Friday, September 01, 2006

Islam and conversion

David Warren had a terrific article on Wednesday, about the forced "conversion" to Islam of those two Fox journalists. As he says, it's not that the guys were scared and did what they thought they had to do to stay alive - anyone might break under such stress. It's that they didn't seem to feel any anguish about it, or any sense that this was a line that they SHOULD NOT have crossed, even if in the end they did. There was no sturdy recanting afterwards, just a cagey sort of "not that there's anything wrong with that" attitude towards the religion that could stage such a contemptible comedy. I know some suggested that they were just playing it safe until they were out of the country, but I wonder. I half suspect that they didn't want to decisively repudiate Islam because they had a sneaking suspicion that the "conversion" might come in useful if they get in a similar tight situation, and it would pay to just keep the whole question of religious identity ambiguous.

Warren mentions the heroic Fabrizio Quattrochi, who found himself in such a situation, and instead of pleading for his life on tape, pulled off his hood and shouted "I'll show you how an Italian dies!" Mark Steyn pointed out that even at his most helpless, he was not without some autonomy. He could refuse to play their game, and he did - he totally spoiled their propaganda movie. Churchill used to tell the British that if they ended up fighting for their lives against the Germans, even at the worst, "You can always take one with you." Steyn said we should make something similar our inner resolution - "You can always spoil their film, and make sure they get nothing out of you." Actually, he was even more devious, and suggested making up a story about all the infiltrators you know in the mosque back home, just to mess with their minds. Why not? You've got nothing to lose.


Blogger Kasia said...

Indeed - much like Bl. Miguel Pro walking bravely up to the firing squad in front of all sorts of news media and shouting "Viva Cristo Rey!" Ruined that poor Mexican dictator's day, I'm sure...

11:36 am  

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