Complete footage of Centanni-Wiig forced conversion to Islam
Before being released Steve Centanni and Olaf Wiig, the two journalists who were held hostage in Gaza, were forced to convert to Islam and read statements critical of the U.S. government on videotape. After being freed, they renounced their conversion to Islam. Steve Centanni had this to say about the forced conversion:
"We were forced to convert to Islam at gunpoint. Don't get me wrong here. I have the highest respect for Islam, and I learned a lot of good things about it, 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."However, Centanni and Wiig did not backtrack from their critical comments toward the US government and in a press conference shortly after their release they expressed support for the plight of the Palestinian people:
Steve Centanni: "I hope that this never scares a single journalist away from coming to Gaza to cover the story because the Palestinian people are very beautiful and kind-hearted people. The world needs to know more about them. Don't be discouraged."
Olaf Wiig: "My biggest concern really is that as a result of what happened to us, foreign journalists will be discouraged from coming to tell the story and that would be a great tragedy for the people of Palestine. You guys need us on the streets, and you need people to be aware of the story."The first video clip (top right), is the complete footage of their conversion to Islam with their critical comments towards the US government.
The second video, is DemocracyNow's coverage of their press conference held shortly after their release.