In the image, Fatah’s operative Faris ‘Ahid, who was killed on 22 August 2001, is being celebrated for his piety, his sacrifice and his heavenly reward. The moon, located in the top center of the image, plays a pivotal role within the Islamic tradition. It is laden with religious, astrological and spiritual significance and it governs all daily life, as the Islamic calendar is a lunar one. In the narrower context of Islamic jihadi ideology, the moon is typically combined with images that signal notions of afterlife and martyrdom. Here, the moon appears with mountains, clouds, rays of light on the horizon and a white horse, the combination of which suggests the martyr’s righteous character and heavenly reward. The white horse is most often associated with the Qur’anic story of the Prophet Muhammad’s Isra’ and mi‘raj (night journey), when the Prophet is said to have ascended to heaven on the back of a strange white mount that was smaller than a horse but bigger than a mule (called Buraq). Furthermore, a white horse is the animal that which will carry the mahdi (righteously guided Messiah) when he descends to earth again at the end of time. Lastly, the white horse signifies a play on the figure’s name, “Faris,” which means horseman/cavalier, as well as hero, in Arabic.

More Information
Group Name Fatah (Harakat Tahrir Filastin aka Harakat al-Tahrir al-Watani al-Filastini)
Group Type nationalist
Dominant Colors White
Secondary Colors Black, Red
Language Arabic
Image Number 0007
Groups Region of Operation Middle East
Groups Country of Operation Palestine
Air Analysis Moon
Air Celestial Bodies, Clouds / Fog, Sky
People Operative / Warrior (=mujahid), Man / Men
Fauna Horse
Topography Mountain, Horizon

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