What could possibly go wrong? Oh, yeah. Jihadists go through the motions and resume the jihad. That’s all. “Indonesia tries rehabilitation to wipe out extremism,” by Anuj Chopra for The National, January 30:
JAKARTA // Imagine, for a moment, a possible headline in the future: “Osama bin Laden denounces terrorism and renounces jihad.”
What are the odds? Is it even possible to wean an extremist like bin Laden off his violent ideology? The likelihood is hard to envisage.
But the Obama administration is keen to attempt something very close to that. This week, it agreed to give US$11 million (Dh40m) to Yemen to build a militant rehabilitation centre in the Arab state within the next three months for released Guantanamo Bay detainees.
The centre would treat terrorists in much the same way as drug addicts: seeing Islamic radicalism as an anomalous behavioural pattern and treating it with a mix of psychotherapy, counselling and religious re-education, coupled with economic incentives to slowly steer them back into society.
This move, analysts say, underscores the realisation that punitive detention or torture in a dank prison does not necessarily reform extremists. Some militants continue to espouse a virulent hatred for the West even after serving time in prison. Killing them can be counterproductive – many of them seek martyrdom.
The future of fighting extremism around the world may lie in terrorism rehabilitation.
[…] Rehabilitation counsellors say it is almost impossible to alter the mindset and entirely expunge the spirit of jihad….