By Raymond Ibrahim
A new video of the twelve Christian nuns kidnapped in Syria recently appeared. In it, the nuns are taped sitting in a room and being questioned by an unseen man, presumably a member of the kidnappers. He asks them how they are, if they’ve been mistreated, etc.
They respond that they are being treated fine, that they very much look forward to being returned to their convent, that they heartily thank the world for its concern, and that they continually pray that God grant peace to all nations.
Their words say one thing, their expressions and demeanor another. Put differently, as female captives of Islamic jihadis, what else could they say but what they were told to say? Even if one of them dared to say the “wrong thing,” it naturally would have been edited out. Who knows how many takes it took to get the video–which includes a bizarre clip of the nuns having a snowball fight with their abductors–just right?
One thing, however, although minor, speaks volumes concerning the nature of their captivity. Although these same nuns, in pictures before they were kidnapped, often appear wearing the large pectoral crosses that nuns often wear, these are all gone in the recent video.
This is to be expected, considering the “pious” nature of their captors. According to strict Islamic teaching, Christians and other non-Muslims are forbidden to show any signs or expressions of their “polytheism” (shirk in Arabic). Indeed, this is spelled out clearly in the Conditions of Omar, which mainstream Muslim teaching attributes to the second caliph of the same name.
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