September 5, 2006
Most people were happy to see FOX journalists Steve Centanni and Olaf Wiig freed last week by their kidnappers in Gaza. Most also dismissed the forced conversion to Islam as a meaningless ploy to win their release. But that may not be how the Muslim world sees it.
Columnist Mark Steyn says, “If you’re Muslim, the video (shown repeatedly on al-Jazeera) is anything but meaningless. Not even the dumbest jihadist believes these infidels are suddenly true believers. Rather, it confirms the central truth Osama (bin laden) and the mullahs have been peddling – that the West is weak, that there’s no core, no bedrock, nothing it’s not willing to trade.
One recalls the Columbine high school girl, Cassie Bernall, who was asked by one of the killers if she was a Christian. When she responded “yes,” she was shot dead. She could have denied Christ, but refused. That showed incredible faith and strength, but the jihadists look for weakness and exploit it in their murderous ways. Mark Steyn is right. We’re going to have to show them more of the type of strength displayed by Cassie Bernall if we are to win this war.
Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C.