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shehada vs shma yisrael

Reader comment on item: [Khobar Rampage:] "Don't Be Afraid, We Won't Kill Muslims"

Submitted by Jonathan Silverman (United States), Jun 9, 2004 at 02:41

I read "Don't Be Afraid We Won't Kill Muslims" with interest and I think it's excellent that you gathered documentation as you did for the Khobar massacre.

I can't help but be startled by the tactic you've proposed non-Muslims use when facing possible execution by Islamic Terrorists however. Reciting the Shahada would be a terrible sin for any person of the Jewish faith – even under threat of murder. This is what the false messiah Shabtai Zvi did when threatened by the Turkish sultan, for example. He went so far as to convert to Islam to save his skin.

As extreme as this may sound, to the best of my knowledge people of the Jewish faith know in their hearts to recite the statement of the Jewish faith "shma yisrael" Hear O' Israel the Lord Our God The Lord Is One...and when recited under threat of death it is known as you probably know as "qidush hashem" or sanctification of the Holy Name.

In the terrorist attack in which I was a victim in 1989 involving the Tel Aviv to Jerusalem bus, I clearly remember men and women shouting the "shma" at the tops of their lungs as the bus was driven over a cliff by an Islamic Jihad terrorist. I am positive that the thousands of Israelis who have been killed or wounded in terrorist attacks since the fall of 2000 had the same statement on their lips when they saw death before their eyes.
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