Reciting the Shehada in Gaza

I have been looking on the net for other reactions to the Fox News reporter’s conversions to Islam akin to mine and was surprised that there has not been much of a response at all, even though the story warrants it. Non-muslims should be outraged – and afraid. Luckily, Andrew Bostom has written an article relaying the danger and it’s called Reciting the Shehad in Gaza. Hopefully other articles will be written about the implicit and explicit horrors of forced conversions to Islam and it is urgent that the message is communicated that forcing non-Muslims to “convert or die” is as dangerous a tool in Islam’s shed as flying jet planes into crowded cities. You should all be very afraid. An excerpt:

Fox News journalists Steve Centanni and his accompanying cameraman Olaf Wiig were released on Sunday, August 27, 2006, following almost two weeks of captivity. While both men appeared to be in good physical health, the prognosis for their psychological state, and future journalistic contributions, is less sanguine. As depicted in this disturbing video, Centanni and Wiig were forced to convert to Islam, and recite an anti-Western diatribe, complemented by treacly Islamic apologetics.

During the brief press conference held almost immediately after their release, both men preferred to focus on the plight of the kind and benevolent denizens of Gaza. Momentarily acknowledging the coercive nature of their “conversion”, Centanni admitted off camera, “We were forced to convert to Islam at gunpoint”. But he felt compelled to add this bizarre disclaimer, “Don’t get me wrong here. I have the highest respect for Islam, and I learned a lot of good things about it”, before concluding candidly “…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.” Centanni expressed his primary concern to the reporters gathered at the Gaza City Beach Hotel press conference as follows: “I hope that this never scares a single journalist away from coming to Gaza to cover the story because the Palestinian people are very beautiful and kind-hearted…The world needs to know more about them. Don’t be discouraged.” Wiig reiterated these sentiments: “My biggest concern really is that as a result of what happened to us foreign journalists will be discouraged from coming to tell the story and that would be a great tragedy for the people of Palestine…You guys need us on the streets, and you need people to be aware of the story.” And Wiig’s wife thanked unnamed “Palestinian women” from Gaza for their “solidarity”.

Within moments of making these effusively conciliatory statements—despite having been held captive and forcibly converted to Islam—the freed kidnapping victims were whisked off to Israel. Notwithstanding their pious ecumenical pronouncements, Centanni and the Wiigs failed to linger and socialize with the “very beautiful and kind hearted” local Muslim residents of Gaza, even those Gazan women who had shown them such “solidarity.”

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