Fox News and Forced Conversions by Robert Spencer

As I hoped, more articles are appearing about the forced conversion to Islam of the two Fox News journalists akin to mine. Here’s one by the expert on Islam, Robert Spencer. An excerpt from Fox News and Forced Conversions:

The most bizarre element of the two weeks of captivity suffered by Fox News reporter Steve Centanni and photographer Olaf Wiig at the hands of Gaza’s Holy Jihad Brigade was the video that surfaced depicting their conversion to Islam. Even before the journalists revealed that their conversions had been coerced, there were disturbing indications that they were not acting freely. While reading a statement he himself had ostensibly written, Centanni stumbled over words, appeared to puzzle over the handwriting, and seemed to grimace after pronouncing the words “peace be upon him” after the name of the Islamic prophet Muhammad.

Their messages as new converts to Islam were predictable denunciations of the United States and Israel, combined with emphasis on Islam’s universal call as the solution to the world’s problems. But most jarring was the video editor’s invocation of the favorite Qur’an verse of Western analysts of Islam and terrorism, “There is no compulsion in religion” (2:256). The irony of featuring this verse in a video depicting two forced conversions has been widely noted. In fact, however, the juxtaposition of this verse with the video of Centanni and Wiig was probably not simply transparent deception, as strange as that may seem, and has far-reaching implications.

Islamic law forbids forced conversion, but as Andrew Bostom documented in a FrontPage article yesterday, [Smooth: which I reference here] this is a law that throughout Islamic history has all too often been honored in the breach. Nor is this yet another case of a “twisting” or “hijacking” of Islam; in fact, Islamic law regarding the presentation of Islam to non-Muslims manifests a quite different understanding of what constitutes freedom from coercion and freedom of conscience from that which prevails among non-Muslims.

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