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Oct 09,2007
Iraqi detainees face religion-based rehab
by UPI

SINGAPORE -- Detainees in Iraq are being introduced to religious-based rehabilitation in hope of reducing their extremist views.

Similar programs in Singapore and Saudi Arabia use Muslim clerics to rebut extremist views while a program in Yemen was closed in 2005 because of high recidivism, The Christian Science Monitor reported Tuesday.

Experts distinguish between rehabilitating low-level sympathizers and hardened terror leaders unlikely to change their thinking, the Monitor reported.

Supporters of the plan told the Minotor an effective counter-terrorism strategy must combat religious indoctrination, especially for Muslim detainees who see open-ended detention as an affront.

Releasing them armed with Islamic teachings that quash al-Qaida's violent rhetoric could help win a "war of ideas," said Rohan Gunaratna, a consultant on the program in Singapore.

"I believe America can take this idea to Guantanamo, Afghanistan, and other areas," Gunaratna told the Monitor.

Copyright © 2007, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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