Thursday, September 30, 2004

Sensitive New Age Kidnappers 

All's well that end's well, for some at least:

"Two Italian aid workers released from captivity in Iraq described their abductors as religious men who treated them with respect, asked for forgiveness and gave them a farewell present - English-language volumes explaining the Koran."
The two Simonas were obviously lucky to be kidnapped by the Kindness Brigades for the Liberation of Iraq, the pacifist splinter group of the Al Zarqawi organisation. Then again, if the kidnapping was from the beginning just about money and not politics, beheading might never have been an option.

"[Simona] Torretta spoke of her enduring love for the Iraqi people and expressed worries about their hardships. 'We hope that this liberation can represent a symbol of peace,' she said.

"Earlier, Torretta was asked if she had feared for her life. She first said 'yes,' then added that the abductors had reassured them. 'They understood the work we did' for a volunteer group in Iraq, she told reporters.

"Later, the Italian news agency ANSA quoted her as saying the kidnappers eventually asked for pardon. 'They taught us and wanted to teach us about the principles of Islam,' Torretta said. 'They never touched us. They treated us with great dignity.'

"Torretta was clutching a box when she was released, and ANSA quoted her as saying it contained 10 volumes of English translations and explanations about the Koran that the kidnappers had given them."
Even though it seems that the Islamic Jihad Organisation in Iraq, which has originally issued a threat to kill the hostages if Italy didn't withdraw its troops from Iraq within 24 hours, was not actually the group holding the two Italian women, the Simonas decided to stick to the original demand:

"[Simona Pari] urged people to 'try to change the very ugly reality there [in Iraq].' When a reporter shouted if that meant pulling out troops, she replied, 'Yes, also withdrawing troops'."
If the Stockholm Syndrome is a condition where the hostages start to sympathise with their captors, what do you call a condition where the hostages start to sympathise with people who only claim to be their captors? A fake but accurate Stockholm Syndrome?


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