While in Syria, a liberal journalist suffered a tremendous beating and was shot by a jihadist he believed was his friend. The good news is that while in Syria, this liberal journalist was given the opportunity for a ‘Road to Damascus’ experience when it comes to Islam; he survived. It remains to be seen if he will take it.
Like wild animals, Muslim jihadists are often predictably unpredictable. The latest example comes courtesy of London Times reporter Anthony Lloyd who thought he could befriend a Syrian rebel without worry. When is ‘friend’ finally snapped – acting on a belief stated later that Lloyd was a CIA spy – Lloyd was on the receiving end of jihadi aggression he could not understand.
Why was Lloyd caught so off-guard? He had known Hakim Anza for two years, experienced emotional events with the jihadist, shared meals with him, and stayed at his home the night before leaving Syria for Turkey. That may be when Hamza got suspicious because on his way to the Turkish border with a photographer, bodyguard, and another man, Lloyd encountered trouble:
Four gunmen leapt out and bundled the group, handcuffed and blindfolded, into the vehicle before driving them to a lock-up garage in the northern Syrian city of Tal Rifat – where Anza was based.
Loyd recognised one of his captors as a member of Hakim’s gang, who had served him breakfast that morning.
Lloyd faced almost certain death but take note of the response he got from Anza when he invoked what he thought was a trusting friendship:
Cornered, he faced a terrifying showdown with Hakim: “His men burst in, dragged me out and started beating me round the head with rifle butts. I was covered in blood on the ground when Hakim walked up, white with rage.
“‘I thought you were my friend,’ I told him. ‘No friends,’ he replied, shooting me twice in the ankle just to have the satisfaction of crippling me.”
Another of Hakim’s henchmen, who had been in a struggle with photographer Hill during their break for freedom, was then allowed to set upon Loyd.
“After punching and kicking me for what seemed like eternity, he picked up a rock and smashed it across my head.
Eventually, Lloyd made it safely to Turkey but not before having what should be a life lesson a liberal should learn. We would like to direct Mr. Lloyd to Quran 3:28:
YUSUFALI: Let not the believers Take for friends or helpers Unbelievers rather than believers: if any do that, in nothing will there be help from Allah: except by way of precaution, that ye may Guard yourselves from them. But Allah cautions you (To remember) Himself; for the final goal is to Allah.
PICKTHAL: Let not the believers take disbelievers for their friends in preference to believers. Whoso doeth that hath no connection with Allah unless (it be) that ye but guard yourselves against them, taking (as it were) security. Allah biddeth you beware (only) of Himself. Unto Allah is the journeying.
SHAKIR: Let not the believers take the unbelievers for friends rather than believers; and whoever does this, he shall have nothing of (the guardianship of) Allah, but you should guard yourselves against them, guarding carefully; and Allah makes you cautious of (retribution from) Himself; and to Allah is the eventual coming.
Road to Damascus experiences are rare indeed. We know a little something about them at Shoebat.com. The good news that could be taken from all of this is that Anthony Lloyd was ironically in Syria when given the opportunity to take it.
Then again, liberals do have thick heads. In the case of Lloyd, that can also be taken literally.