Forced conversion is officially forbidden in Islamic law, but this is a law that has quite often been honored in the breach throughout Islamic history. Of course, since the Muslim prophet Muhammad couched his appeal to Islam in terms that made it clear that a negative response would result in loss of property and exile, the line between forced and uncoerced conversion to Islam has always been rather thinner than non-Muslims might assume.
“Fox reporters freed in Gaza, say forced to convert,” from Hizballah News Agency, aka Reuters, with thanks to all who sent this in:
GAZA (Reuters) – Militants in the Gaza Strip released two kidnapped journalists from the American Fox News Channel on Sunday after forcing them at gunpoint to say in a videotape they had converted to Islam.
Correspondent Steve Centanni, a 60-year-old American, and New Zealand-born cameraman Olaf Wiig, 36, were in a hotel in the Palestinian coastal strip after two weeks of captivity.
A previously unknown group called the Holy Jihad Brigades had made a sweeping demand for the United States to free Muslim prisoners in exchange for the release of the men. The United States had rejected the demand.
“I am really fine, healthy, in good shape and so happy to be free,” Centanni told the Fox Channel.
Centanni said he and Wiig were forced to convert to Islam at gunpoint.
“I have the highest respect for Islam … but it was something we felt we had to do because they had the guns and we didn’t know what the hell was going on.”