Islamic State ex-hostage Henin: Asking for pity is stupid

BLACKEAGLE

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Nicolas Henin (centre) and Pierre Torres (right), were greeted by French President Francois Hollande after their release last year

A French hostage, held for 10 months by the British militant known as "Jihadi John", has been speaking to the BBC about his time in captivity, and his interactions with his jailors.

Nicolas Henin was marking the publication of a children's book written in captivity with fellow French journalist Pierre Torres.

The book, Will Daddy Hedgehog Ever Come Home?, was written for Henin's five-year-old daughter, and is published this week. It was written by the two journalists in secret at night, on a scrap of cheese wrapping.

Henin says the story grew out of a game to relieve the boredom of captivity, devised by the British aid worker David Haines, who was later killed by his captors.

"The aim was to say which animal portrays you best," Henin told me. "I spoke about being a hedgehog. I liked the idea of [having] good protection - even though the protection of a hedgehog is totally stupid."

To protect himself in captivity, he says, he used the same "totally stupid" technique: "I would make [myself into] a ball."

But then, in terms of protection, "nothing ever really worked. As a hostage, you're just a puppet."

Thousands of jihadists from Europe have joined the ranks of Islamic State in Iraq and Syria
He also described the discussions between the prisoners and their Islamic State captors.

Such contacts were often important to secure vital food and medicine. But they also revealed jarring details about their captors' backgrounds and interests.

"I noticed that these jihadists have little to do with the local culture - Arab or Muslim culture - they are children of our societies.

"They speak our language, they have the same cultural references we do. They watch the same movies as us, play the same video games our children play. They are products of our culture, our world."

They watched everything, Henin says, "from the Teletubbies to Game of Thrones."
BBC News - Islamic State ex-hostage Henin: Asking for pity is stupid
 

xTinx

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True that. Why would anyone ask pity from the murderers of hundreds and thousands? After that killing those people without a shred of remorse, pity would be the last thing on their mind. How lucky of him to be released and not suffer the same fate as other captives.
 

thegrey

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Sociopaths are incapable of pity or any other soft human emotion. They are society's cancer. The cure is to get rid of them.
 

missbishi

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It's interesting that he claims the jihadists have little to do with traditional Muslim culture - after all, they certainly seem to be following their own version of Islam. But if they think the West is so evil, why are they watching our shows and movies and playing our games?
 

thegrey

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What an excellent question! I'd sure like to know the answer to that one!:--)
 

Rowe992

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Well he must consider himself very lucky to have been taken hostage by ISIS and released alive. Maybe he can have some information no matter how small that may help the authorities with locating the location of this jail used by the terrorists.
 

Redheart

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People who behead babies, are they capable of feeling anything? Those captured by ISIS should embrace their fate and face death bravely because unless they are liberated by fighters "on the ground" no one will be storming in to rescue them. Also those who chose to stay around in the war zone or for the "thrill" of it went there knowing quite well that anything could happen, shouldn't expect any pity either.
 
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