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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Sept. 5, 2006 / 12 Elul, 5766

Will ‘Khaled’ Centanni and ‘Ya'aqob’ Wiig, as apostates, be marked for death?

By Diana West


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This is one case where silence isn't golden and ignorance isn't bliss. They are dangerous and dumb


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | It's not easy to be shocked by jihad these days, five years and numberless atrocities after the Twin Towers imploded on almost 3,000 fellow citizens. That said, I admit my own jihad-fatigue was broken — shattered, really — by the "conversion" to Islam of Fox journalists Steve Centanni and Olaf Wiig videotaped during their two-week ordeal as captives of Palestinians in Gaza.


Why? Andrew G. Bostom, writing at Frontpage mag. tells us forced conversions to Islam "have been the norm, across three continents — Asia, Africa and Europe — for over 13 centuries," and cites contemporary examples in the jihad campaigns of Sudan and Indonesia. Even so, religious coercion, let alone "jihad campaigns," still seems appallingly new to us — if by "us" I can still make myself understood to mean, generally, Western peoples in modern times. Indeed, I can't think of another hostage to jihad forced into Islam — not even Daniel Pearl or Nicolas Berg, and not the U.S. Embassy hostages in Tehran a quarter century ago.


Is this incident a tip-off to a new level of unabashed religious abuse of traditionally (once upon a time) inviolate Westerners? In the "conversion" video, we see such abuse as the American and the New Zealander sit, costumed in Arabic robes, "forced to convert to Islam at gunpoint," as Centanni later revealed. Holding up a symbolic first finger, they read their lines in both Arabic and English, proclaiming their "new" faith, declaring their "new" names — Khaled and Ya'aqob — and calling on President Bush and Prime Minister Blair to do likewise. I didn't see the videotape on television (more on that below), but rather on Internet, where, like high-tech specters, "Khaled" and "Ya'aqob" will haunt their freed selves into cyber-eternity.


Or will they? Whether this "conversion" is legit probably depends on the eye or, rather, the religion of the beholder. The Koran says "there is no compulsion in religion" — as did, absurdly, the video — but, as Robert Spencer writes at Frontpage mag., traditional Islamic teachings about Muhammad, which reveal that the Islamic prophet's invitation to Islam was accompanied by "an inescapable threat" of subjugation and war, have left Islam with a different interpretation of "compulsion" from the West. That is, given accounts of Muhammad's own example, Islam doesn't really see forcible conversion in commonly understood terms of "compulsion."


So, what if Centanni and Wiig "revert" to their non-Muslim identities? Would such "apostasy" sentence them to death? (Leaving Islam is a capital crime under Islamic law.) Shocking thought. Of course, there's something even more shocking to the story than the religious charade itself.


No, it isn't the bizarre disclaimer Centanni felt compelled to append to his account of the shotgun-conversion — "Don't get me wrong here. I have the highest respect for Islam, and I learned a lot of good things about it." While it's more than strange to hear a person who has been forced to choose between death and Islam flack for Islam as he resumes his life, there's something else. And it isn't praise for the "beautiful and kind-hearted" Palestinian people Centanni slathered around the microphone at his Gaza City press conference before, as Bostom noted, high-tailing it to safety in infidel-Israel.


The most shocking thing about the Centanni-Wiig "conversion" is the silence that has followed. First, there is silence from Islam. Shouldn't Muslim religious leaders, and particularly "beautiful and kind-hearted" Palestinian Muslim religious leaders, vehemently condemn the forced conversions? As Bostom put it, "Will such Muslim authorities at least recognize the acute predicament of Centanni and Wiig by issuing a fatwa stating that their 'conversion,' being under duress, was not bona fide, condemning in advance any Muslim who might now attack these journalists for 'apostasy' from Islam?"


Yes, of course, they should — at least according to any Western understanding of compulsion and morality — but don't hold your breath. Meanwhile, holding their breath is exactly what Western media are doing when it comes to covering (not covering) the story. Even Fox's Greta van Susteren, a tabloidesque host who never met a bodily fluid she couldn't elaborate on, went delicate on us the other night, failing, in a one-hour "exclusive" interview with the two men, to ask a single question about their religious ordeal — presumably at their request.


Why? Who or what is served by shutting up? Only forces of coercion — a word which, after all, implies the nullification of individual will. Which means this is one case where silence isn't golden and ignorance isn't bliss. They are dangerous and dumb.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in Washington and in the media consider "must reading." Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.


JWR contributor Diana West is a columnist and editorial writer for the Washington Times. Comment by clicking here.

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© 2006, Diana West