I was watching the documentary "the Cult of the Suicide Bomber" made by a former CIA agent Robert Baer. I was not able to see the documentary in its entirety today (I will be seeing the second half on Monday), but I observed two points of interest: 1) Baer demonstrated the hatred of America inside of Iran. He went to an afternoon prayer at a University in Tehran. It happened to be the day after Americans at Guantanamo Bay were accused of desecrating the Qur'an. The man leading the prayer screamed hateful things about America including: "They call themselves Christians, but they are lying! Death to America!" 2) A martyrdom was viewed before 1980 as any person that died for Islam. Interestingly, those that died for Iran in the war with Iraq were all martyrs. The Iraqi war was seen as a threat to Shi'ite Islam, and the first ever suicide bomber was used in that war: Ahmad Qassir, who independently decided to strap himself with explosives and jump under an Iraqi tank. When suicide bombers helped Iran win the war, Iran shamelessly promoted this new form of 'martyrdom'. They set up special 'martyr' cemetaries and holidays. Iran basically made martyrdom a religion of its own. The movie basically displays profiles how the Iranian government is responsible for the proliferation of suicide bombing and quietly raged war with America. The bombings of the Beirut embassy and Marine base were likely orchestrated by the Iranian government. Two conclusions that can be indirectly drawn from this film: 1) Islam rejects western culture, not Christianity. The infamous theats at Infidels in the Qu'ran could likely be directed at those who do not believe in Allah (Christians and Jews do believe in Allah, they just don't refer to God as Allah). Most scholars, theologists have been saying this along (as Judaism and Christianity are treated with respect in the Qu'ran), but I think the quote from the Tehran University could really drive the point home to the many skeptics. 2) Martyrdom is not a real Islamic concept, instead the government of Iran just portrayed martyrdom as a statement of religion. Doing so provided them with a powerful weapon. As Iran actively spread use of suicide tactics to Lebanon and Syria, it gained publicity and became a popular war tactic for all Islamic militants. Thoughts?