Sunday, August 27, 2006

Does It Even Matter What the Koran Says--Centanni Conversion

Here is the YouTube video of the conversion--it may take a minute to come up:

Reuters reports that Steven Centanni and Olaf Wiig have been released by the Palestinian terrorists.

And what is the Reuters headline?
Kidnapped Fox journalists convert to Islam on video

Two kidnapped Fox journalists appeared on a new videotape released by their captors on Sunday in the Gaza Strip, in which the reporters said they had converted to Islam, the Fox News Channel said.

...They were shown separately sitting cross-legged, reading a statement which Fox said was an announcement that they had converted to Islam. At times in the video they were wearing long Muslim robes.
If that is indeed the highlight of the entire story, then maybe Reuters should tell the entire story, which is left to Fox News.

On the one hand, like Reuters, Fox provides the storyline that the Palestinians are anxious to push on a gullible world:
The day had begun with promises by senior Palestinian officials that the two would be released in coming hours.

At the same time, before the journalists' release, a new video was released, showing Wiig and Centanni dressed in beige Arab-style robes. Wiig, of New Zealand, delivered an anti-Western speech, his face expressionless and his tone halting. The kidnappers claimed both men had converted to Islam.
But Fox also gives Centanni's side of this part of the story as well:
Both of the men were forced to convert to Islam at gunpoint, Centanni said.

"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."
The issue with Reuters pointedly making the conversion the headline is summed up by Andy McCarthy at The Corner:
Will Reuters, which thought the "conversion" was newsworthy, report on that?

Or will we get the usual slew of "mainstream" Muslim experts who tell us that in Islam "there is no compulsion in religion," and that jihad is "the inner struggle against sin"?
According to the Koran Surah 2:256: "There is no compulsion in religion"

Apparently holding people at gunpoint does not count.
Neither does forcing Jews and Christians to pay the jizya tax as part the package of living as second class citizens under Islam--dhimmis--count either, apparently.

On this verse, Michael Cook writes in The Koran: A Very Short Introduction:
It does not compromise the notion of absolute religious truth, but it strongly suggests that the true religion can nonetheless coexist with any and all forms of false religion. For the traditional scholars, as we will see later, such a declaration of unconditional - not to say indiscriminate - tolerance was an embarrassment; they had to find ways and means of getting it out of the way. [emphasis added]
But does it even matter what the Koran says when those 'traditional scholars'--who are clearly in control of Islam today--have obviously been very successful in getting this verse out of the way in practice.

These days it is just trotted out for show by groups like CAIR.

Crossposted at Israpundit

Technorati Tag: and and and and and .


Anonymous said...

Very weird. They were kidnapped and forced at gunpoint to convert to islam. And then in the fox news article, one of them says that 'he hopes it doesn't discourage journalists from coming...the palestinians are beautiful people.' - Well maybe the individual ones are okay, but Not the radical terrorist groups that teach hate only want to destroy. Man!

Daled Amos said...

I imagine a lot has to be sorted out--not just what actually happened, but also how Centanni and Wiig really feel about their experience and how they were treated by the 'beautiful people'.