When James Foley was publicly beheaded by militants from the Islamic State, the grisly video of the American reporter's execution led some Catholics to praise him as a martyr for the faith.Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/blog/joan-desmond/james-foley-catholic-martyr-or-muslim-convert#ixzz3SlyFy8wd
But, later, other released hostages, who knew Foley, testified that the American had converted to Islam, and that his conversion appeared to be genuine.
Was Foley a Catholic martyr or a Muslim convert? asks The New York Times. And if he did formally embrace the religion of his captors, was that the free expression of his conscience, the result of violent coercion, or simply a tactic to secure a reprieve from the daily beatings he endured at the hands of ISIS?
Foley's mother, a practicing Catholic who regularly prays the Rosary, told The Times she had received conflicting reports from hostages who knew her son.
“What the hostages had told me was that by saying that he had converted to Islam, he would be left alone five times a day, without being beaten, so that he could pray,” Diane Foley told The Times, adding that she believed her son died as a Christian and that he had helped many of his fellow hostages endure the harrowing conditions of their captivity.