“It is extremely difficult to reform terrorists because we are trying to destroy years of indoctrination and misinterpretation of Islam.” One wonders why it is so difficult. If their misinterpretation of Islam is so clear, one would think it wouldn’t be all that hard to explain that to the likes of Abdullah Sonata and other jihadists, who are generally very devout and anxious to the right Islamic thing.
Unless, of course, the “misinterpretation of Islam” that the jihadists use to justify their actions and make recruits is based on a broad, mainstream tradition in Islam — a tradition that is yet to be successfully challenged on Islamic grounds by self-proclaimed moderates.
In other news:
- Senior Jemaah Islamiyah commander captured in Indonesia – The Long …
- Indonesia: Jemaah Islamiyah does not exist, says vice-president …
The government’s deradicalization program aimed at getting convicted terrorists to renounce violence has been declared a failure in the wake of this week’s arrest of suspect Abdullah Sonata, who was released from prison in 2009 on good behavior.”We have to say that generally the program has failed,” Minister of Justice and Human Rights Patrialis Akbar said on Friday. “There are convicts who have successfully been re-integrated back into society, leaving behind their old ways. But successes are few compared to those who remain unreformed.”
“It is extremely difficult to reform terrorists because we are trying to destroy years of indoctrination and misinterpretation of Islam,” he said. “We will solicit help from psychologists, experts, criminologists and clerics to determine the best means to reform hard-core terrorists.”
Sonata, 32, was arrested on Wednesday for his suspected involvement in a plot to carry out Mumbai-style attacks in Jakarta that police said targeted several high-profile figures, including President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. […]
Local terror deprogramming efforts have been led largely by police, unlike similar programs in Saudi Arabia, Malaysia and Singapore. The main thrust behind the police efforts is getting prisoners to give up violence and co-opting them as informers. While officers provide financial help to reformed inmates and their families, little is done to challenge their radical religious beliefs, such as the goal of imposing Islamic rule. […]
Sonata was arrested in 2005 for possession of weapons and for hiding Noordin M Top, the slain terrorism mastermind.
Behind bars, Sonata was viewed as a shining example of how criminals can change. “He was a nice person, cooperative with our rehabilitation program,” said Noor Huda Ismail, executive director of the Inscription Peace Foundation, established in 2008 to turn terrorism inmates around. “But in the end, he was a failure.”
I wonder why!
Here’s a hint:
Ever wondered why some Malaysians, Indonesians, and others from such far-away Muslim countries were found on board those “Freedom Flotillas”? Well, Indonesia’s justice minister unravels that mystery for us in the following Al JazeeraÂ video interview:
Patrialis Akbar, Indonesia’s justice minister, is responsible for administering the government’s policy of “deradicalising” members of Jemaah Islamiyah, a group that has long been engaged in an armed conflict with the government.
But in an interview with Al Jazeera to discuss the re-educating programme, Patrialis Akbar said he would encourage and even fund the same fighters to carry out “bomb attacks in Israel instead”.
However, later in the discussion he toned down his wordsÂ and saidÂ that he does not encourage violence.
HisÂ statement caused much controversy and international condemnation, butÂ Dino Patti Djalal, a spokesman for the Indonesian president, said Akbar was only expressing frustration after Israel’s attack on the aid-carrying flotilla bound for Gaza last month in which nineÂ activists were killed and scores were wounded.
Step Vaessen reports from Jakarta, Indonesia’s capital.