While participating in jihad gives a jihadist important religious credibility, death in battle provides immortality, as the deceased is ranked a martyr. It is believed that Muslim martyrs will be highly rewarded in the afterlife for their sacrifice and hold a special position in heavenly paradise. It is therefore not surprising that martyrdom is a central theme in jihadi visual propaganda.
The caption on the left besides the face of deceased leader Dr. Fathi Shqaqi reads: “saraya al-quds intisar lil-din Allah wa-imtidad li-saraya rasul Allah, salla Allah `alayhi wa-sallam” [“Saraya al-Quds is a victory for God’s religion (i.e. Islam) and an extension of the Prophet’s squadrons, God’s prayer and peace be upon him”].
The appearance of Shqaqi’s face in the image is intended as a memorialization of his figure and serves to legitimize the continued armed struggle of the faction. Shqaqi was killed in Malta on October 26, 1995 by the Mossad.