Stephen McGown

If anyone wants to hear a story of grit and determination U-Tube this guy Stephen McGown. Holy crap a South African held hostage for five odd years by al-Qaeda in Mali. Wow is a word I can say- but why for five years why, there’s no point in this that I can figure out. Who holds a man hostage for five years?

Those that regularly read my blog know that this story will surly have a twist or many to it as do most of my stories. On my mind is great confusion relating to Stephen’s story. I will not go into the details because I have only heard one interview about his story on the radio. Also I do know that the true facts on what woke me up this morning are probably not exactly what they are. I say this because it is his story and only his, he holds the facts but what I heard on the radio at the time did not unearth these thoughts only last night it came to me.

In a short brief he was taken by al-Qaeda whilst on a trip riding from England to South Africa on a motorbike. Taken from his hotel in Mali and basically held hostage in the desert by the group. He talks about lying in his “hole” he dug to try get through the days and nights, he talks about the many sand storms which he saw in the distance and knew when they hit they would be bad. The sand would kind of sandblast him.

So here is my confusion in this story if I do offend anyone I am sorry I really do not wish to. Okay so as he is kept locked up and he talks about the “jail” as being the desert he cannot run away in the dead of the night where will he go? He starts to listen to his hostages as they get through the days and nights. I guess they are always there and in a way he becomes part of the group-not by his wish they have to keep him there and so he is with them. He talks on how he started to read a book they all know about and he asked the hostages to teach him about their language and culture etc.

Now he starts to get involved in their religion, the book I talk about is not the bible but the Quran which is the central religious text of Islam. What I understand is that he is a religious man-a good man. He asks them to teach him about their religion and so they do. He prays in the mornings and I assume when they all pray as they now teach him of the religion. I do not know too much about the Bible and I know nothing about the Quran. He tells the listeners that when he was freed his region has somewhat changed or if I remember correctly that he was in-between the two. The Quran and the Bible. I did think it is basically the same I guess just different religions. Not the point the point of which I think many will also be confused about is that why did they help or teach him about their religion.

What I am saying is what I know about religion is if one believes in God surely then you don’t keep a man captive-hold him against his will and still teach him about your own religion! For five odd years! Is there something wrong with this picture?





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