I still can’t get over the inflammatory article I read yesterday. I e-mailed the editor-in-chief of the paper and complained. I encourage everyone else to do so as well. As somebody who has worked in different newsrooms over the last seven years, trust me when I tell you that feedback has an impact. Also, upon hubby’s suggestion, I translated the article into English for those who couldn’t read it in Arabic. Part of the article is below, the rest is in the extended section of this post.

Al-Banna family in al-Salt received greetings for son Raed’s martyrdom in an Iraqi resistance operation

Al-Banna family in al-Salt organized a martyr’s wedding yesterday for their son Raed Mansur al-Banna who blew himself up in an explosive-laden car that he was driving in Baghdad in al-Hilla on March 1.

The father of the martyr proudly received the well-wishers in the tribe’s reception hall in central Jada in the center of the city of Salt. The story of Raed is similar to that of many youth from the city that left for Jihad across the globe. Raed’s appointment with martyrdom came on March 1, when he blew himself up inside an explosive-laden car that he was driving in al-Hilla in Baghdad that resulted in the killing of over 133 people, the majority of whom were Americans.

Raed left his house three months prior to the incident and told his parents he was going to Saudi to perform al Umra (lesser Haj). Raed had just returned from Umra a few weeks before, as he went to take part in the anti-terrorism course organized by the Saudi government, according to his bother Ahmad Mansur al-Banna.

Raed, who was born in 1973, got his BA degree in Law from Muta University in 1995. During the events of September 11, 2001 he was working in California, said his brother. He noted that this incident [Sept. 11] changed him from a normal guy to a religiously devoted one, who committed himself to praying in the mosque while standing side by side with the Egyptian preacher Wajdi Ghanim in the mosques of California.

The news of his martyrdom came two days after he committed the martyrdom operation when someone claiming to be part of the guys of Aljazeera called Raed’s brother and told him the news of the Raed’s martyrdom along with another person from Jordan named Safwan al-Abbadi. He said Raed had been martyred two days previous in an operation executed by the Iraqi resistance.

The caller said that in order to prove that Raed did the operation he would tell his brother the names of Raed’s relatives and that Raed had traveled to the US and UK and had earned a BA in Law and had worked as a lawyer for three years in Jordan. He also said that Raed had requested a payment of $100 be made to someone that had business dealings with him in the US. But the caller said that they should wait before they announced his martyrdom just to make sure.