Wednesday, November 30, 2005

German Aid Worker Abducted In Nineveh

Terrorists kidnapped 43 year old archeologist and aid worker Susanne Osthoff last Friday in the Iraqi province of Nineveh. Yesterday morning, the Baghdad office of German TV station ARD received a video from the abductors, a still from which has been released to this morning's press.

Frau Osthoff is by all accounts a brave woman. She has put years of work into Iraq (on behalf of the Medeor charity, and previously on archeological digs), converted to Islam and married a Jordanian. She is the first German victim of Islamist kidnapping.

As this morning's Rheinische Post comments on the motivation of the kidnappers: "If they are really struggling against western civilisation, politics and dominance, an anti-war, Arab-supporting German convert to Islam ought to come last on their list of targets."

But whilst this reaction may feel right, it is way off the mark. The Islamists want to kill off the pacifist German approach to life as much as the more aggressive Anglo-Saxon version.

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