Palestinian Televangelists: New Trends in Pop Culture – Or Is That BOOM Culture?

American televangelists don’t look so bad after taking a glance at the religious sermons being broadcast with the implicit approval of America’s favorite “man of peace,” Mahmoud Abbas, leader of the Palestinian Authority. As reported on Y-net News:

In a sermon broadcast on PA television, Ismail al-Radouan, a prominent Palestinian sheikh, declares, “When the Shahid [martyr] meets his maker, all his sins are forgiven from the first gush of blood. He is exempted from the torments of the grave; he sees his place in paradise, he is shielded from the great shock, and marries 72 Dark Eyed (Virgins).”

This is part of a lengthy series of sermons given with government approval in Palestine encouraging martyrdom.

In addition to great sermons, the Palestinian TV station under control of Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party also appeals to pop culture (or is that BOOM culture?) with multimedia marketing efforts. While the production quality is not up to LDS Mormanad standards (perhaps we could send a BYU TV crew to help out?), the Palestinian Authority has generated some inspiring religious commercials to encourage proper religious action by its people. One such spot, a music video you can view at Palestinian Media Watch, shows a Palestinian woman who is shot in the back by Israeli soldiers and then taken to paradise to join other smiling maidens dancing in white robes while standing in water, waiting for a nice male martyr to marry them. I think the special effects need a little work, frankly, but it is touching. (Hat tip to

In another recent video discussed at Y-net News, a Palestinian man about to blow himself up among Jewish civilians offers a prayer:

Angels of mercy, escort our souls to Heaven after we fulfill this duty of crushing the descendents of monkeys and pigs. Dear father and mother, blessings of honor and respect to you, while you escort me to the Maidens of Paradise as a Martyr.

I’m sure our government has correctly identified Mahmoud Abbas, former right-hand man of Yasser Arafat, as “a man of peace” and a true ally, as we heard this week from President Bush, who has been sending Mahmoud a lot of your money and some of mine. The only questions remaining are how much more of your money should we give him to help him promote peace, when will he be on Oprah, and when will he get the Nobel Peace Prize? And could there be a music video award in his future?

I also listened to the first part of the President of Iran’s carefully reasoned speech to the United Nations this week, and was touched to hear him make so many references to religion and God, describing their cause as one based on peace and mercy. Yes, it’s all about peace. Of course, it might be the Marxist definition of peace: “the elimination of all opposition.” I’m not sure that eliminating Israel or other peoples and religions is the best path toward peace, but at least peace is the goal. And world peace at that.

Peace. Do we really need it?

Anyway, maybe we need to keep up with the global competition with some new glitzy music videos of our own. Perhaps we can show a 19-year-old young man getting a haircut, putting on a white shirt and nametag, and then strapping some Books of Mormon to his chest and running into a crowd of atheists – perhaps an ACLU office party – or even more moving, a crowd of anti-Mormon ministers waving underwear over their heads at General Conference. Then, after his martyrdom, he gets a Macintosh laptop. OK, it’s not all that scriptural, but that’s marketing. And good co-branding as well.


Author: Jeff Lindsay

3 thoughts on “Palestinian Televangelists: New Trends in Pop Culture – Or Is That BOOM Culture?

  1. Don’t get the Pres. of Iran wrong. He has never said he wants to kill Jews. What he is for is letting the 5 million Palestinians return to the land and then have all peoples in the land decided democratically what sort of government they would like. The wipe of the map thing was a big mistranslation of Farsi as admitted by MEMRI, the Israeli interpreting group.
    Also, peace in the region will never be possible as long as Israel continues to grab land and stomp the palestinians necks.

  2. Curtis, wow. As usual, Israel is the root of all evil in the ME, and if they just leave those peace-loving, productive and prosperous Palestinians alone, everything would be fine. Hamas and Hezb’allah would be sending flowers and working to build friendly relationships with Israelis. Mullahs all across the middle east would actually listen to the Pope and urge restraint. Maybe without the Israelis stomping on palestinians (sic) necks, the Palestinian people could have become a strong, self-governing beacon of hope, much like Syria, or Jordan, or Saudi Arabia or Egypt. Or Iran. But then, the other ME kingdoms would have to find a new whipping boy to show the true evil of those upitty Israelis.

    By this token, we should let the 11M illegal aliens in this country decide our laws–afterall, their great-great-great….grandfathers on their mother’s side may have come from Central America and thereby have claims on the entire continent.

    Can you graft cedar branches into olive trees? Would either survive? Who built Jerusalem (and Nasarath and Galilee, etc)? Who were the “Palestinians” before “Israel” became a state?

    Sorry, Mormanity, not your fault, but Curtis and his ilk really get under my skin. Some folks get wrapped up in an emotional issue without a knowledge of historic forces or an understanding of human motivations and would rather believe in a grand evil conspiracy (them!) fighting the forces of good (us!). While there are no doubt conspiracies (think tobacco companies and their lawyers), governmental bureaucracies are not the “lean, mean conspiring machines” envisioned in X-files. And while Curtis no doubt feels we are being led by a modern day Pahoran or one of the Gadianton, I prefer to believe that men and governments act based on expediency rather than the long view and what we are seeing is the culmination of the failures of a century of expediency.

    Mists of darkness raging all around us. Let’s try to not wander off into strange paths.

  3. CP,
    Your tone of sarcasm doesn’t leave much room for discussion here. I’d love to discuss the arguements of politics in the ME on their merits if you’d like. As for now you’ve given me nothing to get my teeth into.
    It seems though, that you believe there never will be a gadianton society in our day like the one seen among the Nephites in the Book of Mormon. The Nephites even experienced the society of Gadianton firmly rooted among the Church as even the righteous were seduced. If the Book is for our day, it would behoove us to keep alert for such abominations as the nation that upholds such are under the sword of Justice which will shortly fall on their heads.
    I don’t understand your comment about Pahoran, a righteous leader who had nothing to do with Gadianton.
    I understand historical context in the ME as well as the next person. I also understand what justice looks like. Would it be just for the UN to allow the best lands of the US to be given to the Native Americans who are scattered in the land, and shove out the current inhabitants? I don’t think most people would subscribe to that sort of a plan. And yet, that is what happened with the creation of Israel in the 40’s.
    Whatever the case, Israel’s recent devastation of Lebanon, supported only in the US, is a great example of an ancient prophecy of Israel as given in Isaiah 59:
    1 Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear:
    2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.
    3 For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness.
    4 None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth: they trust in vanity, and speak lies; they conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity.
    5 They hatch cockatrice’ eggs, and weave the spider’s web: he that eateth of their eggs dieth, and that which is crushed breaketh out into a viper.
    6 Their webs shall not become garments, neither shall they cover themselves with their works: their works are works of iniquity, and the act of violence is in their hands.
    7 Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood: their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; wasting and destruction are in their paths.
    8 The way of peace they know not; and there is no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace.

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