Mainstream analysts in the West, as clueless as ever, will doubtless cite this as yet more evidence that the Islamic State is not Islamic, since the Qur’an says “There is no compulsion in religion” (2:256).
However, what constitutes “compulsion” is in the eye of the beholder. The institutionalized subjugation of the dhimma, with its regular humiliation and harassment, from which one can be freed for the simple price of converting to Islam, is not considered compulsion. Remember Steve Centanni and Olaf Wiig, the journalists who were kidnapped and forced to convert to Islam — even though their conversions were obviously coerced, their captors made them say that they were converting freely, and the captors probably believed that themselves. After all, the journos could have chosen to be killed instead.
Two Russian mercenaries reportedly captured by ISIS jihadists are feared to have been executed because they refused to read out a statement saying they rejected their Christian faith and had become Muslim.
Roman Zabolotny, 39, and Grigory Tsurkanu, 38, held in Syria, also refused to say on camera that they had joined the terrorist group.
The men are believed to have been fighting for a private Russian mercenary force comprising ex-servicemen which saw action in Crimea and eastern Ukraine before Syria.
They were held by jihadists around the eastern city of Deir Ezzor, the last ISIS stronghold in the country.
They appeared in a video released earlier this week by ISIS news agency Amak which claimed inaccurately that the men were serving Russian soldiers.
Senior Russian MP Viktor Vodolatsky said: ‘It is very sad but 99 per cent Roman Zabolotny is not alive, nor is the second prisoner.
‘Before filming that video they were given a statement which they had to read.
‘In this text they would reject their Orthodox religion, reject their motherland, become Muslim and join ISIS.
‘They stayed loyal to the Orthodox faith and their Motherland until the very end, and this is what they were killed by those gangsters for.’
There has been no official confirmation from the Russian authorities about their fate, but Vladimir Putin’s government is coy speaking about such mercenary forces in Syria and other hot spots, even though experts say they work closely with the armed forces.
A local MP in Rostov-on-Don, Zabolotny’s home city, also confirmed the pair had been ‘executed’, saying it happened the day after the video was made.
‘Unfortunately, this is true,’ said Anatoly Kotlyarov. ‘Information was received that they were executed in a town square.’…