Yassin home to be turned into a museum (& Canadian teachers praise terror)

March 28, 2005

This is a follow-up to several previous dispatches on this list, including:

* Hamas art goes on display in Australia (Dec. 13, 2004)
* Yassin 1: Charming and Witty? (April 12, 2004)
* Yassin 2: "Spiritual brother of Osama bin Laden" (April 12, 2004)
* Fans flock to Harry Potter's grave in Israel & Coming soon: Arafat-Park (Feb. 2, 2005)

CONTENTS:

1. "Yassin home to be turned into museum" (By Khaled Abu Toameh, Jerusalem Post, March 27, 2005)
2. "Islamic school suspends teachers over student's hate-filled tale" (Teachers told pupil it was 'good' to kill 'the [Israeli] Jews') (By Juliet O'Neill, The Ottawa Citizen, March 24, 2005)
3. The young pupil's story (As translated from Arabic for The Ottawa Citizen)

 



SHRINES TO YASSIN AND ARAFAT

[Note by Tom Gross]

While Israel created art museums and concert halls in its pre-state period, the Palestinians are planning to create a museum to commemorate one of their heroes, Hamas founder Ahmed Yassin. A museum dedicated to Yassin, a man responsible for the deaths of many hundreds of women and children, is to be opened in his former house. This means in a few months Palestinians will be able to visit shrines dedicated to both Yassin and Yasser Arafat and pay homage to their murderous exploits. (As detailed previously on this email list, an Arafat museum is being created in Ramallah.)

I attach an article about this and also an article about two Canadian teachers who have been suspended after they praised a young pupil for writing a story about how Ahmed Yassin and others gloriously killed Jews. "God bless you, your efforts are good," one of the teacher's wrote on the Ottawa boy's story.

There are summaries of these pieces first for those who don't have time to read them in full.

 

SUMMARIES

YASSIN HOME TO BE TURNED INTO A MUSEUM

"Yassin home to be turned into museum" (By Khaled Abu Toameh, The Jerusalem Post, March 27, 2005)

Hamas has decided to turn the home of its slain leader, Ahmed Yassin, in Gaza City's Sabra neighborhood, into a museum... Hamas officials said the museum in the five-room house will be open to the public in the next few weeks ... A top Hamas official in the Gaza Strip said the new museum is aimed at "acquainting the Palestinians with Yassin's legacy and reminding them of Israeli atrocities."

The decision to turn Yassin's home into a museum comes in the wake of a similar move by the Palestinian Authority to commemorate Yasser Arafat... According to officials, the [Arafat] museum will offer a rare glimpse into Arafat's private life by putting on display his personal belongings, including his military outfit, ranks, badges and private handgun, as well as various documents and pictures.

 

CANADIAN TEACHERS PRAISE YOUNG PUPIL'S STORY IN OTTAWA: "'YOU KILLED THEM ALL [THE JEWS].' AHMED [YASSIN] ANSWERED: 'PRAISE BE TO GOD.'"

"Islamic school suspends teachers over student's hate-filled tale. 'God bless you, your efforts are good,' instructor wrote on Ottawa boy's story celebrating violence, hatred against Jews" (By Juliet O'Neill, The Ottawa Citizen, March 24, 2005)

The Ottawa Citizen reports that two teachers at a local Islamic school have been suspended for praising a young student for his violence-laden writing project inciting hatred against Jews. The suspension came when one of the students at the Abraar Islamic School wrote a story about Palestinians ambushing and killing Israelis.

On the cover page, the boy drew a burning Jewish star and a Palestinian flag atop the Dome of the Rock. The two teachers praised the project in comments written on the cover and margins.

"God bless you, your efforts are good," the teacher wrote on the title page. "The story of the hero Ahmed and the hero Salah is still alive. The end will be soon when God unites us all in Jerusalem to pray there."

On the margins inside the story, the teacher had written a note endorsing the boy's fantasy of a young Ahmed Yassin [of Hamas see above] and his friend, Salah El-Dine, ambushing Israeli soldiers.

"Without thinking, Ahmed took his M16 machine-gun and threw the bombs, and he showered the Jews; this resulted in the killing of the soldiers," the boy's text reads. "Salah said: 'You killed them all.' Ahmed answered: 'Praise be to God.'"

Principal Aisha Sherazi said the seven-member school board and administration were "shocked" by teacher involvement in the project that was brought to her attention by the Ottawa Citizen last Wednesday, and decided at an emergency meeting to suspend the instructors. Mrs. Sherazi declined to name the student, for privacy reasons, or the teachers until the investigation is complete.

One teacher was apparently involved in the artistic production of the eight-page story of killing and martyrdom.

The Abraar School, established in 2000, teaches students full time from junior kindergarten up to Grade 8. About 260 students are enrolled at the school. The school web page says it is designed to provide "a proper Islamic environment for growing and learning" and to help preserve Islamic culture in Ottawa.

"DONE WITH OUR THANKS TO GOD"

The Ottawa Citizen included a translation of the boy's story (which is attached at the end of this email). Among the lines are: "Ahmed [Yassin] said: "Salah and my son killed 10 Jews last week." Another line, praised by the teachers, was "Without thinking, Ahmed took his M16 machine gun and threw the bombs, and he showered the Jews" ... "Done with our thanks to God."

-- Tom Gross

 



FULL ARTICLES

YASSIN HOME TO BE TURNED INTO A MUSEUM

Yassin home to be turned into museum
By Khaled Abu Toameh
The Jerusalem Post
March 27, 2005

www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull&cid=1111893690968

Hamas has decided to turn the home of its slain leader, Ahmed Yassin, in Gaza City's Sabra neighborhood into a museum.

The decision comes on the first anniversary of the assassination of Yassin, who was killed by missiles fired by an IAF helicopter as he was returning home from dawn prayers at a nearby mosque.

Hamas marked the occasion last week by holding a series of rallies throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Thousands of Hamas supporters participated in the rallies, organized under the slogan "Week of the Martyrs" Hamas officials said the museum in the five-room house will be open to the public in the next few weeks. On display will be parts of Yassin's wheelchair, his blood-stained clothes and his private computer, as well as other personal items, including books and newspaper clippings.

A top Hamas official in the Gaza Strip said the new museum is aimed at "acquainting the Palestinians with Yassin's legacy and reminding them of Israeli atrocities."

The decision to turn Yassin's home into a museum comes in the wake of a similar move by the Palestinian Authority to commemorate Yasser Arafat. PA officials announced earlier this year that one of the rooms inside the Mukata "presidential" compound in Ramallah would be turned into a small museum in honor of Arafat.

According to the officials, the museum will offer a rare glimpse into Arafat's private life by putting on display his personal belongings, including his military outfit, ranks, badges and private handgun, as well as various documents and pictures.

Meanwhile, Hamas said on Sunday that it had chosen its candidates for the next round of municipal elections, due to be held in the Gaza Strip on May 5.

"We have chosen our lists of candidates for the local elections," Sami Abu Zuhari, a spokesman for Hamas, said. He added that the Hamas candidates were chosen on the basis of their integrity and professional and academic qualifications, and not according to family connections.

Jamal Shobaki, chairman of the PA's local elections committee, said the elections in the Gaza Strip would be held in eight areas: Rafah, Beit Lahiya, Abbasan Al-Kabirah, Abbasan Al-Saghirah, Al-Bureij, Mughraka, Wad Al-Salaka and Wad Gaza. Altogether, these councils have 94 seats.

Shobaki said a total 796 candidates had registered to run in the election, which would also be held in 78 West Bank municipalities and village councils.

Amid fears that Hamas might win the vote, Fatah leaders began two days of discussions in Gaza City on Sunday to discuss preparations for the elections.

PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas is attending the talks, which will also focus on July's legislative vote and primary elections in Fatah.

 

CANADIAN TEACHERS PRAISE TERROR

Islamic school suspends teachers over student's hate-filled tale
'God bless you, your efforts are good,' instructor wrote on Ottawa boy's story celebrating violence, hatred against Jews

Juliet O'Neill
The Ottawa Citizen
March 24, 2005

www.canada.com/components/printstory/printstory4.aspx?id=00033b4e-c48e-455e-8a3c-80cd07777fa5

[Picture caption: The cover page of the boy's story is illustrated with a burning Star of David beside a machine-gun and a Palestinian flag atop the Dome of the Rock, an ancient Muslim shrine in Jerusalem. The text next to the shrine reads: 'With the call of God is the Greatest, the flag of Zionism will fall and will be destroyed.']

Two teachers at the Abraar Islamic school in Ottawa were suspended yesterday pending an investigation into the encouragement or incitement of hatred against Jews expressed in a young student's violence-laden writing project.

Principal Aisha Sherazi said the seven-member school board and administration were "shocked" by teacher involvement in the project that was brought to her attention by the Citizen yesterday morning, and decided at an emergency meeting to suspend the instructors.

One teacher was apparently involved in the artistic production of the eight-page story of killing and martyrdom. Handwritten in Arabic and titled The Long Road, the cover page was illustrated by a drawing of a burning Star of David beside a machine-gun and Palestinian flag atop the Dome of the Rock, an ancient Muslim shrine in Jerusalem.

The other teacher had written comments on the student's paper, praising the boy's story of revenge for the assassination by Israeli forces a year ago of Sheik Ahmed Yassin, a co-founder of Hamas, in retaliation for suicide bombings against Israeli civilians.

"God bless you, your efforts are good," the teacher wrote on the title page. "The story of the hero Ahmed and the hero Salah is still alive. The end will be soon when God unites us all in Jerusalem to pray there."

On the margins inside the story, the teacher had written a note endorsing the boy's fantasy of a young Ahmed Yassin and his friend, Salah El-Dine, ambushing Israeli soldiers.

"Without thinking, Ahmed took his M16 machine-gun and threw the bombs, and he showered the Jews; this resulted in the killing of the soldiers," the boy's text reads. "Salah said: 'You killed them all.' Ahmed answered: 'Praise be to God.'"

The fantasy heroes are quoted at the end of the story saying: "We promise God and the heroes of Al-Aksa that we will continue the path, we will continue in spite of the difficulties and the hardships until the victory or the martyrdom, we will not surrender; we will fight for the sake of God until the end."

Mrs. Sherazi declined to name the student, for privacy reasons, or the teachers until the investigation is complete. "Then we'll see what action we decide we want to take," she said.

Mrs. Sherazi, a 32-year-old teacher who took over as principal in recent months, does not speak or read Arabic. She expressed surprise about the drawing and the story, even though it had reportedly been displayed in a glass case at the school.

The Citizen obtained two translations of the story before asking the principal about it. She said such a subject was not on the curriculum, but it may have been a submission in a creative writing contest for the Arabic studies class, where students could choose their own topics.

"Upon the issue being brought to the attention of the school principal, an emergency meeting was held today by the board and administration," Mrs. Sherazi said in a prepared statement.

"The individuals involved were immediately suspended pending an internal investigation. Encouraging or inciting hatred is strictly prohibited at our school. We will take all measures to investigate this matter and ensure that it does not reoccur."

Mrs. Sherazi said in an interview that the situation is "very, very shocking for everybody involved. Emotions run high so it's a difficult issue in general, very upsetting to all concerned."

The Abraar school, established in 2000, teaches students full time from junior kindergarten up to Grade 8. About 260 students are enrolled at the school, which is located on Grenon Avenue, near Bayshore. The school web page says it is designed to provide "a proper Islamic environment for growing and learning" and to help preserve Islamic culture in Ottawa.

"A lot of hard work is being done and where kids are involved it's just a great shame when things like this happen," Mrs. Sherazi added.

Mary Schoones, an educational consultant who has worked part-time at the school on professional development for more than a year and teaches education at the University of Ottawa, said it would be a shame if the staff at the school was tarnished by the incident.

"During my tenure at the Abraar school I have had the privilege to work with all the Abraar teaching staff and found them to be warm, caring and professional," Ms. Schoones said.

"As a teacher who has dealt with equity issues in the past, I have found the staff to have accepted and welcomed my presence. At no time during my tenure at the school have I seen any racial comments towards any culture. In fact I have found the staff to be interested in learning about all aspects of Canadian culture. I would consider it a shame if all the hard work put in by staff at the school was tarnished by this incident."

 

THE PUPIL'S STORY

The Story (As translated from Arabic for the Ottawa Citizen)

www.canada.com/components/printstory/printstory4.aspx?id=00033b4e-c48e-455e-8a3c-80cd07777fa5

Introduction

A tragedy. It seems that nothing can be worse than what happened today. I think that you know what happened. It is the imam Sheikh Ahmed Yassine the martyr. Two weeks after the martyrization of the sheikh, our hero Ahmed Yassine was born in Gaza ...

My hope is for God to be pleased with me.

- - -

Ahmed grew up and was educated in the mosque where he had a religious education. He grew up with his friend Salah El-Dine knowing that Palestine should become free. They were always fighting, with the rest of the children, until Ahmed and Salah grew up and went to university. When Ahmed reached 33 years of age, a tragedy occurred ...

Ahmed entered his house and greeted his mother. He heard the broadcaster say: "Killing of 10 Zionist soldiers in fierce clashes in Gaza." Ahmed said: "This is a lie. Myself, Salah and the rest of the fighters, we killed 30 of them." His mother told him: "God bless you my dear."

One day, when Ahmed was returning home with his father from the Friday prayers, the soldiers killed him before his eyes. In the latter's house ... Om Ayman, the neighbour, said: "There is no power or strength except in God, God be with you Om Ahmed. I wish we can take revenge from them who killed Ayman while fighting and now it is Salah El-Dine who is fighting."

Om Ahmed said: "Do they have to fight? Salah and my son killed 10 Jews last week."

Om Ayman said: "We hope for God to protect them."

Om Ahmed: "Amen."

During the night ...

Om Ayman told her husband all of what happened. When she fell asleep, he got in touch with his officer: "I think that you have learned that it is an ambush!"

The same night, Ahmed was unable to sleep, he felt an imminent danger. Ten minutes later, the Israeli bulldozers came; he quickly woke up Salah then they ran away ...

The soldiers destroyed the two houses and searched in the rubble; they did not find Ahmed and Salah. The officer ordered to search for them.

The army searched but did not find them. After a short while, two soldiers astray from the rest of the troop passed by; Ahmed killed them both and took their weapons and after the two soldiers were killed, the two friends escaped to the mountains.

One day ...

"I will go and find out what happened to our homes?" Ahmed said: "Good Salah, but be careful." An hour later, Salah came back and said in pain: "The commandos killed our families; we will take vengeance."

Ahmed said: "That is fine, the retaliation is coming and they will not escape us harming them."

Salah said: "God willing."

The cave in which Ahmed Yassine and Salah El-Dine lived was far from sight, but one day ...

"The place is besieged, they surrendered."

The voice of the officer.

Without thinking, Ahmed took his M16 machine gun and threw the bombs, and he showered the Jews; this resulted in the killing of the soldiers.

Salah said: "You killed them all."

Ahmed answered: "Praise be to God."

They immediately collected the ammunition and they moved from one cave to another.

A few days later ...

Ahmed said: "I learned that Shalom will pass through here; the street is 500 meters away from us, and I will kill him."

A week later ...

Ahmed armed himself with a machine gun and bombs and hid in the long grass and waited for the victim.

One hour later ...

Shalom's car passed by and Ahmed threw all the hand bombs he had, which resulted in the killing of Shalom. Following his killing, Ahmed fought a fierce fight with the guards, which resulted in Ahmed being wounded by the bullets of the occupation and which led to the killing of them all.

Following the killing of the soldiers, Ahmed saw a poster on which was written:

Wanted by Israel:

Ahmed Yassine - Salah El-Dine

In Gaza only

Call: 555-6710

The award: US $1.000.000.000.000

Ahmed realized that, somehow, the Israeli learned of their presence. He hurried and told Salah about what happened.

After a long discussion, the two heroes decided to escape.

It was dawn. Ahmed quickly visited Ahmed Yassine's tomb (illegible) along with Salah. They said at the same time:

"We promise God and the heroes of Al-Aksa that we will continue the path, we will continue in spite of the difficulties and the hardships until the victory or the martyrdom, we will not surrender; we will fight for the sake of God until the end."

[Pupil's signature here]

Done with our thanks to God.

Ran with fact box "The story", which has been appended to the story.


All notes and summaries copyright © Tom Gross. All rights reserved.