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        Economic and Social Council
17 March 2003


Fifty-ninth session
Item 6 and 9 of the provisional agenda


Written statement* submitted by World Union for Progressive Judaism,
a non-governmental organization on the Roster

The Secretary-General has received the following written statement which is circulated in accordance with Economic and Social Council resolution 1996/31.

[18 February 2003]


*This written statement is issued, unedited, in the language(s) received from the submitting non-governmental organization(s).

The 1988 genocidal Charter of HAMAS: an evil legacy for ‘Jihadist-Martyrdom’ bombers

1. Eighteen months after the 11 September 2001 horrors inaugurated a new era of Jihad Conflicts, the World Union for Progressive Judaism wishes to provide details on this issue.

2. We call on Muslim leaders, both spiritual and secular — particularly the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), representing 57 Muslim countries at the United Nations — to speak out unequivocally, making it crystal clear to the world, to Muslims and non-Muslims alike, that the traditional Islamist interpretation of this Jihad-war ideology today is in total contradiction with the International Bill of Human Rights. This ‘Culture of Hate and Death’ should long since have been outlawed by the OIC – and by the international community.

3. The current use of terms like ‘terrorism’ / ‘fascism’ / ‘suicide’/ ‘kamikaze’ bombers — resulting from ‘frustration’ / ‘poverty’ / ‘education’ — is misleading. The truth is elsewhere. Those Jihadist-bombers follow an Islamist interpretation that considers them as ‘Martyrs,’ for whom a ‘Jihad ideology’ and a ‘Jihad war’ against ‘infidels’. is considered normative – as stated by Osama bin Laden already in 1998: “Do Jihad against the Crusaders and Jews."

4. In 1968, Dr. Abdul-Haleem Mahmoud, later to be nominated as rector of Cairo’s Al-Azhar University, wrote: “If Jihad leads to martyrdom, the destination is Heaven and approach to Allah. In the Holy Quran and the honourable tradition, there is a most magnificent and beautiful presentation of the martyr's status in the after-life.(1)

5. On 19 June 2001, the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, Sheik Yussef al-Qaradawi, stated on Al-Jazeera’s weekly religious programme that — from a religious view- point — the Palestinian attacks are considered as “self-sacrifice,” a person who commits that act “is not a suicide [bomber]. He kills the enemy while taking self-risk, similarly to what Muslims did in the past (...) He wants to scare his enemies and the religious authorities have permitted this. And also: “He who got killed is a Shahid in heaven.” (2)

6. On 4 April 2002, this view was again reaffirmed by the current highest spiritual Sunni leader: “The great Imam of Al-Azhar, Sheik Muhammad Sayyed Tantawi, demanded that the Palestinian people of all factions intensify the martyrdom operations against the Zionist enemy, and described their martyrdom as the highest form of jihad (...) He emphasized that every martyrdom operation against any Israeli, including women, children, and teenagers, is a legitimate act according to religious law, and an Islamic commandment.(3)

7. Four days earlier, on 31 March 2002, the UK Islamist website ‘Islamic-State.Org’ posted an article by Hizb ut-Tahrir, entitled: ‘And kill them wherever you find them (...)’ [2:191]. It began: “The Jews are a people of slander. They are a treacherous people who violate oaths and covenants.” In the tenth paragraph, there is enthusiastic approval: “Today, the Mujahideen in Palestine provide us with the best of examples: The youth are competing in the martyrdom operations. Young girls have started to compete with the young men for martyrdom. Mothers are pushing their sons to become shaheed [martyrs], and they make Sujood in thanks to Allah when they hear the news of the martyrdom of their sons.(4)

8. Dr. Iyad Sarraj, a Palestinian psychiatrist in Gaza commented on this ever-growing culture of hate. “They are creating a new culture (...) Once you create such a culture, you create something automatic; even he could not challenge the social acceptance of this ideal by directly criticizing the martyrs themselves. You can say, ‘I condemn terror. I condemn killing civilians,’ but you can’t say, ‘I condemn martyrs,’ because martyrs are prophets.” (5)

9. As a confirmation of Dr. Sarraj’s statement, on 19 and 21 June 2002 the Palestinian daily Al-Quds published “A Palestinian Communiqué Against Martyrdom Attacks,” that was signed by 315 prominent Palestinians including Sari Nusseibeh and Hanan Ashrawi. But this communiqué — strongly criticized by HAMAS on its website — did not explicitly condemn the “martyrdom attacks” on civilians, either on ethical or religious grounds. On this point, its concluding paragraph merely makes a pragmatic point: “Military operations can be judged to be positive or negative only by the extent to which they realize political goals.” (6)

10. On 27 June 2002, the Palestinian Authority (PA) official TV broadcast a documentary, “Child Martyrs and Lovers of their Homeland,” in which Dr. Fatal Abu Hin, a lecturer in psychology, explained that a survey carried out by the Islamic University of Gaza in April 2001 showed that 73% of youngsters between 9 and 16 wanted to become ‘martyrs.’ He noted that the word ‘Shahada’ (martyrdom) has different meanings for people, and for Palestinian children, and the narrator of the film declared that “martyrdom has become the noblest aim and most admirable deed of this generation (...) the way to win prestige (...)” (7)

11. These examples fully confirm the explanation provided by Franz Rosenthal — the scholar and translator of Ibn Khaldun’s The Muqaddimah / An Introduction to History (1958) — in his detailed article “On Suicide in Islam” (1946), which differentiated between “suicide” and “martyrdom.” He wrote: “The great authorities of the hadith leave no doubt as to the official attitude of Islam. In their opinion, suicide is an unlawful act (...) On the other hand, death as the result of ‘suicidal’ missions and of the desire of martyrdom occurs not infrequently, since death is considered highly commendable according to Muslim religious concepts. However, such cases are no[t] suicides in the proper sense of the term.” (8)

The genocidal Charter of HAMAS

12. Three years ago an alliance was forged between the Palestinian Authority and
HAMAS (the acronym in Arabic for “Islamic Resistance Movement”) that resulted in the freeing of all convicted terrorists. This tacit alliance still exists and has proved fatal for the future of the Palestinian Authority and for the “peace process” leading to a Palestinian State.

13. Article 2 of the HAMAS Charter states that “The Islamic Resistance Movement is one of the wings of the Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine. The Muslim Brotherhood Movement is a universal organization which constitutes the largest Islamic movement in modern times.”

14. The bloody HAMAS Jihadist bombings on the Jewish Passover Eve 2002 at the Park Hotel in Netanya, in Tel Aviv (19 Sept. 2002) by its Ezzul Deen al-Qassam Brigades, and in Haifa on 5 March 2003, need to be seen in their true context. A ‘Culture of Hate’ and an ‘Ideology of Jihad is part and parcel of all extremist Islamist doctrine, particularly the HAMAS Charter – inspired by Sheik Ahmed Yassin, its founder and spiritual leader. Soon after his return to Gaza City to a rapturous reception in Oct. 1997, he declared that Israel must “disappear from the map.” He stated: “We have an aim and an enemy, and we shall continue our jihad against the enemy. A nation without a jihad is a nation without a purpose.” (9)

15. On 21 January 2003, the Palestinian daily, al-Hayat al-Jedida — the official organ of the Palestinian Authority (PA), published under the authority of Yasser Arafat — reported on a soccer tournament held at a PA school in Tulkarm. The student teams participating in the tournament have all been named after Jihadist ‘martyrs.’ One of the teams was named after Abd al-Basset Oude, who massacred more than 30 Israelis at the Passover Netanya Jihad bombing last year. This culture of racist-religious hatred in education —and even in sports —had the blessing of the school principal and the PA’s regional superintendent of education.

16. HAMAS is against any peace process according to its article 13: “There is no solution to the Palestinian Question except by Jihad. All initiatives, proposals, and International Conferences are but a waste of time and futile.” Article 8, the HAMAS slogan, has inspired countless Jihad martyrs: “Allah is its goal, The Prophet its model, the Qur'an its Constitution, Jihad its path, and death for the sake of Allah its most sublime belief.” Article 28 concludes with a rousing, racist-religious proclamation: “Israel, by virtue of its being Jewish, and of having a Jewish population defies Islam and the Muslims. ‘Let the cowards never sleep.’ ”

17. HAMAS is committed to continuing Jihad against “the Jews” until Allah's victory is implemented. The land of Palestine must be cleansed from their impurity and viciousness. Muslims are obligated to fight and kill the Jews wherever they find them. This worldwide, racist-genocidal call is even justified by a hadith [a ‘saying’ of the Prophet Muhammad], that concludes article 7: “HAMAS aspires to implement Allah's promise, whatever time it may take. The Prophet, prayer and peace be upon him, said: The Time [Day of Judgment] will not come until Muslims will fight the Jews (and kill them); until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: O Muslim! Oh Abdallah [Slave of Allah!], there is a Jew behind me, come on and kill him. This will not apply to the Gharqad tree, which is a Jewish tree.’ ”

18. This controversial hadith — related by the authoritative 9th century compilers, al-Bukhari and Muslim — has since become a commonplace belief among Islamists. On 12 April 2002, the Palestinian Authority's Sheik Ibrahim Madhi delivered a Friday sermon at Gaza City main Sheik Ijlin Mosque, broadcast live on Palestinian Authority television. Sheik Madhi quoted extensively from this hadith — including the curious reference to a "Jewish" Gharqad tree — and preached: “We believe in this hadith. We are convinced also that this hadith heralds the spread of Islam and its rule over all the lands (...)‘from the ocean to the ocean ’.” Sheikh Madhi concluded: “Oh Allah, accept our martyrs in the highest heaven (...) Oh Allah, show the Jews a black day (...) Oh Allah, annihilate the Jews and their supporters (...) Oh Allah, raise the flag of Jihad across the land (...) Oh Allah, forgive our sins.”

19. The HAMAS Charter follows Nazi propaganda used against Jews, by referring to a crude forgery. Article 32: “Their scheme has been laid out in The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.”(10) “The Zionist scheming is limitless. After Palestine, the Zionists aspire to expand from the Nile to the Euphrates. Once they will have completely digested the coveted area, they will aspire to further expansion, and so on.” Article 22 affirms : “The enemies have been scheming for a long time (...), taking over control of the world media, such as news agencies, the press, publishing houses, broadcasting, and the like.(...) With their money they created secret societies, such as the Freemasons, Rotary Clubs, the Lions, and others in different parts of the world, for the purpose of sabotaging societies and achieving Zionist interests. With their money they were able to control imperialistic countries and instigate them to colonize many countries in order to exploit their resources and spread corruption there.

They were behind the French [1789] and Communist [1917] Revolutions, and most of the revolutions we have heard about, and hear about here and there.” The conspiracy continues: “They were behind World War I so as to wipe out the Islamic Caliphate, making financial gains and controlling resources of wealth. They obtained the Balfour Declaration and then established the League of Nations in order to rule the world by means of that organization. They were behind World War II, through which they made huge financial gains by trading in armaments, thereby preparing for the establishment of their state. They inspired the founding of the League of Nations by the United Nations and the Security Council to order to rule the world through them. There is no war going on anywhere without their fingerprints on it.”

Comments and Conclusions:

20. The HAMAS Charter of 18 August 1988 is both ‘politicidal’ and ‘genocidal,’ and should be punishable under the 1948 Genocide Convention, article III of which condemns: “direct and public incitement to commit genocide.” Article VIII covers actions under art. III.

21. At various meetings in Beirut, Cairo, and Kuala Lumpur in April 2002, the Arab League did not condemn ‘martyrdom’ (‘suicide’) bombings, nor has it — or the OIC — done so since 11 Sept. 2001. In the “Declaration on International Terrorism” (3 April 2002, at Kuala Lumpur), article 10 does not even define terrorism. Yet its article 4 states: “We affirm our commitment to the principles and true teachings of Islam, which abhors aggression, values peace, tolerance and respect, as well as prohibiting the killing of innocent people

22. In an open letter released on 7 February 2003, Sheikh Yassin announced: “Muslims should threaten Western interests and strike them everywhere.” Referring to “a crusader’s war” against Islam, he repeated his intention to destroy “this cancer that is called Israel.” (11)

23. This Culture of Hate and Death has been illustrated hundreds of times in broadcasts and publications by the PA since Sept 2000. The latest example was published on 27 February 2003 in the literary section of the official PA daily Al Hayat Al Jadida. The poem by Abdul Badi Iraq: “A letter from a Shahid [Martyr] to his Mother,” glorifies the Jihadist-Martyrdom bomber. The ‘Jews’, who are to be slaughtered in this indiscriminate Jihadist bombing — for the Shahid’s heavenly “wedding”— are described as “packs of beasts...” The opening and final lines read: “...I wrapped my body ... with bombs. I asked [reaching] towards Allah (...) The wedding is the wedding of the land. Sound a cry of joy, oh mother, I am the groom.” (12)

24. The World Union for Progressive Judaism calls on the Commission on Human Rights, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, all appropriate Human Rights bodies — and also the Organization of the Islamic Conference — to condemn ‘martyrdom bombings’ (wrongly referred to as ‘suicide bombings’), and also the genocidal HAMAS Charter. More Jihadist attacks are expected at any time worldwide – from al-Qaeda, HAMAS, as well as PA terrorist groups. The current attitude of obfuscating the true significance of this grave Islamist interpretation of ‘martyrdom’ bombings implicitly condones a great evil legacy of our time — a contagious plague — thereby encouraging more ‘Jihadist-Martyrdom’ bombers worldwide: to kill and terrorize those whom they designate as ‘infidels.’ This ‘Culture of Hate and Death’ must be totally condemned throughout the Muslim world — and outlawed by the international community — otherwise the future promises to be very bleak for the whole of humanity. A small beacon of light was lit recently by an Egyptian lawyer in an opposition newspaper. (13)

(1) The Fourth Conference of the Academy of Islamic Research (1968), 3 vols. Arabic; 1 vol. English. The Egyptian General Organization for Government Printing Offices, Cairo, 1970 (English, p. 909)

(2) Al-Jazeera TV [Qatar], 19 June 2001, trans. in “The Prophet Muhammad as a Jihad Model,” Sheik Yussef
al-Qaradhawi, MEMRI, Special Dispatch Series – N° 246, 24 July 2001.

(3) (4 April 2002); English translation in MEMRI report of
8 April 2002. Special Dispatch-Egypt/Jihad & Terrorism Studies, 7 April, N° 363. (

(4) (06.08.2002)

(5) James Bennett, “The New Suicide Bombers: Larger and More Varied Pool,” New York Times, 21 June
2002; abridged in the International Herald Tribune, 22-23 June 2000

(6) English the Palestinian Authority’s The Jerusalem Times, 20 June

(7) Letter (7 Feb. 2003) from Israel’s Ambassador Yaakov Levy to the Chairperson of the 59th UNCHR,
Ambassador . Najjat Al-Hajjaji :

(8) Journal of the American Oriental Society (1946) 66:243, 256

(9) Associated Press, 22 October 1997

(10) Norman Cohn, Warrant for Genocide. The Myth of the Jewish World Conspiracy and the Protocols of the
Elders of Zion. (London: Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1967); Pierre-André Taguieff, Les Protocoles des Sages de Sion. Faux et Usages d’un Faux. (Paris: Berg International, 2 vols., 1992); Hadassa Ben-Itto, “The Lie that Wouldn’t Die,” Justice (Special Issue: Anti-Semitism: Then and Now) 34, Winter 2002, pp. 20-43

(11) “Hamas leader urges Muslims to retaliate,” by James Bennet, New York Times/International Herald
Tribune, 8-9 February 2003.

12) English translation in Palestinian Media Watch (, “A Suicide Bomber’s Imaginary
Letter to his Mother ,” 2 March 2003. See also article recommending a more general use of Jihadist-Martyrdom bombers by HAMAS spokesman, Dr. Abd Al-Rantisi, “Iraq Will Triumph, by Allah’s Will” (e.g. “Iraq must train convoys of martyrs in belief...How great is the difference between those who see martyrdom and those who seek [the life of] this world.” Ppsted on the HAMAS website on 30 Dec. 2002, and elsewhere. (MEMRI, Special Dispatch-Jihad and Terrorism Studies/Iraq/Palestinian, 9 Jan. 2003, N° 457); and MEMRI, 23 Jan. 2003, N° 459

13) For a recent strong criticism by an Egyptian attorney Ahmad Shawqi ‘Iffat, in Al-Wafd (opposition),
“A Look at Martyrdom Operations,” 12 Feb. 2003. English trans. in MEMRI, Special Dispatch-Egypt/ Reform in the Arab and Muslim World, 25 February 2003, N° 474

With the author’s permission, this written statement —with cuts and additional material provided by him— is based on his two articles: “Jihad and Jihadist Bombers. What’s in a Name?” by David G. Littman (representative of the WUPJ to the UNO in Geneva), published in:ttp:// (the National Review Online, New York, 9 September 2002; and also his: “The Geonocidal Hamas Charter: Arafat & co” in National Review Online, New York, 26 September 2002:


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