We are extremely happy that Gillian Gibbons has been returned to the safety and sanity of Christendom.
(By the way, for those of you who ridicule or even disapprove of the notion that such a realm as “Christendom” exists, over what borderland do you think Ms. Gibbons has just returned to safety and sanity?)
Anyway, I wouldn’t ridicule Ms. Gibbons for the world. She is now answering interviewer questions about how she feels about her recent ordeal, and she is clearly unwilling to say anything negative about her captors, i.e., the Sudanese government, the Sharia court, and that country's religious mobs, nor its religion.
It may just be she's one of those mild-mannered types who simply are not capable of taking offense. She may also be concerned that if she says anything negative about Islam her Western colleagues back at the Unity School might be lynched, the way she very nearly was. She must be well aware that the religious leaders in Khartoum have explained the teddy-bear incident as a western plot to insult the Prophet.
So I don't want to make fun. I just find it interesting that Gibbons would use her moment of international fame--peaking as the entire civilized world is breathing a collective sigh that she has escaped her captors--to use her fame to say:
she didn't want her experience “to put anyone off going to Sudan - in fact I know of a lovely school that needs a new Year Two teacher.”
(I can just imagine the first Western interviewer for that job. “Yes, that salary sounds quite acceptable, and the school is lovely! Oh, and, by the way, does that secretary still work here, you know, the vindictive one who dropped a dime to the Sharia Gestapo about the last teacher in this position?”)
Yesterday I noted that Fox News reporter Steve Centanni claimed similar benevolent feelings towards Islam, even as he was describing being forced to convert to the religion at gunpoint. (“I have the highest respect for Islam…I learned a lot of good things about it”).
Then, like Ms. Gibbons, Centanni made this similarly weird recommendation of Gaza on the very heels of his own horrifying experience of being kidnapped:
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…The world needs to know more about them. Don't be discouraged.
(Actually, thanks to Centanni’s experiences there, the world’s knowledge of Gazans has been dramatically enlarged).
But in view of his invitation to journalists everywhere to come visit beautiful Gaza, I do point out that Centanni, the former Fox News international correspondent has been, ever since then, Fox News national correspondent.
Lately, the closest he’s been willing to get to known terrorist hangouts is to report from the UN--and even then he reads his notes safely on the far side of First Avenue.)
Nor do we blame him one bit for staying safely in the United States, and the hell out of Gaza or any other parts of the Dar al-Islam.
And if he doesn't want to attack Islam or Gazan terrorists for what happened to him, I guess he has his reasons. But why tell other journalists to come back and pretend that journalist kidnappings and murders don't happen? why must Ms. Gibbons advise other mild-mannered schoolteaching naïfs to come to Sudan as if it is a perfectly safe and lovely place?
Blame it on the Stockholm Syndrome, I suppose.