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PMW Bulletin prompts interview on Fox TV

Channel: FXNWS
Date: 03/09/2006 08:23:00
Program: Fox and Friends (Talk / Tabloid)
Brian: all right. Hamas backed website encouraging kids to become suicide bombers. The site is even using cartoons and stories to spread their message.
E.D.: Cartoons, think about that. Dr. Gerald Post is the director of the Political Psychology Program at George Washington University. He joins us now from our Washington, D.C. Bureau. It"s good to have you hear with us.
Dr Post: Good to be with you.
E.D.: Tell us what you would find if you take a look at this website, what kind of cartoons?
Dr Post: Well we see a number of things but the most important issue is the spreading the culture of martyrdom. It"s now estimated there"s some 3500 to 4,000 radical Islamic websites, and this is not something new, but a continuation of something we"ve been seeing where we have children being socialized from if some cases, infancy on when hatred is being bred in the bone, so for every terrorist killed or captured, we have 10 more waiting in line.
Brian: what about the traffic to these sites. Does it show it"s resonating and being used? And what we have -- this is kind
Dr Post: Oh, yes. of like "Sesame Street" for martyrs. By the way, this is not suicide that"s being covered. I"ve interviewed suicide bomb commanders, and when you say how can you, if you believe in the Quran, justify the suicide terrorism, suicide is weak, it is selfish, it is mentally disturbed, this is martyrdom or self-sacrifice in the service of Allah, so you"re steeping this, getting the children ready and this is paving the way for later, not even recruitment but volunteering.
E.D.: So the website doesn"t tell the kids that suicide is the ultimate mission, as a suicide bomber, but they have to continue to serve the purpose of Hamas, of martyrdom, of what?
Dr Post: Yes. Exactly. It is -- it is taking as a heroic higher status posture being a martyr, a colleague of mine, an Israeli expert talked me into kind of chillingly normal terms about this. He said you know, go into a pizza parlor off Harvard Square and you see the kids gossiping about their favorite team, the New England patriot, about the hero, Tom Brady, the quarterback and some day they want to be an NFL star. The same thing in the camps and I said what do you mean? He said well their favorite team is Hamas, these stars are the martyrs that when they grow up, which they won"t, they will be a martyr, so this is not small cult of fanatics, this is a widespread cultural value.
Brian: And you see this as a problem, so can you give us an idea how to combat it? I guess it"s not going to be a quick answer.
Dr Post: No, i think when hatred is bred in the bone, we"re talking about something that"s going to be with us for generations and this requires early intervention, because once as children they are hooked, it"s very difficult to shift these attitudes. But the United States cannot direct hi counter this in any way. Any message that comes from the United States is automatically tainted and the real issue is, how can moderate Muslim clerics, moderate Muslim leaders be taking a strong stand against the extremists within their own midst and at the present time, unfortunately, they"re quite muted.
E.D.: Dr. Post, thank you very much for joining us.
Brian: wow, I cannot believe that.