Johan Gustafsson and McGown, both 42-year-old British citizens got kidnapped by Al-Qaeda for being non-Muslim after their release six years later have to their families shock have converted to Islam. They had been held hostage for six long years.
The freed captives while commenting on the religion change claimed that they saw many positive aspects in the religion as the religion requires a good and strict character.
Gustafsson while addressing the media after his release said “I didn’t know anything about Islam, so I’m not sure how believable it was. But I think they saw it as their duty to accept it, even though I have a hard time believing that they actually believed me”
He, however, said that he also changed his religion “to save his life” and make it better while being held hostage. On a question about if he would return to being a Christian, he said that he had not decided on that and claimed that he would have to do serious reading on the religious books before making his final decision.
McGown and Gustafsson were captured along with another hostage Sjaak Rijke, at a hotel the n northern city of Mali, Timbuktu a historical trading city. Sjaak Rijke was rescued by French forces in April 2015 followed by Gustafsson and McGown’s recent release. Gustafsson was released in June as he explains the Swedish police officers had “tears in their eyes,” as they rescued him and was soon rejoined with his family. Mr McGown was alone with his captors for another month before he was also released.