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September 02, 2006

More right wing attacks on freed Fox journalists

David Warren isn't the only fightin' keyboarder with dripping contempt for the recently-released Fox News journalists who were kidnapped in Gaza.

Not all the wingnuts are as forthright as David Warren, who says flat out that the two men are cowards for faking a conversion to save their lives.

The more "sophisticated" factions in the right wing blogosphere put it a little more delicately. They imply that correspondent Steve Centanni and photographer Olaf Wiig are forever tainted by their brush with Islamic terrorists.

According to the leading lights of the right wing blogosphere, these two Fox News journalists must have been asking for it somehow. Or that, maybe, they were only spared because they were soft on terror all along. Either that, or they're hysterical and it's safe to discount whatever they say because they're suffering from Stockholm Syndrome. (For extensive examples, see John's post, linked to above.)

"Once a Muslim, always a Muslim?" asks Debbie Schlussel.

In some societies, women are severely punished by their own communities if they get raped. Their very survival is considered proof of their debasement. It is assumed that a truly virtuous woman would have fought to the death to preserve her honor, and by extension, the honor of the community. The victim is often blamed for the attack itself. There will even be suspicion that she enjoyed it. When she tries to resume a normal life, she's dismissed as dirty, damaged goods...

The kidnapped Fox News reporters are getting similar abuse from the right wing.

Schlussel thinks that these guys are never going to regain their lost purity. After all they said the magic words:

They converted to Islam, so according to Islam they are considered Muslims forever. Even though they were forced to do so at gunpoint, the rule in Islam is not the circumstances of the conversion, but the fact that it took place. Once a Muslim, always a Muslim . . . or certain death. That's a core tenet of Islam.

That they apparently said the Shehadah, the oath to Islam (also known as the oath of Martyrdom) means that if they ever publicly denounce or renounce Islam--as they appear to have done--that is a mortal sin. And they're subject to a death sentence for it. Muslims can never leave the faith, no matter how they joined it. Good luck to them. Hope they have good security.

She also wonders whether journalists deserved it. She notes that Centanni was "very pro-Palestinian" before the kidnapping. So, in her estimation, ol' Steve was practically asking for it. (I didn't realize Fox was a hotbed of pro-Palestinean sentiment.)

The fact that he and his cameraman weren't slaughtered proves that they were traitors all along:

It needs to be repeated that so many Americans captured by Muslims--including Arab and Muslim Americans in Iraq--have met slaughter and beheading. And yet apparently pro-Islamist journalists, like Jill Carroll and reportedly Steve Centanni, are released to freedom. It's troubling that if you have a certain point of view AND job (ie., reporter) that will help support that point of view, only you get to live. The rest meet certain slaughter.

Schlussel also wonders whether the journalists are suffering from Stockholm Syndrome. Suggesting that they have this condition is just a medicalized way of insinuating that they side with the terrorists. Note that Schlussel has also claimed that the journalists got kidnapped for being pro-Palestinian and survived because they were terrorist sympathizers. The hallmark of Stockholm Syndrome is a prisoner's loyalties shift dramatically and inexplicably towards his captors.

So, which is it? If these guys were soft on terror all along, it doesn't make sense to cry Stockholm. If they did an about-face in captivity because of overwhelming duress, it's despicable to deride injured men for political gain.

The Stockholm allegation is an insurance policy for the right wing. It's a way to discount whatever the victims might have to say about their experiences, or about the Middle East at large.

Schlussel says, "Keep an eye on Centanni's reporting from the region from hereon."

Attacking these liberated journalists is the moral equivalent of spitting on veterans.

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Comments

It's a little odd to see the Left defending Fox journalists. I think it would be easy to get the wrong impression from the way the criticisms from the Right are being portrayed.

For one thing, I'm not so sure the Right is unified in condemning these journalists at all. And most of the criticisms I've seen aren't about their conversion to Islam or cowardice but about their supposed pro-Palestinian leanings. (Heaven forbid that a journalist should be pro-Palestinian. It happens, of course, that Fox is the one US network that insists on calling Palestinian suicide bombers "homicide bombers," despite the fact that it's less descriptive. It's really a political comment.)

Schlussel thinks that these guys are never going to regain their lost purity.
She also wonders whether journalists deserved it. She notes that Centanni was "very pro-Palestinian" before the kidnapping. So, in her estimation, ol' Steve was practically asking for it.
The fact that he and his cameraman weren't slaughtered proves that they were traitors all along

I don't think Schlussel says or implies any of this.

Attacking these liberated journalists is the moral equivalent of spitting on veterans.

I know what you mean, but I think this is exaggerated a few shades. Schlussel may not be right, but she isn't that bad.

I'm defending these guys against charges of cowardice. The fact that they work for Fox News is completely irrelevant. Nobody should be derided for mouthing an incantation to save their own life.

Google Schlussel and "Marla Ruzicka" to see just what a despicable excuse for a human being Schlussel is. She's not "that bad," she's much, much worse.

Feathers, my comment was in relation to what she said in her blog about the Fox reporters. For all I know she's really Satan, as so many on the right must be.

In a way, I almost wonder if the whole conversion thing was a ploy by the kidnappers to get themselves out of the corner they'd backed into. By forcing the hostages to "convert," the kidnappers had an excuse to let them go. The only other option was to kill them.

I dunno, just another perspective on the whole "they made them convert to humiliate the United States!" notion.

Debbie Schlussel wrote that Marla Ruzicka burning to death in a car in Baghdad was poetic justice. Soldiers
disagreed. The only reason to ever quote a pig like Schlussel is to show what kind of country people on the far right want this country to become.

http://antiwar.com/justin/?articleid=5745

http://www.prospect.org/web/page.ww?section=root&name=ViewWeb&articleId=9684

Apparently Schlussel has similar felings about Ruzicka.

These people are effing crazy, and this reaction shows exactly how casually they treat human life. Under my moral lights, throwing one's life away instead of saying a few pseudo-magic words that some cultist wacko with a gun wants to hear would be a decidedly immoral act. (Hey, I would absolutely spout Republican propaganda and praise President Decider's name to the ends of the earth if I knew it would save me from a bullet to the brain. And it would be the morally right thing to do.)

Coerced confessions and oaths are universally recognized by civilized persons as worthless. Which may be why rightwingers both think these guys should have accepted death before "converting" to Islam and that torture is A-OK. These are two sides of the same coin.

It's a little odd to see the Left defending Fox journalists.

Comparing Fox News's bureaux correspondents and Fox News's in-studio presenters (and shitehawk contributers) is like comparing journalists with clowns. Oh.

Anyway, forced conversions are considered un-Islamic. And though the wingnuts will harp on about how that's a rule honoured more in the breach than the observance, there's the small matter of Spain's conversos, forced into Christianity and still persecuted in the Inquisition. But that was a long time ago, wasn't it? And induced conversions in India by American missions are just propaganda talk, aren't they?

In other news, Debbie Schlussel is a turd in the punchbowl of humanity.

what ahem said. forced conversions are no conversion at all in mainstream islam. the qur'an isn't always clear, but it's crystal clear about that one point.

just because the qur'an is clear on the point doesn't mean that there have never been forced conversions in the 1300 year history of islam. but i also understand that there have been instances of christians who don't love their neighbor.

shocking, i know. but it has happened.

It is actually pretty consistent for the wingnuts to go after the Fox journalists in this way. I was wondering if they would be consistantly whacko or whether they would make an IOKIYFN (It's OK If Your Fox News) double standard -- I guess they went for the former.

Still "Stockholm Syndrome"? Isn't that so last century? I guess they use that term 'cause, in their minds, "Stockholm" implies, effete, liberal Swedes or something ...

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