August 27, 2006

"There were times when I thought I was dead. And now, I'm not."

Says Fox correspondent Steve Centanni, just released from captivity along with cameraman Olaf Wiig. In a telephone interview, he tells of his ordeal in detail, including being "forced to convert to Islam at gunpoint." [ADDED: Go here for the interview if you have low-speed access.]

26 comments:

Ruth Anne Adams said...

I had difficulty with the link, but saw the interview on the foxnews.com site.

That has to be the most perfect post-hostage interview ever. A journalist reporting his own captivity.

I heard Centanni was over 60 years old and was shocked to learn that. He has been in some hair-raising journalistic places. I wonder if this event will change where he does his journalism thing.

Ann Althouse said...

I linked to the high-speed version.

Mark said...

And he says he has "the highest respect for Islam."

Goodness sakes - he's forced to convert to Islam at gunpoint, and he has the highest respect for it. Not just respect, but the "highest" respect. For a religion whose adherents will now try to kill him if he tries to leave the religion.

I imagine he probably doesn't really have high respect for Islam in his heart of hearts, but it's revealing of the degree to which we're still incapcitated in our civilizational fight for survival that a public figure still feels the need to express reverence for Islam after the experience he's gone through. As Laurence Auster points out, it's like the end of Orwell's "1984" where having been brutalized enough, Winston now loves Big Brother.

Ann Althouse said...

Mark: That's not the only way to look at it. He probably cares a lot about rescuing the larger religion from people like his captors.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Mark: That's not the only way to look at it. He probably cares a lot about rescuing the larger religion from people like his captors.

Very big of him; but I expect to grow old and die waiting for the larger religion itself to show the faintest sign of wanting to be rescued.

Dave said...

Would have to agree with Paul.

Any religion whose alleged non-violent adherents can't wrest it from its murderous contingent deserves nothing less than scorn.

The notion that Islam is a "religion of peace," as its apologists want us to believe, is as laughable as the notion that Catholicism is a religion devoid of pedophilia.

The Drill SGT said...

Call me cynical, but I am concerned that we don't get honest reporting from Gaza from any of the MSM, much less from their Hamas stringers.

The New York folks who volunteer for Gaza assignments start out, I'm afraid, pro-Palestinian. Then they see kidnappings and murder if they don't toe the Hamas line. It's not surprising that he says he has great respect for the Religion of Peace. After his conversion under the sword, he would be an apostate if he said anything else. He literally is under a suspended death sentence if he criticizes his new religion.
We're back to 770 AD.

knoxgirl said...

is as laughable as the notion that Catholicism is a religion devoid of pedophilia.

That's just wrong. (and that's coming from someone who was/is disgusted by how the church handled the pedophiles in its ranks.)

peter hoh said...

Anybody wonder if Debbie Schlussel is going to give Steve Centanni the same treatment she gave Jill Carroll? I'm not going to hold by breath. I did manage to hold my nose and check her blog this morning, and I saw nothing about the Fox correspondent kidnapping case.

Knoxgirl, consider the possibility that Dave was employing irony when he made the comment which you found offensive.

The Drill SGT said...

Dave said...
Would have to agree with Paul.

Any religion whose alleged non-violent adherents can't wrest it from its murderous contingent deserves nothing less than scorn.

The notion that Islam is a "religion of peace," as its apologists want us to believe, is as laughable as the notion that Catholicism is a religion devoid of pedophilia.


NOTE: I'm not Catholic, not a pedophile.

That is unfair on several levels.

1. The comparisons are not comparable. "devoid" requires that something lack something entirely, while your equivalent requirement for Islam is much lower.

2. Regardless of problems with some priests and Bishops that covered up the problem, you can't find pedophilia as a fundamental tenant of the Church. You can find the concept of Jihad, and Holy war against unbelievers throughout the Koran and Islamic thought for a 1400 years.

3. Lay Catholics and some clergy have risen up and demanded change. Unlike Muslims.

4. The Catholic hierarchy has taken a position against the cover-up and though the jury is out as to the fulfillment of those promises, the promises have been made.

Svolich said...

4. The Catholic hierarchy has taken a position against the cover-up and though the jury is out as to the fulfillment of those promises, the promises have been made.

You must not be in Los Angeles. Cardinal Mahoney is still - after repeated court orders - refusing to turn over the church's records on pedphile priests. And he's refusing to do background checks on people the church employs to work with children.

As for Centanni, I'm sure it was made clear to him that if he speaks against his captors or their religion, they will hunt him down in the US.

Ace said...

is as laughable as the notion that Catholicism is a religion devoid of pedophilia.


Except nobody argues any such thing.

Palladian said...

And the Roman Church stopped converting people on pain of death about 300 years ago.

The difference is that Islam, in its sacred texts, actually mandates the general behavior of its more violent adherents. It took Christianity's evangelical ideas and mixed them with expansionist warlord practices and precluded any chance of an internal enlightenment.

mik said...

I wouldn't be so hard on Centanni just now. Guy was thru hell, for two weeks wandering every day if it is his last.

I understand that he is not a star at Fox, far from it. I'm not sure if he can blame Islam, as opposed to blaming a mythical Islamo-fascism, and keep his job at Fox.

My scorn is for the star pundits with perfectly safe jobs, who just refuse to see things as they are.

As far as I know, in MSM only Diana West of WashTimes and Andy McCarthy of National Review say that Islam is the problem and jihadis are perfectly good Muslims who follow Koran to the letter.

Janice Lyons said...

Does anyone really believe they "converted" to Islam -- the religion where there is no compulsion (Oh. Excuse me, were those waterguns pointing at us?)

If they did, Centanni's journalistic "integrity" is completely shot with me. And who's going to believe Wiig's pictures? Stockholm Syndrome? Does that explain the adoring eyes Centanni is making at the Palestinians?

The cognitive dissonance is a bit much in this case.

Citizen Deux said...

Pick up a ciopy of Skeletons of the Zahara. It is a superb account of marooned American sailors at the start of the 19th century.

The parallels between this captivity and then are not accidental.

Brian Macker said...

The notion that Islam is a "religion of peace," as its apologists want us to believe, is as laughable as the notion that Catholicism is a religion devoid of pedophilia.

I'm an atheist and frankly that's stupid. Where exactly in catholic teachings did you find that? Note: Islam does advocate pedophilia in many of it's most sacred texts, both by example of the prophet Mohammed, by advocation and by implicitly condoning it in their religious law.

bearbee said...

The Drill SGT said...
Call me cynical, but I am concerned that we don't get honest reporting from Gaza from any of the MSM, much less from their Hamas stringers


I am reading 'See No Evil' by former CIA agent Robert Baer in which he mentions the 1985 kidnapping of CNN journalist Jeremy Levin in Lebanon.
Wasn't it CNN that pulled its punches in order to maintain reporting privileges in Saddams Iraq? I can't help but believe the kidnapping had its effect.

knoxgirl said...

peter: I guess I'm dense, I've re-read it several times, and I don't see any irony in his comment, but perhaps you're right, not so sure...

dave, care to speak to this?

knoxgirl said...

Wasn't it CNN that pulled its punches in order to maintain reporting privileges in Saddams Iraq?

Yes. And I never understood why that story didn't make the cover of Time, Newsweek, etc. Seemed to me it's huge. I feel the same way about all these faux photos that have been exposed lately. (sorry, off-topic)

Helen said...

knox girl, that's a lousy analogy. Forced conversion is Koranic doctrine: one either converts, pays jizya (poll tax for living as Judaeo-Christian or secularist or whatever), or dies. Pedophilia is not a theological doctrine of the Roman Church, and it is a petty and vile cheapshot to so claim. There is no Christian doctrine that corresponds to this Islamic one. This conversion of Centanni and Wiig might be regarded as forced by us Westerners, and therefore invalid; however, in the Islamic world, it is seen as a valid conversion, and if Centanni and Wiig recant, they will be put to death. Islam is like Sartre's vision of hell; there is no exit. It would be interesting to see how Centanni covers news from the Mideast if he's ever sent back to that region. I hope that Roger Ailes posts him elsewhere. His words about the highest respect for Islam may be taken either facetiously or at face value, as may his words about the kindness and beauty of the 'Palestinian' people who have, by their actions, revealed themselves to be bloodthirsty savages. Either Centanni is engaged in taqqiyah, or he's saying what sounds placating. I'd have preferred that he would not have been so complimentary, but then, I was not in his shoes.

MikeT said...

Ann,

There is nothing to rescue in Islam. You would have to rewrite scripture to expunge its violent elements, and Islam is far too old for that to have any effect.

Secular Americans say "just change the religion!" but... that doesn't make any sense. Why would they change if the same scripture they have had for 1,400 years says that what they are doing is right in God's eyes?

The only reason that Christianity had a "reformation," or should I say, a structural repentence, is that its leading institutional church had gone the way of the Pharisees. The Protestant movement was a return to sola scriptura, away from the tradition uber alles approach of the Roman Catholic Church. You cannot replicate that in Islam as the jihadis are not acting that much against the norms of their scripture.

TM Lutas said...

If we can avoid refighting the reformation, counter-reformation, et al, we're much more likely to win this fight. I won't get into details but for those unfamiliar, there are a lot of disputes over christianity.

Any denomination that's lasted a millennium or more has probably heard all the arguments and has pretty finely honed responses to every single one of them. Whether an individual believer is up to speed on all the esoterica of sola scriptura et al or not is a different story.

I'm a Catholic from a section of the Church that has some experience in the past in dealing with Islam. This is nothing new. It is an attempt at creating an atmosphere where we accept their alpha status, their right to set rules.

The biggest thing that either or both of these reporters can do right now in the war on terror is to settle down, take stock, and give public witness to their own faith that they have and challenge imams to condemn what happened to them.

We must not let this go. Forced conversions are a shameful thing and all the usual muslim talking heads should be forced to confront what happened and explain whether their vision of Islam embraces or abhors itt.

knoxgirl said...

Helen,

not sure what you're talking about, I think we agree on this...

dmc_in_washington said...

Mike T. makes an excellent point, namely that jihadists are the true adherents to the Koran, not moderates.

The Koran offers non-Muslims three choices:

1) Convert to Islam;
2) Acknowlege Islam's supremacy and live as second-class citizens; or
3) Death

The Fox newsmen chose option 1 and lived.

Many Muslims opt to ignore the Koran's hardline stance. But the verses are there for anyone who cares to look. No Muslim can gainsay a co-religionist who obeys them.

A return to the "true religion" a la the Christian Reformation isn't an option.

Atticus said...

The notion that Islam is a "religion of peace," as its apologists want us to believe, is as laughable as the notion that Catholicism is a religion devoid of pedophilia.

...which is just as goofy as thinking that ANY religion is devoid of pedophilia.