Here’s a little sarcastic commentary about Hizballah’s role in Lebanese post-war reconstruction from Real Time with Bill Maher (August 25th 2006). He asks “When Zionist lapdogs turn your life upside down, don’t you want a trusted name you can count on? Hizballah! We’re the severed heads people!”

Bill Maher also weighed in on the the Fox Journalists’ conversion to Islam while being held captive by Muslim kidnappers (“Fox has journalists?”). While mockingly suggesting that Americans ought to all convert to Islam as well in order to end the terrorist threat (“we’d be Muslims in name only instead of Christians in name only”), he took pot shots at everyone from Hillary Clinton to Christian Fundamentalists and concluded:

No matter what happens, we’ll always be Americans, nothing can ever change that. Because even if women here had to start wearing burqas, believe me, they would find a way to write the word Juicy on their ass.

See the hilarious video here. Source: Hot Air

Mark Steyn writes a more sobering assessment of the fake-conversion issue in this article titled “Why abduct us? We cede our values for free” in the Chicago Sun Times.

Not even the dumbest jihadist believes these infidels are suddenly true believers. Rather, it confirms the central truth Osama and the mullahs have been peddling — that the West is weak, that there’s nothing — no core, no bedrock — nothing it’s not willing to trade… It doesn’t matter how “understandable” Centanni and Wiig’s actions are to us, what the target audience understands is quite different: that there is nothing we’re willing to die for. And, to the Islamist mind, a society with nothing to die for is already dead.

That’s an interesting point Mark. I am kind of reluctant to paint the Islamic world with one broad brush. However, the message he describes is out there regardless. Jewish law I believe would advise that faux conversion in this case is acceptable if it means the saving of a life. For me, that’s the real message, that this is a battle between those who revere life and those who deify death.

Steyn seems to believe that Wiig and Centanni ought to have chosen death rather than compromising their values. I however don’t begrudge them their choice. I’m less than impressed with how after they were released, they fell over themselves in singing the praises of their captors – that was gross and demonstrated the paucity of the values they chose to compromise – no big deal. Columnist David Warren noted:

I cannot know how I will behave in such a situation, until I am in it. But if I capitulated, from fear of pain and death, I would be deeply ashamed of what I had done. And this shame would haunt me for the rest of my life. I would not be appearing all smiles on TV, I would not be accepting the accolades of my colleagues, and I would surely have the decency to contradict anyone who dared call me “brave” for saving my own skin.

Whatever the case may be however, in choosing life over martyrdom however, they nonethelesss managed to bring the conflict down to its lowest common denominator and demonstrated clearly wherein lies the division between good and evil.

About the author


Founder and Publisher of Jewlicious, David Abitbol lives in Jerusalem with his wife, newborn daughter and toddler son. Blogging as "ck" he's been blocked on twitter by the right and the left, so he's doing something right.


  • The RAMBAM wrote a monograph on the question which you should be able to find on the Web. Why? Because the Muslimn commuhnities (in Spain and Morroco) in which he and his families lived were insisting on forced conversion on penalties of death.

    This conversion business is nothing new. The Muslims have been doing it to Jews for at least 900 years and probably another 500 years before.

  • Since Islam is not considered idol worship according to Jewish law, you might be right about the “choose life over conversion issue.” However, given the choice between converting, even in name only, to MOST other religions, Jewish law actually is that one must forfeit one’s life. Remember, it’s one of the big three? No murdering, no adultery, and no idol worship — even under penalty of death.

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