Defending the 12th century since the 14th; blogging since the 21st.

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Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Dr. Walid Phares, writing at Counterterrorism Blog, on the release of the Fox journalists who "converted" to Islam:
Obviously, hostages -especially if they weren't evangelists - would accept the conversion as a mean for securing liberation or at least physical security. But there were cases of Priests, Evangelists and Christian local leaders, who were executed after they refused to convert. These cases didn't receive the publicity received by media or secular Western citizens’ hostages.

However, there were cases where hostages were released without being forced or even asked to convert.

The question emanating from these hostage-conversions is two fold: a) is it considered as legitimate one in the eyes of Islamic law? Under international law, any forced conversion under threat is null and void. Under Sharia law a similar verdict could be issued by an Islamic court who would argue that conversion by force is not acceptable (La ikrah fil deen). But Jihadi interpretation may argue that the conversion is standing with the immediate consequence that reverting back from the new religion is punishable by death. This would play a considerable role in intimidating the ex hostages, and would allow the Terrorist group to call for sanctions in the future against the journalists. [Emphasis added.]