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Deradicalization

Discussion in 'Middle Eastern Politics' started by vyo476, Mar 27, 2008.

  1. vyo476

    vyo476 Active Member

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    Reverse Radicalism

    Serious study of terrorism has, for the past 20 years, been fixated on one question. That question, so teasingly close to the right one, is, Why do people join terrorist groups?

    The better the study, the more muddled the findings. Would-be terrorists are "unremarkable people" living "unremarkable lives," concluded a 2007 report by the New York City police department. Humans do not join terrorist groups because they are poor, oppressed or religious. They seem to join in search of purpose, excitement or status. They seem to be fighting loneliness. But then again, not always.

    The smarter question, the one experts have now begun to ask, is, Why do people leave terrorist groups? John Horgan, a Penn State psychologist, has interviewed 28 former terrorists. His subjects have spanned 13 organizations, including five Islamic extremist groups. The men have told him strikingly similar stories of disenchantment. "I was stunned by the common denominators between members of the ira and members of Jemaah Islamiah [a militant Islamist group in Southeast Asia with ties to al-Qaeda]."

    Many said they'd been disappointed by the terrorist life. "The reality didn't live up to the fantasy," says Horgan. "The reality is depressing, stressful and generally not what people expect." And in that disconnect lies opportunity. Nearly a dozen countries, including the U.S. in Iraq, have recently started programs to educate radicals about the gap between their religious ideals and the groups they follow—to essentially force the disenchantment process with the help of clerics and ex-terrorists. "We've been fighting the wrong battle," says Frank Cilluffo, a former White House Homeland Security official who is researching deradicalization at George Washington University. "The real center of gravity of the enemy is their narrative. It is ideologically bankrupt."

    Nasir Abas belonged to Jemaah Islamiah and its predecessor groups for 18 years. At a Jakarta coffee shop in February, he explained to TIME why he joined. "You have to remember how it was in those days. Muslims all over the world witnessed the suffering of their brothers and sisters," he says, sounding very much like a modern-day jihadi. When his teachers invited him to leave his native Malaysia to go to Afghanistan, he was thrilled. "I found it very heroic, a dream come true."

    Nasir became a weaponry instructor at a mujahedin training camp. "Give me any kind of weapon that no longer works, I can make it work perfectly again," he says with a small smile, holding his coffee cup close. Eventually, he rose to head Mantiqi Three, Jemaah Islamiah's training unit.

    On Christmas Eve 2000, a wave of Jemaah Islamiah church bombings killed 19 in Indonesia. Nasir heard about it on the news, and he was distraught. "It was against the teachings of the Prophet, which bar Muslims from destroying places of worship." Then in 2002, a massive bombing rocked a Bali nightclub, killing 202. Nasir had trained two of the men involved. "I felt really troubled," he says. "I tried to talk to people in the organization, but what could you do when they wouldn't listen?"

    On April 18, 2003, the police forced the issue. Nasir was arrested in East Jakarta and sent to prison for 10 months on immigration charges. He cooperated in order to get a shorter sentence and because, he says, he was tired of the lies. Nasir helped put away several Bali plotters, and he published a 2005 book arguing against killing civilians. "It's well defined in the Koran whom we are supposed to fight. It is not justifiable to kill anyone who is innocent."

    Today, as an adviser to Indonesia's antiterrorism squad, Special Detachment 88, Nasir visits ex-comrades in jail to persuade them to cooperate and speaks critically of Jemaah Islamiah in the media. So far, the program has helped disengage two dozen Jemaah Islamiah members, according to the independent International Crisis Group.

    Similar programs exist in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Singapore and Britain. Data on success rates are scarce, which is a problem. But even the U.S. military is paying attention: some of the 25,000 detainees in Iraq have started taking religious enlightenment classes. Major General Douglas Stone, who oversees U.S. detention centers there, has said re-education helps "knock the edge off" detainees who don't understand Islam.

    Such experiments can be expected to be messy. Of all the men he has interviewed, Horgan says, none are truly deradicalized. Disengagement is more realistic. Nasir still supports the creation of an Islamic state and says Muslims have a right to kill U.S. soldiers in Iraq. When he recalls turning in former comrades, he becomes visibly upset. "I felt very sad. You will never be able to imagine how I felt." His eyes look defeated. He asks TIME not to name the coffee shop. Then he leaves, returning to the netherworld between the masses and the margins.

    http://www.time.com/time/specials/2007/article/0,28804,1720049_1720050_1722062,00.html

    I found this article to be extremely enlightening. Mostly I think that all of us here at HOP have been taking ourselves too seriously regarding the debate on what causes terrorism. The article raises good points - terrorism isn't caused by what I had previously thought (poor conditions and social dislike) or by religiousity (as my opponents have puported).

    And, indeed, asking "what causes people to stop being terrorists" is a much better question than "what causes people to become terrorists."

    Thoughts? Feelings?
     
  2. 9sublime

    9sublime Active Member

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    Read 'The Islamist' by Ed Husain - a man who documents his time rising into the ranks of a terrorist cell and then back out again the UK.
     
  3. bewitched

    bewitched New Member

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    because the Koran teaches and rewards terrorism.
    very simple.
     
  4. vyo476

    vyo476 Active Member

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    Did you even read the article?

     
  5. Dr.Who

    Dr.Who Well-Known Member

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    Well, it seems that they are looking for purpose of meaning in their life. Who isn't?

    Any way from a political point of view the people within Islam who find it to be a religion of peace could be strengthened and encouraged to influence those who might see things more violently.

    My personal opinion is that God as described by Islam won't provide a satisfying purpose but that God as described by Christianity will. Unfortunatly any attempt to encourage islamist to embrace christianity will anger the extremists and allow them to step up recruitment.

    Let the CIA strengthen mainstream and peaceful islamists and let the missionaries preach apart from government.
     
  6. pocketfullofshells

    pocketfullofshells Well-Known Member

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    Just like the bible and the IRA?

    the Koran is clearly against terrorism, its very clear you A: cant read or B: cant understand things you read.
     
  7. pocketfullofshells

    pocketfullofshells Well-Known Member

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    What happens is normally Terrorism is justified to the person at the time, but unlike what people are told, Terrorism works..and as it does and changes accure, most start to not see the need for it, or see other means to get change...That or it completely fails and they die off...

    There is also always the true believer who just sees the hypocrsy that large scale terrorist groups almost end up , and its gets to them.

    that said, its one thing to ease out of a Politically motivated terror group, but when its due to deep held Religious views and viewed as a war on your Religion, reform gets a lot harder and more rare.
     
  8. Andy

    Andy Well-Known Member

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    Ok I have my copy of the Bible... not seeing support for terrorism there. Looking at my copy of the Qu'ran, I very clearly see support for it that. So, if you could be so kind as to point out which part of the Qu'ran is against terrorism, let me know.
     
  9. vyo476

    vyo476 Active Member

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    Qur'an 2:62: "Those who believe (in the Qur'an), and those who follow the Jewish (scriptures), and the Christians and the Sabians,- any who believe in Allah and the Last Day, and work righteousness, shall have their reward with their Lord; on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve."

    Taken literally, don't cause fear amongst Jews and Christians.

    Qur'an 2:193: "And fight them on until there is no more Tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in Allah; but if they cease, Let there be no hostility except to those who practise oppression."

    In other words, terrorism (or war of any kind) would only be justified if they were attacked or oppressed first.

    http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/quran/002.qmt.html

    As for renunciations of the use of terrorism in particular, well, that's tough. The Qur'an is shaky on the subject, but there's something very interesting in the hadiths.

    How many women and children died on 9/11? Yet killing women and children was expressly forbidden by Muhammad.

    In order to justify terrorism using Islamic documents, one must piece together only those sections which fit with that agenda. In any case, the article that serves as the original post of this thread rather clearly says that religion is not the chief motivator in causing people to become terrorists; naivete is.
     
  10. The Scotsman

    The Scotsman Well-Known Member

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    Yup pretty much agree with that. I was always under the impression that religion came well down the line when recruiters are spotting for potential "terrorists". The initial profiles used by recruiters are usually young, quiet, sometimes lonely but usually intelligent people who are not really involved in the religion to a great extent! Radicalisation is a process pretty much the same as brainwashing, like the religious cults of the 60s and 70s and if the brainwashing takes it can be difficult to de-programme them.
     
  11. KingClovis

    KingClovis New Member

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    We should be undertaking the same kind of long-term operation against Terrorist Islam the Israelis did after Munich. They should be dropping like flies, all over the world. Our problem is that we've become obsessed with Political Correctness, such that we can't effectively fight back. It's massively frustrating.:mad:
     
  12. 9sublime

    9sublime Active Member

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    In case you havn't realised, bombing women and children in mid east countries tends to breed far more radicals than before.
     
  13. vyo476

    vyo476 Active Member

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    Please lay out for us how "political correctness" is inhibiting our ability to defend ourselves.
     
  14. The Scotsman

    The Scotsman Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG][​IMG] Oh my goodness please sir King Clovis Mister sir! Why be you vanting to be dropping me like a fly please sir?

    I be am not understanding you please Mr King Clovis Sir :D

    Many bye byes and good nights :rolleyes:
     
  15. YouMustBeJoking

    YouMustBeJoking New Member

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    Unless that bomber happens to be in the US and using airliners for bombs. Those bombings of women and children bring cheering from the ME and claims of how our chickens have come home to roost.

    Does it breed more radicals in America as well? I don't know. I've certainly seen it breed more cowardice, radicalism I cannot speak to.
     

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