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The Paradise of Suicide Bombers

December 12, 2009

Yesterday the Peshawar-based journalists were flown in the military helicopters to Nawaz Kot area in South Waziristan; where the Taliban had established a fake paradise. According to the journalists who took the round of the place, the walls of the rooms were painted with the rivers overflowing with milk and honey, picturesque valleys and the beautiful Hoors.

It’s clear now how these Taliban employed every technique in the book to lure and brainwash the teenagers; who would later be used as suicide bombers. The same house where make-believe paradise was created had a ‘slaughterhouse’ for murdering security forces and most probably those kidnapped for ransom.


The dictionary meaning of the brainwashing is: Intensive, forcible indoctrination, usually political or religious, aimed at destroying a person’s basic convictions and attitudes and replacing them with an alternative set of fixed beliefs. In the literary context we find the best example of brainwashed people in George Orwell’s novel 1984. In the novel that is set in London of 1984 all the inhabitants are living mechanical lives with no freedom whatsoever. Those who try to rebel meet with tragic end! At the same time their country is at war… continuous and never ending war.

The idea of brainwashing could also be found in the unclassified CIA documents where they conducted a series of experiments on people in order to ascertain whether they could mold their thinking and then use the subjects for their interests. The concept of Manchurian Candidate is also the same. Where a person is controlled through several brainwashing techniques and his mind doesn’t remain in his own control. Such a person does what he’s been directed by his controller.

Preparing to Die

Preparing the young boys to die is not an easy task, not even if they hail from the poor and battered families. Still how these Taliban in the mountains can so easily prepare the brigade of suicide bombers? One thing is that since majority of these bombers hail from illiterate families with no religious or other education, their parents usually never take pain to transfer the ethics or principles of morality and simply hand over their children to the local Jihadis who promise education, food and shelter all under the same roof. That is the first step of recruitment.

Once the child is away from family these recruiters can do anything they like with them. It includes, training them to make bombs and carrying out suicide mission and gun battle etc. Every mission needs motivation in life. And these young would-be suicide bombers are motivated by making believe that this worldly life has no meaning; the real life is what awaits them in the paradise with all the voluptuous Hoors and the best of delicacies. It doesn’t take much effort to distort any Quranic verse or Hadith according to their own vested interests because these children are usually never trained to question. And those who have doubts have no choice; they’d either be slaughtered and if not then to blow themselves up. The use of inducing drugs couldn’t be ruled out either as one of the would-be suicide bombers, captured in Bajaur by the security forces said, he had been given drugs before sending out on his mission to kill the Imam of a local mosque.

Paradise of the Assassins

I was quite taken aback to read about the discovery of an artificial paradise. Till date we were only aware about the motivating religious songs and training videos; the posters of dead and would-be suicide bombers etc. But when I read about a make-believe paradise created by Taliban in the far flung area of Waziristan, instantly, a remarkable Urdu novel Firdous-e-Bari’n written by Abdul Haleem Sharar in 1899 came to my mind. My first introduction with this novel happened when I read a chapter from this novel titled Pario’n Ka Ghol in our Urdu text book. I found it quite interesting and bought the novel.

The novel talks about a secret society called the Sect of Spirituality. The main aim of this sect is to rule out Islam and for that reason they establish a fake paradise in the beautiful and unreachable mountains. Their network of spies is impeccable and when they successfully brainwash people they use them as assassins. Once the job is done, the assassin is drugged and brought to the artificial paradise. That is his reward for carrying out the heinous crime of assassination of a known figure while the assassin believes he is living an afterlife.

It boggles my mind as to how true and relevant the story of that novel is to this age. I am not sure about the truth of historical context of Firdous-e-Bari’n but here is one account:

Firdous e Bareen (or فردوس برین in Persian and Urdu) was the name of the garden, supposedly located in the fortress of Alamut, in the Elburz mountains of Northern Iran, in which Hassan-i-Sabah and his band of Nizari Ismaili Shiite Hashshashin took refuge.

According to some accounts, this garden, imitating paradise or heaven, was furnished with all luxuries of life, even a rivulet of wine and was used to recruit Sabah’s assassins. The recruit was drugged to simulate “dying,” only to later awaken in a garden and be served a sumptuous feast by virgins. The supplicant was then convinced he was in Heaven and that Sabah was a minion of the divinity and that all of his orders should be followed, even to death.

The novel Firdous e Bareen, written by Indian Muslim novelist Abdul Halim Sharar, gives a biographical account of Hassan, a youth lured and captured by Sabah’s men and then forced into his assassination machinery.

This only leaves me with certain questions. Are Taliban that advance and successful with their techniques to prepare the hoards of suicide bombers – the same bombers who come to cities and wreak havoc on the innocent people? Is there any way to counter the propaganda unleashed by Taliban? Can we change the minds of an illiterate youth who set out in search of the real paradise but end up in the paradise of fools?

22 Comments leave one →
  1. Adnan permalink
    December 12, 2009 4:41 pm


    It’s really a realistic analysis of the myth these suicide bombers are following. A Great writing and one can’t disagree with these lines. That’s how they brainwash not only the poor little children and teen-agers but also through the media, they are brain washing the whole country-men that whatever they are doing is a service of Islam. Their claim that they are doing it for the glory of a great peaceful religion is really a pity. How on earth can they turn such a beautiful and peace-loving city like Peshawar into their battlefield. Let’s pray that their real face comes infront of all public and may our media play a positive role in this regard instead of justifying the killing of innocent people by these brain-washed finatics.

    Let me praise once again this wonderful writing. Your writings are really worth reading and worth commending. Nice Nice effort from your goodself and keep on writing in this manner. We would be obliged.

    • December 13, 2009 12:43 pm

      Their real face is in front of everyone but how to save the illiterate, poor youth from their clutches and from becoming radical.?

      Our government and NGOs need to think about that.

  2. December 13, 2009 2:42 am

    I don’t know but Peshawar is on fire. May Allah shower his rehmat on us. Who ever is doing these booming are not humans. Recently my cousin visited Peshawar and he said that when people going out side for running their business, thy said to their families that we don’t know if we come back safely or not so forgive us and make duaa for us. The meaning of this sentence is. That they don’t know what gonna happen in the meanwhile. In my opinion I think Allah is angry on us. May Allah forgive us Ameen.

  3. azure permalink
    December 13, 2009 5:00 pm

    I haven’t read good and thought provoking blog posts like these in a long time. Indeed it is very disturbing to visualize a simulated heaven next to a slaughterhouse.

    I believe that it will take time. Those children have parents, and eventually those parents would realize what they are doing. Some day that supply of these children to the taliban will choke.

    Really need to get my hands on that book…

    • December 16, 2009 4:54 pm

      It’s a fantastic read… ‘Firdous-e-Bareen’!

      Well, unfortunately even the parents believe that their kids will go to heaven and that would result in their salvation too 😕

      We need to employ mass efforts to bring those zombies to life…

  4. Maria permalink
    December 13, 2009 5:30 pm

    America and India is behind all that not just taliban …

    • December 16, 2009 4:56 pm

      It’s the Taliban who kill people…

      I’ve never seen a fair skin, blond from US or the west bombing people in Pakistan.

  5. December 13, 2009 6:50 pm

    It took Halako Khan to eradicate the hashshashin of Hassan bin Sabah and destroy the fake paradise from the face of the earth.
    I wonder whether we need another Halako khan to remove Taliban?

    • December 16, 2009 4:59 pm

      Halako Khan and his clan were really barbaric people! I have read in the history books they wouldn’t spare anyone.

      Apparently, Taliban act more like mongols… so we’d need an equally ferocious force to deal with them.

  6. December 14, 2009 6:57 am

    Thought provoking indeed. It is very much possible that they are following the same thing as a blueprint from AHS’s Firdous-e-baree’n. You may want to work a bit more on this & get the account published.

    One thing is for sure that all the mess is being funded heavily by external elements; most probably India. India has pretty successful in diverting Pakistan’s attention from it’s eastern border & less ‘militancy’ in Kashmir. Rest of the stack holders in interest are America, Russia, Afghanistan, ISI & even Iran.

    • December 16, 2009 5:01 pm

      That’s true Pakistan and Afghanistan had always been the playground of external forces. We are located on the strategically important part of the world.

  7. December 14, 2009 9:05 am


    it seems from your article that most of the suicide bombers are from Poor & Uneducated families, that makes me worried about the fate of poor in this country! people like you will continuously write about poor and uneducated people, who are making troubles for innocent rich & educated people living in big cities…

    If you recall recent hostages in Sargoda, they came from USA from really settled families & some of them from reputed universities even Howard. i.e.

    IMHO, the poverty or less education is not the cause of such brain wash operation, rather social injustice made people easy victim of such inhuman activities.


    • December 16, 2009 5:06 pm

      See poverty, suicide, poverty and crime are relative!

      I agree some of the educated people have been associated with militant organizations but this doesn’t mean they were right. And simply lack something somewhere. May be a proper guidance or education from the family.

      Education can’t always be sought from books… it’s what our parents transfer to us… like values.

  8. December 15, 2009 6:31 am

    Nothing to say… :-/
    Overwhelmed already…….

    • December 16, 2009 5:08 pm

      I know you say everything somewhere else… at our usual hangout 😉 😛

  9. Adnan permalink
    December 16, 2009 6:21 pm

    U know what Ayesha! We are a nation who are still in the position of Self Denial. I mean look at these comments that America and India are behind all this. I mean how can one nation be so carefree and self righteous like ours. U are very right in your reply that these are our own children who are doing all this. They are being brainwashed to kill innocent people for the sake of Heavens.

    In my humble opinion, we should do a soul searching now and let us evaluate ourselves. Isn’t there something going wrong with our nation? Why should we blame others for our failures? Let us face the truth! You are very right when U say that the more we remain near to reality, the less we be disappointed.

    I wish our media and these so called independent press play their positive role in brining our nation to realism from their self-loving romanticism.

  10. December 17, 2009 4:00 pm

    I read a comment above that its American and Indians behind this. Well, no one has ever seen a white skin bomb here, if they’re behind it, obviously someone else is at the front. But why did we actually let whoever it is to do what he is doing to us. It is us doing this, not anyone from outside.

    This is a great write indeed Ayesha. Keep up the good work

  11. December 21, 2009 3:43 pm

    “This only leaves me with certain questions. Are Taliban that advance and successful with their techniques to prepare the hoards of suicide bombers – the same bombers who come to cities and wreak havoc on the innocent people? Is there any way to counter the propaganda unleashed by Taliban? Can we change the minds of an illiterate youth who set out in search of the real paradise but end up in the paradise of fools?”
    Propaganda could be countered with facts which, luckily, fall on our side. We, as a society, need to proactively fight the menace. Societies always belong to the majority. And in our case, the majority is sane and belong to us.

  12. Adiltaurus permalink
    December 25, 2009 4:59 pm

    Pakistanis have been duped long enough by the taleban and people consciously and unconsciously supporting them. Whenever the pak army launches an operation and the taleban appears on the backfoot certain elements start lobbying for dialogue. Taleban have always used such talks as a means of consolidating their position such people in their ignorance start comparing the current operation to the operation against the bengalis which is totally baseless, as the 1971 operation was against elected representatives whereas the taleban have been elected by the local people.

  13. January 1, 2010 9:30 am

    Ayesha for your last question, to change the mind of illiterates, with due regrets, it doesn’t appear feasible as long as we are not able to change the mind their Literate apologists.

    With the success of all “bombers who come to cities and wreak havoc on the innocent people” literate polititians working for Justice (Imran), or for Islam (Qazi de JI and Fazal of JUI) paved significant legacy for their acts to be in accordance with the soul of Islam and Pakistani Nationalism.

    A video leaked out depicting a 17 years old innocent girl with her body and ego trampled under dirty feet in Swat, and the nation jolted against the crime. We saw the leadership of Taliban vacillated six times, changing 6 statements, it is OK, it is bad, it was necessary, method was OK manner not favorable, it is an old one, she was offered relaxation and many more but did not know how to get rid of the yoke.

    Hats off to their luck and their political sympathizers in general and Imran, Qazi and CJ in particular for manufacturing a simple, precise and significant plot to thwart the nation’s anger by labeling it “Fake and Conspiracy” at the same time leaving no room for scientific analysts to declare its authenticity.

    Believe me this invention worked and the Nation was left with no choice but to sit aside cursing the anthropologist who brought the issue to the surface.

    So based on the above observed facts, the simple answer to your innocent question is, No, yes no in bold capital letters.

  14. mir Ahmed permalink
    June 24, 2010 6:51 am

    u should keep in mind that ismailies are not beliving in the fake idiology of firdos they are are of the openion that the love for God, Prophet muhammad ( and their Imam as well is the real firdous.

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