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September 2, 2006

Converting Fox

Filed under: Global Jihad, Islam, Media, Mellemøsten, Terror — limewoody @ 8:13 am

The release in Gaza of Fox News journalist Steve Centanni and camera man Olaf Wiig, kidnapped as of August 14 by a group calling itself “Holy Jihad Brigade” raises a number of salient issues related to the kidnapping and release:1) “We were forced to convert to Islam at gunpoint,” Centanni told FOX News. “Don’t get me wrong here. I have the highest respect for Islam, and I learned a lot of good things about it, but it was something we felt we had to do because they had the guns, and we didn’t know what the hell was going on.” Such a statement raises a number of points. First it is not unusual that Jihadists groups would force hostages to convert to Islam. But at the same time it hasn’t been a systematic behavior. Over the past 25 years, Jihadist organizations, cells and captors -including al Qaida, Hezbollah, Laskar Jihad, Jemaa Islamiya, Salafi Combat group, etc have taken hostages. In many cases the Jihadists either asked the hostages or forced them to convert. But in other cases they haven’t. Statistically, most hostages who have been executed were not asked to convert, while those who were released were either asked if they wished or in some cases were told that it would be better for them to do so. Obviously, hostages -especially if they weren’t evangelists – would accept the conversion as a mean for securing liberation or at least physical security. But there were cases of Priests, Evangelists and Christian local leaders, who were executed after they refused to convert. These cases didn’t receive the publicity received by media or secular Western citizens’ hostages. However, there were cases where hostages were released without being forced or even asked to convert.



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