USA Today reports that the militant group that kidnapped Steve Centanni and Olaf Wiig are going to target more non-Mulsims for kidnappings:
Palestinian militants who held two Fox News journalists hostage for nearly two weeks threatened in a statement posted online Saturday to abduct non-Muslims visiting the Palestinian territories and kill them unless their demands were met.
The statement, posted in the name of the Holy Jihad Brigades on a website frequently used by militants, said the group would kill any hostages it takes unless they converted to Islam, paid a ransom or Muslim prisoners were exchanged for their release.
“Any infidel blood will have no sanctity,” the group said in the statement.
It was not possible to verify the authenticity of the statement, which was dated August 27 — the day militants released American journalist Steve Centanni, 60, and New Zealand cameraman Olaf Wiig, 36. They were seized Aug. 14 in Gaza City.
The militant group had demanded the release of Muslim prisoners held by the United States in exchange for freeing the journalists.
During their captivity, the journalists were forced at gunpoint to declare that they had converted to Islam, Centanni told Fox News after he was released. The group said in its statement that the journalists’ declaration saved their lives.
Conversion by gunpoint. How inviting.
Update: Mark Steyn has a brilliant article today aptly titled “Why abduct us? We cede our values for free” about this very subject of forced conversions to Islam. He writes that terrorist groups don’t need to force journalists to convert because they already have:
Did you see that video of the two Fox journalists announcing they’d converted to Islam? The larger problem, it seems to me, is that much of the rest of the Western media have also converted to Islam, and there seems to be no way to get them to convert back to journalism.
Consider, for example, the bizarre behavior of Reuters, the once globally respected news agency now reduced to putting out laughably inept terrorist propaganda. A few days ago, it made a big hoo-ha about the Israelis intentionally firing a missile at its press vehicle and wounding its cameraman Fadel Shana. Shana was posed in an artful sprawl in a blood-spattered shirt. But it had ridden up and underneath his undershirt was spotlessly white, like a summer-stock Julius Caesar revealing the boxers under his toga. What’s stunning is not that almost all Western media organizations reporting from the Middle East are reliant on local staff overwhelmingly sympathetic to one side in the conflict — that’s been known for some time — but the amateurish level of fakery that head office is willing to go along with.
Down at the other end of the news business, meanwhile, one finds items like this snippet from the Sydney Morning Herald:
“A 16-year-old girl was tailed by a car full of men before being dragged inside and assaulted in Sydney’s west last night, police say . . .
“The three men involved in the attack were described to police as having dark ‘mullet-style’ haircuts.”
Three men with “mullet-style” hair, huh? Not much to go on there. Bit of a head scratcher. But, as it turned out, the indefatigable Sydney Morning Herald typist had faithfully copied out every salient detail of the police report except one. Here’s the statement the coppers themselves issued:
“Police are seeking three men described as being of Middle Eastern/Mediterranean appearance, with dark ‘mullet-style’ hair cuts.”
Read the rest. The article is Mark Steyn at his best.