A Western debacle: Italian hostage held by Islamists converts to Islam

by Giulio Meotti

“I am calm, and during the kidnapping I was always treated well”. Thus began the declaration by Sylvia Romano after her arrival back in Italy. She was kidnapped 18 months ago in a village in Kenya by Al Shebaab while working for an NGO. Sylvia landed in Rome wearing a long Islamic green tunic.

As for her conversion to Islam, Sylvia said that “it happened in mid-captivity, when I asked to be able to read the Koran and I was satisfied,” defining her conversion to Islam as “spontaneous and not forced. In these months I was given a Koran and thanks to my jailers I also learned some Arabic. They explained their rationale and their culture to me.”

The plane that brought her back to her native country landed in Rome, where Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio welcomed her. Italy also paid a ransom for her release.

Sylvia was held captive because she was Italian, Western and Christian. If she had been Muslim, they would not have kidnapped her and would not have forced her to do all this. They wanted both the psychological submission of the captive and the money of her country. They now have both.

And she was not the first Italian hostage released after a ransom paid by the government and who came back talking nicely about their jailers.

I was reminded of Leah Sharibu, the Nigerian girl who has been in the hands of the Islamic terrorists of Boko Haram for two years. They released all the girls except her. As her kidnappers told her parents: “She refused to convert to Islam, she said she will never do it, but until she becomes a Muslim, she will not be release.d” And the same goes for Asia Bibi: if she had accepted the conversion to Islam she could have left death row in Pakistan much earlier.

Italian Catholic magazines and clergy actually called Sylvia “a model”.

Islam imposed its physcal symbols on a girl who radically changed her appeareance after her brutal kidnapping. In Rome, Sylvia asked to be called “Aisha”, the name of the favourite of Prophet Mohammed.

We don’t know what kind of young woman came back from Kenya. But we know that Islamic terrorists now have 4 million euros paid to them by the Italian government and they see their former captive defending Islam while smiling at the cameras.

Such a debacle for the post-Christian West.


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