celebrants note that in some cases, the “martyrs” killed in “holy wars” in Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia and elsewhere seem to be smiling.
Among the “martyrs” are prominent Muslim sheiks, writers on online jihadi forums and ordinary Muslim men who died carrying out jihad.
Center for Security Policy Senior Fellow Clare Lopez says that jihadists believe the tweets and photos will inspire young Muslim men to become martyrs.
“They’re trying to encourage other fighters saying, if you give your life in the way of Allah, death is sweet, and the reward awaiting you on the other side is paradise, is better than you can imagine,” Lopez said. “In the case of these jihadis, they’re promised a reward of 72 virgins if you die in jihad as well as avoiding the torments of the grave.”
Lopez noted that Twitter is not the only site where the photos can be found.
“Oh, they post them everywhere on the Internet. They can be found on many of the jihadi websites. There are thousands of jihadis, would-be jihadis, and jihadi supporters,” Lopez said. “They are hugely popular.”
The recruiting campaign using photos of the dead is pursued with the same enthusiasm of a Madison Avenue advertising campaign, she said.
The campaign also a teaching tool, she said.
One lesson is that Muslim martyrs are intercessors for their family members.
“They believe that they can broker in 70 of their closest family members and they can avoid the torment of the grave. So, it’s really a good package,” Lopez said. “And they believe this and they really and truly go off to their death.”
There are rewards for martyrdom, because it’s an act against an enemy of Islam.
“Oh yes, for them they believe this is what Allah wants. They are fulfilling their faith in the most sublime way,” Lopez said.
The act of martyrdom is exalted in Islam.
“It is a sacrifice. It is almost a sacrament. It probably sounds strange to put it in that term, But, it’s a kind of a sacrament that they sacrifice their own life and place it on the ‘altar’ of Allah and of Islam,” Lopez said. “They believe that by dying they personally achieve immortality and in another way, they believe they are helping to achieve immortality on earth for Islam.”
Lopez said the campaign is also for the families.
“It’s also done to encourage the families who are giving up their sons to the cause of jihad. They’re told that their sons are in paradise and that they’ve not only died in the way of Allah but they have achieved for the rest of the family,” she said.
Islam analyst and author Robert Spencer confirms Lopez’s observations and says the tweets and the photos are fully in line with Islamic doctrine.
“This is in line with the Muslim belief that death is preferable to life. Islamic supremacists avowedly and proudly love death,” Spencer said. “Jihad mass murderer Mohamed Merah said that ‘he loved death more than they loved life,’ referring to those who weren’t martyrs.”