Coerced conversion meets secular tolerance

By Dave Petteys ( Mssrs. Olaf Wiig and Steve Centanni of Fox News were recently converted to Islam at gunpoint and released by their captors. To conclude “Piece of cake! They could recant tomorrow” may be an oversimplification. The experiences of prisoners of war in Korea (termed “brainwashing” after the war ended), as well as the famous “Stockholm Syndrome”, where captives formed bizarre attachments to their captors, could come into play here.

The extreme trauma of having your very life hanging by a very slender thread for several days, and coupling this with the immense relief and gratitude for the nightmare’s end may have unintuitive consequences. First of all, these men have been sternly warned that the penalty for recanting Islam is death. Secondly, after returning to their homes, should they begin attending the nearest neighborhood Mosque, the overwhelmingly warm and congratulatory welcome they would receive would be completely disorienting. And as they began their instruction in the Faith, the Imam would apologize for the “harshness that brought them to the correct path” but assure them it has been for their long term greater good. To see a complete and genuine conversion of these captives is not out of the question.

I have long thought that secularism is doomed. The experience of Mssrs. Wiig and Centanni explains why. Any person of faith in a similar situation would merely have been administered the bullet to the brain. The history of Christianity is filled with stories of martyrs who chose death rather than apostasize. But a secularist would see conversion as the better course. It is a perfect example of what happens when “Convert or Die!” confronts “Tolerance and Understanding at all costs”.