Sunday, August 27, 2006
Via reader Larwyn, a report that kidnapped journalists Steve Centanni and Olaf Wiig have converted to Islam:
Fox news alert broke few minutes ago.
Amy Kellog describes new tape as showing Steve and Olaf “under duress”. The tape shows them dressed in Islamic clothes and READING FROM SCRIPTS. They announce that they have converted to Islam. They criticize the policies of the West. They ask Bush and Blair to also convert to Islam.
Well, that’s one way to win converts; kidnap people and threaten to kill them. An earlier report here.
UPDATE. They’ve been freed:
Fox said correspondent Steve Centanni, a 60-year-old American, and New Zealand-born cameraman Olaf Wiig, 36, were in a hotel in the Palestinian coastal strip.
In a videotape released earlier, Centanni and Wiig were shown separately sitting cross-legged, reading statements announcing that they had converted to Islam. At times in the video they were wearing long Muslim robes.
“I changed my name to Khaled. I have embraced Islam and say the word Allah,” Centanni said.
About that conversion ...
A separate statement from the captors had said the two journalists had to choose either Islam, a tax imposed on non-Muslims to be paid to a Muslim ruler, or war.
“They chose Islam and that is a gift God gives those whom he chooses,” the statement said.
UPDATE II. Fox reports:
“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.”