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September 01, 2006

Islamofacists handled them, now the mother won't take them back

Upon their release, two kidnapped Fox News journalists are now facing the wrath of David Warren of Real Clear Politics. Their crime? Donning local garb and insincerely "converting" to Islam at the behest of their captors.

Warren accuses the freed journalists of "doing the enemy's work" for passing up their shot at martyrdom:

The degree to which our starch is awash is exhibited in the behaviour of so many of our captives, but especially in these two. They were told to convert to Islam under implicit threat (blindfolded and hand-tied, they could not judge what threat), and agreed to make the propaganda broadcasts to guarantee their own safety. That much we can understand, as conventional cowardice. (Understand; not forgive.) But it is obvious from their later statements that they never thought twice; that they could see nothing wrong in serving the enemy, so long as it meant they'd be safe.

I assume they are not Christians (few journalists are), but had they ever been instructed in that faith, they might have grasped that conversion to Islam means denial of Christ, and that is something many millions of Christians (few of them intellectuals) have refused to do, even at the cost of excruciating deaths. Christianity still lives, because of such martyrs. Not suicide bombers: but truly defenceless martyrs.

I'm not all that theologically sophisticated, so correct me if I'm wrong: You can't be a martyr for somebody else's faith, can you? Warren doubts that correspondent Steve Centanni and cameraman Olaf Wiig are Christians, but he's still miffed that the captives didn't take one for the Jesus team.

The shorter Warren: Who knows what these guys actually believed, but obviously, they're cowards if they won't martyr themselves for a religion they probably don't even believe in.

Continuing with his righteous disregard for weak, girly virtues like coherence, Warren goes on to argue that the journalists were never in real danger anyway.

Jon Swift, to his credit, has a better sense of humor about this than I do.

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» I Would Have Died! from The Debate Link
Both Lindsay Beyerstein and Jon Swift have great responses to the furious response coming out of some quarters of the right that kidnapped Fox News journalists Steve Centanni and Olaf Wiig did not choose death instead of their televised gunpoint conv... [Read More]

» Majikthise : Islamofacists handled them, now the mother won't take them back from Politblogo
(Inaugural post as a member of the non-partisan blogging alliance.) Aww, how cute. An irritating pipsqueak that was, alas, inflicted on us Eastern Ontario folk for far too long has finally hit the bigtime in the wingnut world, and it's [Read More]

» David Warren: discovered by Majikthise from Politblogo
(Inaugural post as a member of the non-partisan blogging alliance.) Aww, how cute. An irritating pipsqueak that was, alas, inflicted on us Eastern Ontario folk for far too long has finally hit the bigtime in the wingnut world, and it's [Read More]

» Right Wingnuts Rolling Heads For Political Gain from Shining Light In Dark Corners
Right wingnuts have been coming out of the woodwork to condemn the two Fox News journalists for converting to Islam under threat of death and making public statements while captive with guns to their heads. It seems that the extreme right would rather ... [Read More]

» Right Wingnuts Rolling Heads For Political Gain from Shining Light In Dark Corners
Right wingnuts have been coming out of the woodwork to condemn the two Fox News journalists for converting to Islam under threat of death and making public statements while captive with guns to their heads. It seems that the extreme right would rather ... [Read More]

» Right Wingnuts Rolling Heads For Political Gain from Shining Light In Dark Corners
Right wingnuts have been coming out of the woodwork to condemn the two Fox News journalists for converting to Islam under threat of death and making public statements while captive with guns to their heads. It seems that the extreme right would rather ... [Read More]

» Right Wingnuts Rolling Heads For Political Gain from Shining Light In Dark Corners
Right wingnuts have been coming out of the woodwork to condemn the two Fox News journalists for converting to Islam under threat of death and making public statements while captive with guns to their heads. It seems that the extreme right would rather ... [Read More]

» Right Wingnuts Rolling Heads For Political Gain from Shining Light In Dark Corners
Right wingnuts have been coming out of the woodwork to condemn the two Fox News journalists for converting to Islam under threat of death and making public statements while captive with guns to their heads. It seems that the extreme right would rather ... [Read More]

» Never a Martyr Around When You Need One from Windypundit
When Fox News journalists Steve Centanni and Olaf Wiig were kidnapped and held by Islamic extremists, the managed to get away by pretending to convert to Islam. I think it's pretty cool that they pulled it off. As Lindsay Beyerstein points out, not eve... [Read More]

» Never a Martyr Around When You Need One from Windypundit
When Fox News journalists Steve Centanni and Olaf Wiig were kidnapped and held by Islamic extremists, they managed to get away by pretending to convert to Islam. I think it's pretty cool that they pulled it off. As Lindsay Beyerstein points out, not ev... [Read More]

Comments

"Warren doubts that correspondent Steve Centanni and cameraman Olaf Wiig are Christians, but he's still miffed that the captives didn't take one for the Jesus team."

That does seem like the most incoherent part to me. If they were Christians, they wouldn't deny Christ! Approaching tautology territory there.

How odd to be on the side of Fox News.

Um, last I heard, Jesus is venerated in the Koran.

Islam denies that Jesus was the Son of God, and that he was resurrected. He is venerated as a prophet.

Warren's reaction is very odd. He accuses the reporters of cowardice for not acting as an Italian did who may have gotten himself killed by resisting the demands of his kidnappers. It's the kind of chest-thumping that makes you hope Warren will get a chance to be a martyr for the cause himself. (Well, I'm too nice to really hope that.)

He might have felt better if he had compared the behavior of the reporters to that of Peter, who (we're told) denied Jesus three times, out of pure fear. We are supposed to assume that Jesus forgave him, and perhaps Warren will now brush up on that corner of Christian teaching. As well as the parts about pride, judging others, and so on.

In theory one cannot really convert to Islam under duress but must do so freely, so Warren can take additional comfort in the fact that the reporters are still the heathens (or Christians or whatever) they were before.

The title of this post is friggin' brilliant.

Warren is obviously a fringe element, but being that that Rovian Party makes it clear that taking the fringe part of a party and making it the heart, and vice-versa, is a fair and balanced trick, then I see no problem making Warren the heart of the GOP.

He fits the bill brilliantly. War-monger. Terrifyingly religious. Completely un-American.

--WKW

The elephant in this room nobody's talking about can be described by restating the old addage about art - I don't know journalistic objectivity but I know what I like.

BTW - Muslims, like us Catholics, believe that the living and the dead will appear in bodily form on Judgement Day. On that day, per the Koran, Christ will be there right next to God/Allah and The Prophet.

Not to sound too harsh, or that I'd encourage this sort of thing, but... put an AK-47 to Mr. Warren's head, after abducting him and holding him hostage for a few days, including having him spend many hours forced face-down in the dirt, not knowing whether he will live or die in the next few seconds.

See what comes out of his mouth when he's prompted to speak.

(1) Brilliant title

(2) Fox News journalists crumble under pressure? Shocked! I am Shocked!

(3) Chickenhawk demands that other people die for his beliefs? Shocked! Again!

I don't see what the big deal is. I've switched to other brand-name religions for much less. I converted to Islam because I thought I'd get a better deal on a Persian rug, but I think I got screwed anyway. (Persian rugs aren't made in The Philippines, are they?) I switched to Orthodox Judaism because I wanted to get into the diamond trade in NYC, but found out afterwards that former gentiles like me only get to work with cubic zirconium. I became a Pentecostal Christian so I could apply for a position at the Discovery Institute as Logical Fallacy Coordinator, but I blew it in the job interview when I told a racy joke about speaking in tongues.

So these guys became Muslims because their lives were at risk? Good enough for me. Now it sounds like their lives may be at risk with a Christopath because they converted to Islam under duress and they never were Christopaths to begin with. They ought to convert to hardcore ultra-fundamentalist Christianity and pretend to be even bigger Christopaths than their accuser, then start accusing him of being wishy-washy any time he doesn't advocate burning-at-the-stake for all non-Christians. Turnabout is fair play, n'est-ce pas? I'd do it, if I weren't converting to Buddhism in hopes of getting a discount on Sherpa guides for my Everest expedition.

When the "islamofascists" come demanding hostages now we know where we can get one that's made of the right stuff. Praise Jesus.

Wow. Seriously? I thought sexism was responsible for the similar treatment of Jill Carroll after her release, but I guess not. These people are just assholes to everyone.

One characteristic pathology of ideological fanatics is that for them, purity of essence is more important than life.

See, if they were "real" Christians, they would never have denied their faith, ergo they aren't "real" Christians, which means they can't be "real" conservatives, which means they were working for Fox News under false pretense, ergo they were liberals, and so the islamofacsists were willing to release them.

Q.E.D.

The "logic" is unassailable.

TK

I assume they are not Christians (few journalists are), but had they ever been instructed in that faith, they might have grasped that conversion to Islam means denial of Christ, and that is something many millions of Christians (few of them intellectuals) have refused to do, even at the cost of excruciating deaths. Christianity still lives, because of such martyrs. Not suicide bombers: but truly defenceless martyrs.

Then he went on to complain about the Islamic "culture of death".

The title of this post is friggin' brilliant.

I've simply got to second (or third?) that. You nailed it, Lindsay.

Wish I could say I hadn't encountered Mr. Men-Without-Chests before, but he is probably the most favoured of columnists in my local paper, the Ottawa Citizen, mostly because he stirs things up by generally being a dick.

On a sidenote, he converted to Catholicism about a year ago, and this whole more-pious-than-thou act is a recent thing. In the good old days, he used to be a good, old-fashioned lapsed Anglican neocon domestic writer with clearly more testicular fortitude than any field journalist in any warzone could provide!

I have to agree with you that if these guys were not Christians then they could be seen as martyrs for that faith.

On the other hand, I do have a problem with their actions -- which essentially constitute makeing propaganda broadcasts for the enemy.

Would any of the media have returned a reporter to duty had they been captured and made propaganda broadcasts for Hitler as a condition of release? NO! And it is probable that they would have faced treason charges as well.

On the other hand, I do have a problem with their actions -- which essentially constitute makeing propaganda broadcasts for the enemy.

Well, now we know there's at least one thing that doesn't "rhyme with right," and that's "bright."

On the other hand, I do have a problem with their actions -- which essentially constitute makeing propaganda broadcasts for the enemy.

Does the fact that they were under some duress matter? Are you familiar with the films of Vietnam soldiers compelled to do similar things under torture? What would you have done?

"The enemy"? They're journalists, not government agents (okay, yes, they work for Fox News, but, technically, they're still only unofficial US propaganda agents, not technically government officials). Journalists aren't soldiers. Oh, and know what? Yeah, we're not actually at war with Palestine. Oh, and even if we were, leaving aside the fact that they were captives and you're a moron? One of the kidnap victims is from New Zealand, not the US. Yes, I know, Bush has absolute extraconstitutional authority to declare that we're at war with anyone or anything at anytime for whatever duration, and his jurisdiction extends far beyond just US citizens, he can do whatever he wants to whoever he wants anywhere at any time for any reason. Still, good luck with those treason charges. "Saying nice things about a country we're not at war with when you have a gun to your head equals treason" is right there in the Constitution if you look real hard. My neighbor actually likes France, he never once called them freedom fries, convene the military tribunal now!

Would any of the media have returned a reporter to duty had they been captured and made propaganda broadcasts for Hitler as a condition of release? NO! And it is probable that they would have faced treason charges as well.

Any country or ideology that requires people to adhere to a strict culture of death isn't worth defending. If that's indeed treason, I'd wear it as a badge of honor.

I thought sexism was responsible for the similar treatment of Jill Carroll after her release, but I guess not.

Of course: they wanted those two dead so that they could wave a bloody rag about how the evil Islamofascists kill journalists. Which is nice. If Daniel Pearl had been given that choice, he'd have been condemned as a self-hating heretic Jew. Instead, he's a useful martyr to the cause of people whose idea of peril is opening a bag of Cheetos with sharp scissors.

See, reporters are only useful if they're reporting that all Muslims are murderers, or if they're being murdered by Muslims. Anything else just confirms them as pro-terrorist scum.

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